QR code scanning problems and how to fix it

Last updated:   October 13, 2021

When you generate QR codes, one of the QR code problems you might encounter is QR code scanning problems. 

As the threat of viral transmission is still at large, the use of wireless technology tools like QR codes resurfaces.

And with the QR code’s resurfaced triumph, the inevitable struggles such as delayed scanning prompt are present.

As QR codes are highly regarded in today’s current usage, it is best to know some possible QR code scanning problems. This way, you can avoid these problems and run a successful QR code campaign.

Related: What is a QR code and how does it work? The Beginner's Ultimate Guide!

10 QR code scanning problems and how to fix QR codes

As your QR code is not recognized by your QR code reader or smartphone, there are various reasons why the code is not scanning.

And with that reason, we narrow down 10 common QR code scanning problems and how you can fix them.

In this way, you can avoid these problems in your future QR code generations.

QR code problem #1: Color Contrast and inverted color of QR codes

As you can customize your QR code design by applying a different color contrast aside from black and white, the chances of getting your QR code scanned in an instance increases.

But as trying out a new set of colors to your QR codes can compromise the code’s scannability, the problem in scanning the QR code is still present.

How to fix QR code with this problem:qr code scanning problems

To fix the QR code’s inability to be recognized by your customer’s smartphone, there is a color contrast tip that you can follow through.

And the tip goes, “The foreground color in a QR code is always darker than the background color”.

It is best to avoid light colors like yellow, light blue, lime, and pastel colors as they can contribute to QR code scanning latency.

QR code problem #2: Blurred QR code output

One of the reasons why your QR code is not scanning properly is because of the blurred image that you may have placed in your digital or print marketing material.

As blurred QR code images can confuse the QR code reader’s data decrypting software, it can lead to lesser QR code scan impressions.

How to fix  QR code with this problem:undefined

To fix the QR code’s blurred output in print paper or digital materials, it is important to select the right image file format to download with.

If you are planning to place your QR code in the print paper, it is recommended to download your QR code in vector file formats like the Scalar Vector Graphics (SVG) format.

In this way, you can resize the QR code without compromising the QR code’s image quality when printed.

For digital placement of QR codes, you can download the QR code in raster-file formats like Portable Network Graphics (PNG) format.

Related: QR code SVG format: Resize your QR codes to any sizes

QR code problem #3: Congested QR code data

One of the reasons why you can’t scan your QR code is because you have converted a large amount of information into a QR code.

Especially when you use static QR codes to store the information, its graphics will be forced to create more boxes. So it's important to generate your QR code in dynamic form. 

How to fix a QR code with this problem:qr code problems

As static QR codes store information right to the code’s physical graphics, it is best to convert a lesser amount of information into the code.

But if you cannot avoid placing more information into the code, you can switch to using dynamic QR codes to store the information.

Dynamic QR codes use a short URL to store information and keep the QR code graphics clean and easy for QR code scanners to read.

Related: Static vs Dynamic QR code: What is the difference?

QR code problem #4: Mismatched QR code sizing

If you place your QR code in public places such as billboards, advertising posts, building walls, and people complain that their phone can’t scan the code, then the QR code’s size contributes to the scanning problem.

As most QR code scanner scans QR codes that fit the camera lens, scanning a smaller QR code at a distance will contribute to difficult QR code recognition.

How to fix a QR code with this problem:undefined

To correct the mismatched QR code sizing, there are two QR code sizing that you need to follow.

For short-distance QR code scanning, the minimum QR code sizing that you can employ is 3 cm x 3 cm (1.18 in x 1.18 in).

For long-distance QR code scanning, QR code users have a sizing formula that they can follow.

The QR code scanning formula states, ” distance from the scanner and the QR code divided by 10.”

Related: What should be the minimum size of your QR code?

QR code Problem #5: Inaccessible QR code data

As people can manage to scan the QR code, accessing the data is not granted. Because they can not access the data of the QR code they scanned, the impressions you get lessens.

With the lesser QR code scan impressions you get, your QR code will hold lesser ROIs.

Inaccessible QR code data happens when the data you convert has an expired URL or the data needs an access grant from the creator itself.

It can also contribute to the subscription validity of your QR code plan.

How to fix a QR code with this problem:undefined

To avoid getting fewer QR code scans and lead generation, it is important to check the data first.

In checking the QR code data, you must look for access permissions in files from cloud storage services.

If you deem that the data has no access problem, you can also look for the validity of your QR code plans. Especially if you use dynamic QR codes, it is important to make your subscription plan active.

QR code problem #6: Wrong QR code Placement

Wrong QR code placement can also contribute to difficulty in scanning QR codes for its dedicated scanners. Because of that, businesses or individuals that place their QR codes in the wrong areas get lesser or fewer scans from people.

As getting more QR code scans is important, placing them in the wrong areas yields lesser recognition from people.

How to fix a QR code with this problem:qr code not working

To fix this issue, there are several areas that you need to consider when planning to run your QR code campaign.

When planning to place your QR code in print media, there are several areas that you need to consider.

1. Place the QR code in areas where it will experience no creases, or fold.

2. It is best to place your QR code in flat areas where the scanner can easily scan the code.

3. Use the appropriate paper material to embed your QR code with.

4. If you are planning to place your QR code in advertising posts, billboards, or building walls, here are some areas that you need to consider.

5. Place your QR code in places where people usually gather or walk by. Places like train stations, bus stops, and recreational parks are great areas to place your QR code.

6. Never use a background that might cover the QR code’s color.

7. Place your QR code within the person’s point of view.

QR code problem #7: QR code not displaying the right informationdynamic qr code

Even if people have successfully scanned the QR code, the information the code displays is not the intended information that you want to give to them.

Because of the incorrect data display, people will get confused about what they are seeing. 

How to fix a QR code with this problem:

To fix them, you can opt-in using dynamic QR codes to edit your QR code data without any problem.

In this way, you can always update your QR code data even if you have deployed your QR code to the public. 

QR code problem #8: Overcustomized QR code design

overcustomized qr code mistake
As customization is great to debunk people’s assumption that QR codes are just black and white codes, over-customizing it can cause the reader to not be able to recognize the code when scanning.

Over-customizing a QR code involves inverting QR code colors, selecting unscannable QR code patterns and eye shapes. 

How to fix a QR code with this problem:

To avoid this problem, you can follow some simple QR code customization guidelines to keep your QR code scannable and visually-pleasing to both the person and the QR code scanner. 

QR code problem #9: Expired QR code

You can associate QR code scanning problems with expired QR codes. Especially when the QR code generator you are using only gives out a limited time to make the QR code work, people will likely scan an expired QR code. 

As the QR code is expired, people will avoid your next QR code posters and never dare to scan them. 

How to fix a QR code with this problem:dynamic qr code cost

To fix this problem, you should always ensure that the QR code generator that you are partnering with is transparent with the QR codes’ functionality in terms of the kind of plan you are registered with. 

If the expired QR code is a dynamic QR code and your subscription is not active anymore, you must reactivate your subscription plan to continue the QR code’s functionality. 

QR code problem #10: The device does not recognize the QR code

As not all smartphones support QR code scanning right through their smartphones, some will complain about their device’s inability to recognize the QR code that they are scanning.

Because of that, you will be losing several potential customers. 

How to fix a QR code with this problem:qr code generator app

To fix this issue, you must know the usual mobile phone OS version that people use nowadays, with Android 1o or IOS 14 being the latest and Android 6 or IOS 11 being the oldest. 

For older Android OS devices like Android 7 and below, you can recommend its users to download a QR code scanner app like QRTiger’s QR code scanner app in Play Store. 

The same goes for iPhone and Ipad users that have an IOS lower than IOS 11 on their devices.

To download the QR code scanner app in the App Store, here is a QR code scanner link that you can copy and share with your customers.

Why you should always run a scan test of your QR code before you hit the download button?

There are three reasons why you should always test your QR code before downloading and printing the QR code.

To avoid people’s negative impressions

As first impressions last when people take a look at the unfamiliar tech that they are experiencing,  it is important to give a great first impression from the people who will be scanning them for the first time. 

Because of that, you should always run a scan test for your QR code before you proceed in downloading and deploying them to your print and digital marketing platforms. 

Ensure correct data display and scan speed

By testing out your QR code first before you proceed in downloading and deploying them, you can ensure an accurate data display and faster QR code scanning without any hassle. 

Avoid profit loss

As unscannable QR code data can deem no profit gain for the period of the campaign you are deploying them, testing your QR code is important to avoid profit loss.

In this way, you can avoid spending more on printing new marketing materials and keep the scans coming for more sales conversion and profit gains. 

Unscannable QR code problems – rewrite mistakes into a stream of opportunity!

As the difficulty in scanning is one of the problems that we encounter with QR codes, looking out for better QR code creation practices is needed.

With the help of a QR code software like QRTiger to rewrite mistakes into a stream of opportunity, you can avoid any scanning issues and let the future of information unpacking advance with the use of them.