12 Reasons Why Your QR Code is Not Working

By:  Vall
Update:  September 22, 2023
12 Reasons Why Your QR Code is Not Working

A QR code does not function or scan properly for several reasons.

They look plain and easy to make, but you can fail to make them functional if you don’t follow the simple QR code do’s and don'ts.

And generally, there are 12 reasons why your QR code is not scanning or working.

You need to avoid these mistakes to generate a QR code that functions and is easy to scan.

12 reasons why your QR code is not working

Before you start to think about how to make successful QR code campaigns for your business, you must have an idea of how to properly create a QR code using a QR code generator online.

QR code not scanning? Low scans? There are various reasons as to why it happens.

Here are the reasons your QR code campaigns are not working:

1. Inverted QR code colors are a NO-NO

QR code not working

The number one rule in creating custom QR codes: Avoid inverted QR code colors.

QR code scanners are set to detect QR codes with a darker contrast to the background.

Otherwise, it would be difficult to scan your QR code.

You may devise a great design, but it simply doesn’t work.

To make sure a QR code scanner easily reads and decodes your QR code, it's best to use the right QR code color combination. This way, it's easier for the scanner to access the stored information.

2. The QR code doesn’t have enough contrast

QR code color

QR code not scanning? Avoid blending or mixing similar light or dark colors; otherwise, it will take forever to scan it, or never.

For example, light colors, such as yellow or pastel colors, are not good for scanning, so it is best to use darker colors and white backgrounds.

You can be creative with your custom QR code design by playing with the color QR code. However, don’t compromise its fast-reading capacity by not creating enough contrast.

An advanced custom QR code generator enables you to make your QR code more unique. You can even add a unique logo to make it look more professional and credible.

Just remember: the QR code color should be dark and set against a light-colored backdrop.

3. The QR code is blurry

QR code not workingYour QR code should be sharp in quality so it's easier to detect the code’s borders that carry its content.
To create high-quality custom QR codes, it's best to download them in PNG or SVG format. These two image formats guarantee excellent print quality.

4. Pixelated QR code

QR code quality

Have you ever noticed that some QR codes are stretched and more pixelated than others?

You need to know first what type of QR code you want to use. There are two QR code types you can choose: Static or Dynamic  QR code.

A static QR code is a type of QR code generated by a free QR code generator that stores data in the code’s pattern.

The more data you store, the more crowded the dots get, shrinking the code in the corner that carries its information.

Your QR code will be hard to read and detect when this happens.

If you have more information to embed, it's best to use dynamic QR codes. A dynamic QR code does not explicitly store the data right away in the code.

It contains a short URL stored in the QR code generator online that redirects the end-users to the destination information once scanned; thus, it avoids overcrowding your codes.

The codes need to be readable, and size is important for more points of view.

5. Consider the right size of the QR code

The size of the QR code will depend on where you place them. It varies depending on your advertising environment and medium.

It is advisable to display or print small-sized codes, like QR codes in construction equipment, business cards, hardware chips, small product packaging, etc., at least 2×2 cm (0.8×0.8 inch).

But of course, when you print them on billboards, say, 20 meters (65 feet) from where a passer-by would be scanning, it would probably need to be about 2 meters (6.5 feet) across.

If you are doubtful about the size of your QR code, just print them in bigger sizes to be safe and always test them.

6. Strategic placement of your QR code

QR codes can’t serve their purpose if they go unnoticed.

Correctly position your QR codes so your target audience can easily see them.

Always place your QR code in the right position, location, or area, and make sure it is not overlooked!

Make it eye-level so your scanners’ eyes will go straight to the QR code.

Also, remember to add a call-to-action to your QR code frame.

7. You entered the wrong data

Always check the data or URL you entered data.

Sometimes there are little typos in your URL that break your QR code, or it may be linked to a website that no longer exists.

Check for broken links as well.

When generating your Squarespace QR code, WordPress QR code, and other website-redirection QR code campaigns, execute a test scan before deploying them.

Scan and re-scan your QR code campaigns before deploying them live is always safer.

8. Expired QR code

If you generate your QR code in static, which is free to create, most QR code generators do not provide unlimited QR code scans, and they will expire.

However, QR TIGER provides unlimited scans of your QR code, valid for a lifetime.

On the other hand, if you generate your QR code in a dynamic, always renew your subscription before it expires.

Dynamic QR code requires a paid subscription as it is an advanced type of QR code with added features such as editing and tracking, which are not made available in static.

9. Invalid QR code or the URL where the QR code links to is deleted or no longer exists

The QR code is invalid and might be deleted by the user, or the page it links to no longer exists, and that directs you to a 404 error page.

10. The QR code is over-customized

Customization surely adds to your branding, but overdoing it results in an invalid QR code, undetectable by QR code readers.

Do not change the QR code data pattern extensively.

It will make them unrecognizable.

Making simple customizations with your QR code, like blending the right colors and adding unique edges, frames, and images, is enough to make them eye-catchy without looking scattered and all over the place.

There is an axiom that goes, “Less is more.”

11. Consider the distance from where you are scanning the QR code

If the QR code is in a closer range, maintain a slight distance to allow the scanner to detect the codes.

If you are scanning the QR code from afar, for example, on a billboard, get closer enough to the QR code where it can be scanned (must be within a reasonable distance range).

12. The QR code campaign has been disabled for some reason

Another reason the QR code is not working is it might have been disabled for some reason, such as the campaign is over or turned off by the user.

So why are QR codes not working? Let’s sum it up

  • The QR codes are inverted in colors
  • The codes do not have enough contrast
  • It is pixelated
  • The QR code is blurry
  • Printed the wrong size
  • Poor or wrong placement
  • This leads to a broken link
  • Is expired
  • Invalid QR code
  • Over-stylize
  • The QR code campaign has been disabled

QR Code Pro-Tip

Always do a QR code test

The most effective way to do even before deploying your QR code, is that always do a test.

Try scanning your QR codes in different operating systems to see if there are any problems scanning your QR and fix them before distributing or printing them.

And most importantly, always remember the 10 reasons why your QR code is not working.


Why is my QR Code not working on my iPhone?

Invalid QR codes can’t be scanned in your iOS devices due to the following reasons:

The OS version of the device is not iOS 11 or above. QR scanning is not enabled in the camera app.

To scan a QR code in your iPhone, enter your settings and activate permission for QR code scanning.

Scanning is supported in iOS devices from iOS 11 and above.

If the iPhone device is older, you can try to update it. You can also opt for third-party apps to scan QR codes.

Why is my QR code not displaying when scanned?

As mentioned above, several factors might explain why a QR code is not working or displaying when scanned. Always be mindful of the abovementioned guidelines to avoid a non-functional QR code.

What QR code generator should you use to start your QR code campaign?

You can generate your static QR code for free at QR TIGER, and it will never expire.

Furthermore, you will also have unlimited scans of your QR code.

You do not need a subscription to create one. You can generate as many QR codes as and customize as much as you want.

This gives users a well-absorbed experience without interruption and worries about the QR code expiring.

Why is my LinkTree QR code not working?

Normally, scanning a LinkTree QR code is similar to scanning it with the camera app in photo mode by pointing it toward the QR code to detect the code.

If you have a problem scanning and reading your LinkTree profile QR code, try to uninstall and reinstall the app again.

What is the recommended QR code reader to scan QR codes?

There are many QR code readers that you can download in the Google Play store, and these three are the most recommended at high rates.

  • Barcode
  • Kaspersky’s scanner

Why is the Facebook QR code not working?

Check the URL of your QR code. You might have entered the wrong link.

Before deploying your Facebook Page QR code, run a test scan to ensure the code is running.

The QR Code campaign has been disabled for some reason. Why?

A QR code campaign is disabled for various reasons: poor implementation, deletion of QR code, and fewer engagements.

Poor QR code implementation won’t get you anywhere and will hurt your conversion rates.

The QR code might not have gained any traction due to poor implementation and deletion of the QR code.

However, a professional and trusted QR code generator alerts users if the QR code has been invalid or deactivated.

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