Google Pixel’s built-in QR code scanner experiencing issues for some users

With the release of Android 13, Google Pixel phones introduced a built-in QR code scanner, offering users a convenient tool without the need for a separate app. However, a number of users have reported that the Pixel’s QR code scanner is currently malfunctioning, rendering it unusable for certain individuals.

QR Code Reader – built in pixel function not functioning (4a)
by u/MRGWONK in Pixel4a

Issues Identified:

Numerous threads on Google’s support forums and Reddit have highlighted the problem over the past week. Users have encountered difficulties when attempting to utilize the QR code scanner tile in Quick Settings. Although tapping the tile opens the scanner, the camera fails to initiate, resulting in a blank screen. Interestingly, the camera continues to function properly in other applications.

Affected Pixel Models:

The problem appears to predominantly affect Pixel 5, Pixel 4a, and Pixel 4a 5G devices, as reported by PiunikaWeb. While it is reasonable to assume that Pixel 5a is also impacted, no public reports have confirmed this assumption yet.

Unclear Cause:

Unfortunately, the precise cause of this issue remains uncertain. However, it appears to be related to recent software updates. Despite the lack of clarity, some users have discovered a temporary solution, which involves clearing the cache and/or data of Google Play Services. Although not an ideal remedy for various reasons, it has proven effective for certain individuals. Alternatively, users can resort to using the conventional Google Camera app or Google Lens, both of which have long-supported QR code scanning functionality.

Google’s Response:

Google seems to be aware of the problem, as indicated by a statement from a “Product Expert” stating that the issue is currently under investigation. This acknowledgment suggests that the company is actively working on resolving the problem to ensure a satisfactory user experience.


While Android 13’s introduction of a built-in QR code scanner on Google Pixel phones was a welcome addition for many users, a subset of individuals has encountered issues with its functionality. The problem primarily affects Pixel 5, Pixel 4a, and Pixel 4a 5G devices, with the cause yet to be determined. In the meantime, affected users can attempt to resolve the issue by clearing cache and/or data on Google Play Services or utilizing alternative applications such as Google Camera or Google Lens. It is reassuring to know that Google is aware of the problem and actively investigating a solution to rectify the QR code scanner’s malfunction.

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