How to read a QR code image in Node.js

Updated: February 5, 2024 By: Guest Contributor Post a comment


QR codes have become a ubiquitous part of our digital experience, enabling quick access to information, websites, and much more. For developers looking to integrate QR code reading capabilities into their Node.js applications, this tutorial will guide you through the necessary steps and tools required to achieve this functionality.

Before diving into the code, ensure that you have Node.js installed on your system. If not, visit the official Node.js website to download and install the latest version.

Setting Up Your Project

First, create a new directory for your project and navigate into it:

mkdir qr-code-reader
cd qr-code-reader

Next, initialize a new Node.js project:

npm init -y

This command creates a package.json file which will track your project’s dependencies.

Installing Dependencies

To read QR codes, we will use the qrcode-reader library, which provides a simple API for decoding QR codes from images. Additionally, we will use the Jimp library for image processing. Install these dependencies with the following command:

npm install qrcode-reader jimp

Reading a QR Code from an Image

Now, let’s write the code to read a QR code from an image file. Create a new file named readQR.js and add the following code:

const Jimp = require('jimp');
const QrCode = require('qrcode-reader');'path/to/your/image.jpg').then(image => {
let qr = new QrCode();
qr.callback = function(err, value) {
if (err) {
console.error('Error reading QR Code', err);
console.log('QR Code content:', value.result);
}).catch(err => {
console.error('Error reading image', err);

This code sample demonstrates how to read an image, decode the QR code contained within it, and output the decoded information to the console.

Handling Different Image Formats

The Jimp library supports reading various image formats, including JPEG, PNG, BMP, TIFF, and GIF. However, if you encounter issues or need to process an image format not directly supported, consider converting the image to a compatible format as a pre-processing step.

Improving QR Code Reading Accuracy

QR code reading can sometimes fail due to poor image quality, low contrast, or distortion. To improve the accuracy of QR code detection:

  • Ensure that the image resolution is high enough.
  • Adjust the contrast and brightness of the image to make the QR code more distinguishable.
  • If possible, attempt straightening or deskewing the image before decoding.

These steps can significantly improve the reliability of QR code reading in your application.


In this tutorial, we have explored how to read QR codes from images in Node.js applications using the qrcode-reader and Jimp libraries. By following these steps, you can easily integrate QR code reading functionality into your projects, enhancing their usability and interactivity.

Remember that the efficacy of QR code reading heavily depends on the quality of the input image. As such, applying some pre-processing to improve the image’s clarity can lead to better results. With the basics covered, you’re now ready to experiment further and perhaps integrate real-time QR code reading or explore other exciting applications of this technology.