You might think that QR codes are so 2006, but they’re coming back in a big way. Here’s how to create your own.

RELATED: What Is a QR Code, and Why Are They Everywhere?

You might be asking yourself, “Why would I ever want or need to create my own QR code?”, and that’s a valid question. QR codes are a sort of hidden gem that a lot of people underestimate, and they can be used in all sorts of different ways. When scanned, they can take you to a specific website, lead you to a file to download, or even just display a bunch of text about something.

For example, I actually frequently use a QR code of my phone number. If I want to give my number out to someone, they can just open the camera on their phone and scan the QR code image that I have stored on my own phone.

If this is something that is of interest to you, here’s how you can create your own QR codes for just about any situation.

On the iPhone

RELATED: How to Scan QR Codes with the iPhone’s Camera App

There are quite a few apps that can scan QR codes, as well as create them, but my favorite one is QR Reader, which is free to download. We won’t be needing the scanning capabilities of the app (especially since iOS can do it natively now), but we will be using the creation capabilities.

Once the app is open, tap on the downward arrow in the top-right corner of the screen.

Then tap on the QR code icon at the bottom.

Hit the “+” button up i the top-left corner to begin the process of creating a QR code.

Next, select the type of QR code that you want to make from the list provided. So if you want your QR code to lead to a webpage, you would select “Website”. Scroll down for even more options.

In this case, I’m going to be making a QR code that takes you to my Twitter profile, so I’ll select “Twitter Profile” from the list.

Enter in any details that you want, which will depend on which type of QR code you’re creating. In this case, I’ll type in my Twitter handle and hit “Create” up in the top-right corner.

Your QR code will be created and appear in the list of custom QR codes that you’ve made.

Now, you can stop here and use the app to store your QR codes (and display them by tapping on the QR code image to the left to enlarge it), or you can export them to another app or service. To do this, tap on the text of the QR code and then select “Share”.

From here, you can send the QR code to any number of apps or services that you have connected to your iPhone, like Dropbox, Google Drive, iMessage, and more. You can also save the QR code image to your camera roll by tapping on “Save Image”.

On Android

If you have an Android device, you can create your own QR codes with an app called QR Code Generator, and it’s free to download. To get started, open up the app and tap on “Text” at the top to select the type of QR code to create.

You don’t get as many options as the iPhone app we used above, but it gives you the basics. Select the one you want to use to continue. In this case, we’ll choose “Email”.

Type in an email address (or whatever info you need to type in based on the QR code you’re creating) and then tap on “Generate” in the top-right corner.

Your QR code will be created, and from there you have several options. The first option is to save the QR code image locally to your phone’s gallery by hitting the floppy disk button at the top.

You can also tap on the Share button to send the QR code to any number of apps and services, like Dropbox and Google Drive, or send it through Hangouts or text message.

On Your Computer

If you’d rather not download yet another app to your phone in order to create QR codes, you can do it on your computer instead using a website. There are a ton to choose from, and most of them are completely free to use. Our favorite, though, is QRCode Monkey.

You first choose the type of QR code to make along the top.

After that, enter in the pertinent information that you want to include in the QR code.

Next, you can click on “Set Colors” to change the color of the QR code if you want, but this is completely optional.

Likewise, you can click on “Add Logo Image” to add a logo to the center of the QR code if you wish.

Lastly, you can click on “Customize Design” to change how the QR code looks in general, like changing the shapes of the squares and more.

Once you’re done with that, use the slider to change the resolution of the QR code, making it as low or as high quality as you want.

After that, click on “Create QR Code” off to the right to show a preview of what your QR code will look like.

Then, click on “Download PNG” to save the QR code in image form. You can also choose other formats below that if you want.

Once the image is downloaded, you can do whatever you want with it: print it out, save it on your phone, or send it to a friend.

You can even create QR codes from the Linux terminal command line.

Profile Photo for Craig Lloyd Craig Lloyd
Craig Lloyd is a smarthome expert with nearly ten years of professional writing experience. His work has been published by iFixit, Lifehacker, Digital Trends, Slashgear, and GottaBeMobile.
Read Full Bio »