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Can QR Codes Be Inverted Or Mirrored? - Feb 2017

Another common question about QR Codes is if they are inverted or mirrored, will they still work? The simple answer is No. Mirroring a QR Codes or inverting it will prevent "most" barcode readers from being able to decode the image and extract any data from it.

In order to demonstrate this, the 2 QR Codes below have been altered. The one on the left has been mirrored from its original and the one on the right inverted. If you try to scan them, it's likely that your QR Code scanner will fail read them.


It has been noted however that with some more modern scanners and the latest smartphone apps, the algorithm used to read the QR Code is able to determine that the code is inverted and still read its content. So while this isn't something technically supported in the QR Code specification, the additional capability of scanners may be able to figure out what is needed to "correct" the QR Code and read its data.


Keep Reading: 5. Can a QR Code Be Rotated?

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You should also look over most FAQs and consider reading What's A QR Code?