How Much Data Is There in a QR Code?

When you scan a QR code, your device is reading that code and acquiring the data contained within it. But, how much data can be contained within a QR code? In comparison to many modern technologies, QR code data size is actually quite small — just 3 KB can fit in a typical QR code. Given that extremely low limit, you might be tempted to think that QR codes are out of date and no longer relevant in the modern tech world. That’s not the case, however, as the role that QR codes play remains just as important as ever.

What Is a QR Code?

A QR code is a code that can be scanned by a range of different mobile devices. When a device scans a QR code, it receives the information that has been included in the code — and that can be just about anything, including a URL, a message, a link to a social profile, and so on. Given the immense popularity of mobile devices today, QR codes have become quite popular as a way for businesses to deliver information to their customers. 

For example, rather than sharing the name of a social profile and hoping the customer remembers to follow the account later, a business can just present a QR code that is linked to their Facebook, Instagram, etc. That way, following the account is as simple as scanning the code and tapping on the screen. This is just one of the nearly endless examples of how businesses can leverage the power of QR codes to improve operations.

How Does a QR Code Work?

You can think of a QR code similarly to how you think of a barcode that appears on items at the grocery store. The code contains some pieces of information about the item, and that information is returned when the code is scanned. In this case, rather than containing information about a bottle of milk or a loaf of bread, the QR code will usually hold information that pertains to the business itself. 

Assuming you have seen a QR code before, you already know that they are square in shape and are made up of dark and light sections in a seemingly random grid pattern. It is that pattern that a mobile device will read, interpret, and then turn into data that can be used for a specific purpose. Any business that wishes to use QR codes to serve its audience can quickly and easily create them with tools like our Free QR Code Generator.

Amount of Data a QR Code Can Hold

As mentioned earlier in this article, a QR code can typically hold just 3 KB of data. This limited QR code data size means you can’t include any kind of media content, or even a text file of any length. With that said, a 3 KB QR code data size is just enough to include the kinds of information that are typically passed along with these codes. 

Taking a quick look at the types of information that can be featured when you create a code with our free tool will help you understand how QR codes can still be useful in spite of this tiny data size. When you create a code for your business, that code can link to a URL, a vCard, a phone number, or email address — to name a few examples. Each of these requires only a little bit of data to be passed to the user, so they all fit well within the 3 KB limit.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can QR codes contain media files?

You won’t be able to fit a media file into the data capacity of a QR code, but that really isn’t the point of this technology, anyway. QR code data size is limited by the design of these codes, and they aren’t meant to be containers for things like music, videos, etc. Rather, these are meant to provide small bites of information that can take the user to other, more powerful resources. The best example of this idea is a QR code that contains a URL. By scanning the code, the user will be automatically taken to a website, where endless amounts of data can be contained. So, it’s perhaps better to think of the QR code as a convenient bridge to data, rather than the place where the data itself is stored.

Are QR codes difficult to create?

QR codes are easy to create. We offer our own QR code generator here at TRUiC, and there are many others available, as well. You’ll only need to make a few basic decisions when generating your code, and you’ll need to have a place to save it when the process is done. There is no technical knowledge required to put QR codes to use for your business.

What types of QR codes are available?

There are many different types of QR codes in use today, and they are all easy to create. Some of the popular options include social media codes like links to Facebook and Instagram or codes that deliver an email. Also, there are URL codes, phone number codes, and even codes that allow the scanner to automatically connect to a WiFi network. The vast range of available code types is one of the features that makes QR codes so useful.

Are QR codes still used today?

Of course! While some in the tech world anticipated that QR codes would fade away as other, more advanced technologies emerged, these codes only continue to grow and expand as their usefulness remains hard to ignore. They are particularly helpful for small businesses, as their ease of use means small companies can leverage this technology without spending money on developers or other IT costs. It seems unlikely that QR codes will be going away anytime soon, so small businesses should continue to see them as a viable way to connect with their audience.