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Please recommend a QR Code reader app with the following features:

  1. Reads a QR code from a webcam
  2. Portable (no installation)
  3. Gratis (free of cost for non-commercial use)
  4. Windows compatible
  5. Does not require JRE
  6. Completely offline (does not attempt internet access)

In researching possibilities, I came across this related Software Recommendations QA. Although the requirements in that question are different, I took a look at the three answers currently posted:

I took a look at CodeTwo QR Code Desktop Reader & Generator, but it does not appear to be portable.

I also looked at ShareX, but it does not appear to be able to capture from a webcam.

Finally, I looked at Zbar, but it appears to be abandoned and still in alpha for Windows.

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Try ByteScout BarCode Reader, which can interpret 1D and 2D codes, including MicroQR Code and HanXinCode 2D codes. It's free for non-commercial use.

It does have an installer, but once installed, it may be possible to copy the folder, C:\Program Files (x86)\ByteScout BarCode Generator, to another PC. That said, the installer shows as malware-free in VirusTotal, and is straight-forward, with few options.

ByteScout Barcode reader code types

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  • Thank you Dr. Moishe! I'll definitely take a look at it. It's too bad it has an installer (probably no need for one), but maybe I can extract the required files without even running the installer. I'm surprised I had never heard of ByteScout before... after reading your answer, I took a look at their freeware and commercial products, and I'm quite impressed. – RockPaperLizard Jan 21 at 9:50
  • I got a chance to try ByteScout BarCode Reader. The installer uses Inno Setup. I didn't see any simple way to not use the installer (please notify me if there is a way). The installer installed all files into a single folder. The installer modified the Windows Registry, but nothing too ugly. When run, the main application tried to access the internet. So did its video module. As your screenshot indicates, the UI is horrendous. Even with all those negatives, it works very well to scan QR codes. – RockPaperLizard Mar 22 at 7:47
  • Glad it works for your intended use. You might experiment with simply copying the folders from C:\Program Files (x86)\ to another PC and ignoring any Registry changes (probably firewall rules to enable update checks). BTW, it's easy to add firewall rules to block obnoxious apps, such as MS's Image Composite Editor (though I now use Hugin to replace it). – DrMoishe Pippik Mar 22 at 20:07
  • Thanks Dr. Moishe. At some point, I'll probably take a look to see if it's not too hard to extract the needed files from installer. ByteScout regularly updates BarCode Reader, which is great. As you mentioned, blocking its internet connectivity with a firewall is easy and works. I'm still looking for something that better meets my feature list, but in the meantime, this is working well. Thank you! – RockPaperLizard Mar 22 at 21:24

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