i'm looking for a program which runs on windows and can read/decode qr-codes.

at this state i'm happy for every suggestion, but the more requirements it hits the better:

  • must run on windows
  • must decode qr-codes
  • should be gratis and even better free (FOSS)
  • should read qr-codes from webcam
  • should read qr-codes from files (png, jpg, pdf, etc.) - the more formats the better.
  • may read qr-codes directly from screen
  • may read qr-codes directly from other sources like scanners, etc.
  • may decode other 1d- & 2d-codes

as a pendant on linux i use QtQR which fulfills at least the "musts" & "shoulds" beside creating qr-codes (which isn't necessary in this case).

3 Answers 3


I recommend Sharex. It's free & open source.

It can:

  • Run on windows / steam
  • Reads qr-codes from image files
  • Reads qr-codes from screen

And so many features that I find it very useful:

  • Screen capture region
  • Screen recording (video / gif)
  • Easy upload captured image to image sharing (e.g imgur)
  • Color Picker
  • Ruler
  • And many other features that I haven't tried
  • although it is a bit of a overshoot for just decoding qr-codes (hence not really user-/noob-friendly), it seems to be the best recommendation so far. Oct 9, 2018 at 8:53
  • No-go for me since it lacks webcam QR code scanning...
    – Redoman
    Sep 13, 2022 at 6:29

there is one program i found CodeTwo QR Code Desktop Reader & Generator:

  • runs on Windows XP SP3 and up
  • reads qr-codes
  • is only gratis but not free (FOSS) - but anyhow seems to be also free for commercial use
  • reads qr-codes from webcam
  • reads qr-codes from files
  • reads qr-codes from screen
  • additionally it can also create qr-codes

for now i have no idea how good, safe and privacy friendly it is, since i haven't used it... but it is the only thing i found! :-(
--> hence comments/experiences about this one are also highly appreciated!

  • Did you wind up using this tool at all? If so, can you update your answer with your experiences? Jan 20, 2020 at 15:12
  • @RockPaperLizard i usually use FOSS! so i hardly use Windows and Windows-only-tools, but it worked and also the few Windows users who asked me for a QR-decoder didn't complain about anything... i would say it does its job but unfortunately i have no solid long time experience to share. Jan 22, 2020 at 17:27
  • No-go for me since it can't read QR codes generated by Brave...
    – Redoman
    Sep 13, 2022 at 6:28
  • @Redoman: why that?!? Sep 15, 2022 at 8:25
  • @DJCrashdummy no idea, it probably does not support the format.
    – Redoman
    Sep 16, 2022 at 11:10

If FOSS is essential, I would go for Zbar (http://zbar.sourceforge.net/)

The GUI can apparently look at video streams as well as files, and seems nicely extensible. It says it's currently unstable but I've honestly had no issues, and there's no dependency hell with it that I can see.

Beside QR Codes it can also decode EAN-13/UPC-A, UPC-E, EAN-8, Code 128, Code 39 and Interleaved 2 of 5.

  • well... i'd say FOSS is preferred, not essential because of lacking alternatives! || i also stumbled across this project, but i don't see any GUI and sadly it also refused to work with my webcam. :-( -- citation from the windows-readme: This version of the package includes *only command line programs*. (The graphical interface is scheduled for a future release) || but thanks for the answer anyway! Jun 8, 2018 at 9:17
  • appears to be now offline...
    – Redoman
    Sep 13, 2022 at 6:28
  • It's still around, just not updated, try zbar.sourceforge.net/download.html Sep 14, 2022 at 7:19

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