Can Barcode Scanners Read All Barcodes

Can barcode scanners read all barcodes

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Barcode scanners are an indispensable part of many businesses. From retail stores to warehouses, barcode scanners are used to quickly and accurately read product information from barcodes.

But how powerful are these devices? Can barcode scanners read all types of barcodes?

For people who are looking for a quick solution, the answer is no; barcode scanners cannot read all types of barcodes. But why is it so?

Let’s find out.¬†

Can A Barcode Scanner Read All Barcodes?

Barcode scanners play a crucial role in today’s technology-driven world. They are essential for numerous businesses, as their precise decoding of barcodes is necessary for various tasks.

However, a barcode scanner can’t read all barcode types. They are designed to read specific types of barcodes as different types of barcodes represent different data formats and information.

Linear And 2-Dimensional Compatibility

Compatibility of Linear and 2-Dimensional barcode scanners

Barcode scanners that are specifically designed to scan 1D barcodes are known as linear or one-dimensional (1D) barcode scanners. On the other hand, barcode scanners that are capable of reading two-dimensional (2D) barcodes are known as 2D barcode scanners.

Refer to our article on what is a barcode to learn about 1D and 2D barcode symbologies and different types of barcodes.

Linear or 1D barcode scanners generally use a laser to scan barcodes. These types of laser scanners typically use less power than 2D scanners. They are reliable when it comes to scanning 1D codes but have limited capability when compared to 2D scanners.

2D barcode scanners can read multiple types of barcodes, including both linear and two-dimensional barcodes. 2D scanners use digital imaging technology to capture both linear and two-dimensional codes.

How to Determine if a Barcode Scanner Can Read a Particular Barcode Type

Here are two ways to determine if a barcode scanner can read a particular type of barcode.

Check the Documentation or Spec Sheet

Go through the documentation or spec sheet which was given by the manufacturer of the barcode reader. Many barcode readers will have a “supported symbologies” or “decoding capabilities” section, which describes what types of barcodes it can read.

Point on how to determine if the barcode scanner can read a barcode type
Point on how to test whether a barcode scanner can read a barcode type


If you don’t know whether the barcode scanner supports a particular barcode type, it is best to test it. To do this, you should use a barcode with an already-known value or by employing apps that generate temporary barcodes along with their values.

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Our exceptional range of barcode scanners includes the most advanced models of mobile terminals, general barcode scanners, rugged barcode scanners, fixed scanners & sensors, wireless barcode scanners, 2D barcode scanners, and Bluetooth barcode scanners. These top-quality products are manufactured by industry giants such as Zebra and Honeywell, ensuring reliability and performance.

We offer all our barcode scanner models at competitive prices, guaranteeing you the best value for your investment. In addition to barcode scanners, we also supply a comprehensive selection of barcode scanner accessories and spares, helping you maintain or upgrade your scanning equipment.

So, why wait? Shop from our wide range of barcode scanners and accessories today and enjoy the highest level of barcode scanning performance. For any queries, contact us today via the live chat widget below, and our representatives will be more than happy to assist you!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Laser Scanner Scan All Types of Barcodes?

No, a laser scanner can only read linear barcode symbologies.

Can All Barcode Scanner Read Phone Screens?

No, not all barcode scanners can read phone screens.

Mostly 2D image scanners can read phone screens, as they use digital imaging technology to capture both linear and two-dimensional codes.

Can Barcode Sanners Read Any Colour?

A barcode scanner can read a barcode as long the contrast between the bars and spaces is high enough.

A barcode scanner won’t be able to scan the code if the background colour is similar to the bar colour or if the contrast between them is too low.


In conclusion, barcode scanners cannot read all types of barcodes. The ability to decode a particular barcode type depends upon the scanner’s decoding technology and design.

While linear barcode scanners (like laser barcode scanners) can read one-dimensional barcodes, 2D barcode scanners can read multiple types of barcodes, including linear and two-dimensional ones.

Before purchasing a barcode scanner, check its documentation or spec sheet to determine if it’s capable of reading the type of barcode you need. Alternatively, test the barcode scanner with an already-known value or by employing apps that generate temporary barcodes along with their values.

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