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[SOLVED] WhatsApp QR Code Not Working

 Recently Reviewed   on 15 September 2022
Feature image for the blog post "Solved: WhatsApp QR Code Not Working"

Can’t get the WhatsApp Web QR Code to work and need a working solution?

Perhaps you’ve been searching all over the web for hours and somehow all of the sites seem to be giving you the same generic and mostly uses advice?

Well, we get you, and that’s why we’ve done the research to find working solutions for when you’re struggling with the WhatsApp QR Code not working.

In this guide, we’ll show you the 6 most effective things you can do if you just can’t seem to get the WhatsApp Web QR code to work.

Let’s check it out.

Key Points (tl;dr)
  • If you’re WhatsApp Web QR doesn’t seem to be working and you can’t scan the QR code properly, then either you’re using the wrong QR code scanner or there’s an issue with how the code is being displayed.
  • Here are 6 proven solutions on how to deal with cases of the WhatsApp Web scanner not working:
    • Solution 1: Use the correct QR code scanner
    • Solution 2: Disable forced “Dark Mode” in your browser
    • Solution 3: Disable “Hardware Acceleration” in your browser
    • Solution 4: Display the QR code on a different device’s screen
    • Solution 5: Remove all other linked devices and try again
    • Solution 6: Switch from WiFi to mobile data
  • If the QR code isn’t loading at all, then the problem is most likely linked to a server issue on WhatsApp’s end. There really isn’t any way you can fix this other than wait until the problem is resolved.

For a step-by-step guide on how to fix the “WhatsApp QR code not working” error, PLEASE READ THE FULL ARTICLE.

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Why is the WhatsApp QR Code Not Working?

Most cases of the WhatsApp QR code not working can be linked back to you using the wrong QR code scanner, other linked devices, or a number of display-related issues that can be easily fixed.

Infographic explaining why your WhatsApp Web QR code isn't working.
Infographic explaining why your WhatsApp Web QR code isn’t working.

Don’t you just hate it when you stumble upon a technical problem and just can’t seem to find a working solution?

The situation is already frustrating enough and you just want someone to tell you what’s wrong.

So you search the web for potential ways to fix the issue but for some reason, most of the sites only offer super-generic advice that doesn’t really address the problem.

80% of the pages will usually tell you to clear your cache, check your internet connection, or restart your phone or computer.

Well, here’s a dirty little secret: They’re just trying to get you to visit their page because they make their money from ads (we do too, by the way).

And writing generic articles about thousands of technical problems is a lot easier than actually solving them.

Anyway, sorry for the lengthy rant.

We actually did our homework and realized in nearly all cases the “WhatsApp QR code not working” problem is linked to one of 6 possible causes:

  • Reason 1: You’re using the wrong QR code scanner
  • Reason 2: The QR code isn’t displaying correctly
  • Reason 3: Other linked devices are conflicting
  • Reason 4: Your phone doesn’t have a data connection

It’s really that simple.

And once we’ve figured that out, we still need to pick the right solution for the job.

How to Fix: WhatsApp Web Scanner Not Working

There are a number of ways how you can fix the “WhatsApp Web scanner not working” problem. They include using the correct QR code scanner, disabling dark mode and hardware acceleration in your browser, or removing any other devices that may still be linked to your account.

Infographic explaining how to fix the "WhatsApp Web scanner not working" problem.
Infographic explaining how to fix the “WhatsApp Web scanner not working” problem.

Most of the other sites out there will give you endless lists of super-generic solutions that don’t actually work.

That’s really a pity because, with just a little extra research, they could easily help out more people.

Granted, some of the issues are fairly uncommon and a bit strange, but you’ll soon see that they’re really easy to fix.

Here are the 6 most effective solutions for dealing with the “WhatsApp QR code not working” error.

Solution 1: You’re Using the Wrong QR Code Scanner

WhatsApp QR code not working? Here's how to fix it step-by-step – Solution 1
WhatsApp QR code not working? Here’s how to fix it step-by-step – Solution 1

Believe it or not, tons of people are running into problems mainly because they’re not using the right QR code scanner.

That’s right, WhatsApp has 2 different QR scanners!

Unfortunately, when you visit the WhatsApp Web site, the instructions aren’t as clear as they may seem at first.

Here’s what it says:

“Tap Menu (three dots) OR Settings (cogwheel) and select Linked Devices.”

Unfortunately, a lot of people aren’t reading the instructions properly and accidentally tap the menu AND select “Settings”.

But if you do that, you won’t find anything that says “Linked Devices”.

What you will find, however, is a QR code icon in the top right corner and that will take you to the QR code scanner that is used to scan new friends.

This is the wrong QR code scanner!

So, if you’ve been asking yourself: “Why is the WhatsApp QR code not working?“, now you know why.

Instead, you need to select “Linked Devices” from the initial menu and then tap the “Link a device” button.

This is the only place you’ll be able to scan the WhatsApp Web QR code.

If that didn’t solve it already, then your problem might be that the QR code isn’t displaying correctly.

Solution 2: Disable Dark Mode in Your Browser

WhatsApp QR code not working? Here's how to fix it step-by-step – Solution 2
WhatsApp QR code not working? Here’s how to fix it step-by-step – Solution 2

Does your browser support a “forced” dark mode?

I don’t mean the regular dark mode that just changes the way the browser window looks.

I mean the type of dark mode that also forces the contents of the website to become dark (white turns black), even if the site doesn’t actually support it.

Well, a number of browsers, such as Chrome or Brave, support this feature.

The problem with this feature is that it turns the background behind the QR code black.

And believe it or not, this effectively makes the QR code unreadable even though it mostly looks the same.

You can fix this by disabling the experimental browser feature “Auto Dark Mode for Web Contents”.

Here’s how:

  • Step 1: Open a new tab and navigate to “chrome://flags”.
  • Step 2: Search the flags for “dark mode” and disable it.
  • Step 3: Relaunch the browser.

If that’s still not it, then another browser feature might be the problem.

Solution 3: Disable Hardware Acceleration in Browser

WhatsApp QR code not working? Here's how to fix it step-by-step – Solution 3
WhatsApp QR code not working? Here’s how to fix it step-by-step – Solution 3

Chrome browser has a feature called “Hardware Acceleration” and for some reason, it can cause problems with QR codes.

To be completely honest, I never really understood what the feature was for but I suspect it has something to do with browser gaming.

Either way, this feature can sometimes lead to distorted QR codes.

The code effectively becomes unreadable and that’s why a lot of people think it’s a case of the WhatsApp QR code not working.

You can easily switch off hardware acceleration by following these steps:

  • Step 1: Click the 3-dot menu in the top right corner and select “Settings”.
  • Step 2: Now select “System” from the settings menu.
  • Step 3: Finally, disable “Use hardware acceleration when available”.

If you’re still running into problems, then we have one more solution that has to do with your display.

Solution 4: Display the QR Code on a Different Screen

WhatsApp QR code not working? Here's how to fix it step-by-step – Solution 4
WhatsApp QR code not working? Here’s how to fix it step-by-step – Solution 4

Not all displays and monitors are the same.

If you’re using a MacBook you’re unlikely to run into this problem because the displays are really high quality.

However, if you’re using an external monitor, there’s a good chance that it’s flickering.

That’s right, you might not even notice it but a lot of screens tend to flicker.

We’ve heard numerous reports of people who were dealing with a case of their WhatsApp Web scanner not working and the reason was their screen.

The solution here is not to open up a different browser because that would still use the same screen.

What you need to do is either open the WhatsApp Web page on an entirely different screen.

If you don’t have a second screen but perhaps a second phone, then you can take a photo of the QR code on one phone and then scan it with the code.

Technically you could even print out the code but that would probably take too long because the WhatsApp Web QR code is only valid for about a minute.

If you’re still struggling to find a fix, let’s have a look at some slightly more generic solutions.

Solution 5: Remove Other Devices Linked with Your WhatsApp

WhatsApp QR code not working? Here's how to fix it step-by-step – Solution 5
WhatsApp QR code not working? Here’s how to fix it step-by-step – Solution 5

If you use WhatsApp Web on multiple devices then sometimes the other devices can cause problems.

This is especially true if your session on the other device is still active.

Ideally, you should remove all devices from your list of linked devices in WhatsApp.

Here’s how you can remove devices from the “Linked Devices” list:

  • Step 1: Tap the 3-dot menu on your phone and select “Linked Devices”.
  • Step 2: Tap each device in the list and select “Log out” from the prompt.

This will log out any device that still has access to WhatsApp Web.

Once the list is empty, you can re-link your current device by tapping the “Link a device” button.

If this still didn’t work, then hopefully the next solution will finally solve it.

Solution 6: Switch From WiFi to Mobile Data

WhatsApp QR code not working? Here's how to fix it step-by-step – Solution 6
WhatsApp QR code not working? Here’s how to fix it step-by-step – Solution 6

For WhatsApp Web to work properly, your phone needs to have an active internet connection during the linking process.

Most modern smartphones can seamlessly switch between WiFi and mobile data without you even noticing.

Your device will simply detect that either your mobile phone or the WiFi network has lost its internet connection and will switch automatically.

Some older phones are not able to do this and simply assume that your WiFi connection is the best one.

However, even though your WiFi network may be up and running, the internet connection can still be lost.

In other words, your phone might be “stuck” in a WiFi network without an internet connection and you simply didn’t notice.

Luckily, this is easily fixed by simply turning off WiFi on your phone and using your mobile data.

Obviously, this works the other way around as well.

So, if you’re mobile data is down, consider logging on to a WiFi network.

Now, if that still did not fix the problem, then I’m afraid you’re dealing with a very serious case of the WhatsApp QR code not working.

We really did try out best!

Why is the WhatsApp Web QR Code Not Loading?

Believe it or not, there are some problems that have nothing to do with your system and you also can’t really do anything about them.

When you visit the WhatsApp Web page in order to scan the QR code, the page is the very first thing that will load.

The QR code itself doesn’t actually load until a few seconds later and it will also update every 10 seconds or so.

To you, the user, it all looks like it’s happening on the same page, when in fact the page is loading the QR code from an entirely different resource (possibly even a different server).

So, it’s entirely possible that the WhatsApp Web page will load normally but if the server that generates the QR codes is down, then none of the codes will load.

This happens a lot more often than you think.

Unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do about it, other than wait for it to resolve itself.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Before we close off this article, let’s quickly address some of the most common questions what we’ve received about how WhatsApp QR codes work.

  • What is the WhatsApp QR code used for?

    There are 2 different types of QR codes in WhatsApp. The first one is the personal QR code of your WhatsApp profile. This code allows others to quickly add you to their contacts by simply scanning the code. The second QR code is the verification QR code that is used to link your device when you want to use WhatsApp Web.

  • Where can I find my WhatsApp QR code?

    You can find your WhatsApp profile QR code inside the app’s settings.
    1. Open WhatsApp
    2. Tap on the 3-dot icon in top right corner.
    3. Finally, select “Settings” and then tap the QR code icon next to your name.
    4. You now have access to your personal QR code.

  • Why isn’t the WhatsApp QR code working?

    There are 2 common reasons why you’re having trouble scanning the WhatsApp QR code. Either you have hardware acceleration enabled in your Chrome browser and this is causing the code to be distorted. Or you have enabled a “forced” dark mode in Chrome, which also prevents the code from being scanned properly. Deactivate both and it should normally work.

Conclusion

More and more people have been reporting cases of their WhatsApp QR code not working.

But so far the vast majority of websites claiming to have the answer have been feeding them nothing but generic advice.

That’s exactly why we decided to write this article and finally provide some solutions that actually work.

Here at Tokenized, we want to help you learn as much as possible about social media. We help you navigate the world of tech and the digitalization of our society at large, including the tokenization of assets and services.

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