Everything You Need To Know

Are QR Codes Reliable? - Feb 2017

QR Codes are very reliable, once a QR Code is generated or printed it will not degenerate or lose the data it holds. It is only if the image becomes corrupt that data can be lost. In the case of a QR Code printed on a physical item (such as paper or a magazine), it is only when that item becomes damaged that data could be lost. Even if part of a QR Code was to become unreadable, QR Codes can have error correction built in that helps ensure a probability of the QR Code still being readable even after being damaged.

And QR Codes don't just have one level of error correction, there are 4 levels to select from when creating a standard QR Code (more for iQR Codes). The level that is set is defined by the designer of the code and set when the code is being generated. Having error correction turned on does take up a chunk of the available storage space in a QR Code, so if you have a lot of data to store in 1 code, you may find you're are limited as to the level of error correction you can apply, if any.

Black And White QR Code You may have seen some QR Codes where logos or letters are included in the actual code. With traditional QR Codes, Error correction is what has allowed designers to achieve this effect. The code can be created and then a section of the code removed to include a brand image. Error correction ensures the code is still readable by code scanners, test it for yourself on this Adidas QR Code.

More recently (2014), Denso Wave the creators of the QR Code did bring out a new type called the Frame QR Code, this is specifically designed to have a chunk of the centre missing as a template for you to easily insert your own image. it is however a different format and requires different readers and generators so is not as widely used.

The maximum level of protection is offered for a QR Code is 30%. This means that up to 30% of the code can be corrupt or missing and the scanner can still read the code. For iQR Codes, this is increased to 60%.


If you want to know more about error correction, take a look at QR Code Error Correction.
Or Keep Reading: 13. QR Code Standardisation?

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You should also look at our FAQs or consider some of the more Technical Detail