How To Make A QR Code Automatically Open A Video

May 24, 2018 // Chris Edwards

With the latest iOS 11 release, QR codes are back and being used for marketing by many. Check out our article, What Is A QR Code to learn more about QR codes. In this article, we will teach you how to create a QR code that automatically opens a video when scanned from a mobile device. We will use free tools to create the QR code and free video hosting using YouTube. Follow the simple steps to learn how to make a QR code that opens a mobile video. Either watch the video below or read the step-by-step article below:

Step 1: Upload Your Video To YouTube

In order for your video to automatically play when a QR code is scanned, your video will need to be a YouTube video. YouTube offers a free video hosting and free accounts. Simply create an account and upload you video to YouTube.

Once your video has been uploaded, you will need to grab the share link for the video. Simply open the video you would like to automatically play and click on “Share”. A box will pop up with a URL, copy this URL and save it for the next step.

Step 2: Create A QR Code For Your Youtube Video

For the next step, you will need to use a QR code generator. There are many QR code generators out there, however, our favorite is, a completely free QR code generator.

Once you have loaded up your QR code generator of choice, switch to the URL type and put in your YouTube video URL that you copied above.

Step 3: Test Your Mobile Video QR Code

Before you move on, it is time to pull out your mobile phone and scan your QR code to test it. Make sure the correct video does open up with you have scanned the code. 

Make any adjustments needed to your URL if the QR code does not open up your video in the YouTube app when scanned.

Step 4: Download Your QR Code

Now that you have tested your QR code and everything works, you will need to download it. Simply hit the download button and an options box will open.

In this box, you will be able to adjust colors, sizes, error correction codes and more. Our suggestion is to keep all options at default and bump the size up to 1000px. 

Finally, you will need to download your QR code. If using for print, SVG or EPS will provide you with a vectorized version that your print company can use for any print materials. If you are using the QR code on the web, download a PNG or JPEG version. 

Step 5: Promote!

All that is left is to promote your video using a QR code. This QR code can be used on flyers, business cards, signage, trade show banners and more. 

Let us know in the comments below if you have any questions or great ways that you use your QR code to promote your video. 

Reader Interactions


  1. There are many platforms online which can create QR codes from any type of links. it can make people get to the video. but, direct link shared are more used than QR code because of instant link takes you to the app. Thank you datadrivenlabs for sharing this article.

  2. Before watching I din not know the name for a QR scan but needed one for my business. The best “How To” video I have ever seen. Excellent presentation and easy to understand. Thank You.

  3. Thank you so much, Chris. This is awesome.
    I had this idea to give somebody a voucher for a photo shoot as a birthday gift and wanted to “package” it in a video and then just wrap the QR code. I thought this would take me hours of research on how to do this. First site I hit on Google was yours and it’s taken me all of 5 minutes to generate a QR code. Brilliant!

    • Yes, you can add UTMs to the YouTube URL. Just test it before you print to make sure all of them work correctly.

  4. Hi , I use the QR code on a business card of my band to link to a video on YouTube. It works! But I want to make the video a little bit brighter (it’s too dark..). Can I edit the video on YouTube without creatief a new url?

  5. THANK YOU! This video was a lifesaver… I made my first QR code like a pro! I’m going to have THE BEST Christmas cards EVER!!!!

  6. Hi , Thanks for great tutorial.
    for me the title of the tutorial was misleading , I was looking for something that will auto scan the QR Youtube link and show the movie right after scanning. right now you scan the code , see the URL and only after pressing “browse” or “view” you see the movie or link – is there any way to bypass this extra step ?


  7. A lot of marketers and businesses today use QR codes for opening YouTube videos. It’s an excellent use case! But let’s take this a step forward! What if you could retarget users who scanned these QR codes on Facebook and Google! Use a QR code generator like Beaconstac’s QR code generator to create quick and easy, branded QR codes and set up a retargeting mechanism.

  8. Thanks for the informative article. I just tried making a QR code for a YouTube video and there is a slight issue. Sometimes when I scan the QR a completely different video pops up. Could this possibly be a result of imbedded commercials in the video? I tested the QR multiple times. It appears that a different video will populate once out of 10 times. Thanks in advance.

  9. When QR is scanned, instead of going to my YouTube channel a messaging reads, “This channel does not exist.”
    I can find it with a Google search.
    Is there a fix?

  10. Hi Chris,
    Thanks for this very useful information on how to create the QR code, and launch your youtube videos from QR code reader apps. Can we also have a rating for the video appear after the video is played, and record the results from the rating? I am trying to use this for a project class and would like the judges to be able to scan the bar code, watch the teams’ demos, and then judge using 4-5 stars, or possibly take them to a judging rubric page.


    • This wouldn’t be possible out of the box. You would need to instead create a custom website/landing page where you embed the video then after the video completes, you would need to have the webpage show the poll. This would require a developer to create. Then just create a QR code that points to that page.

  11. Your instructions worked like a charm! Amazing.
    I enjoy doing Photo Books (my favorite Shutterfly) – being Shelter-In I have started doing a book about our 2003 trip to France. With an early digital camera I took a video of a hand cranked Merry Go Round and wondered how to include the video into a book. The light bulb came on and your instruction made it grow brightly!
    Thank you . . .

  12. Can I make a playlist and placeholder video in that playlist and generate a QR code for the playlist then when I get the real video, upload that one to the playlist and delete the placeholder video and the QR code will go to the playlist? I need to get a QR code to a printer for something we are doing but the video is not done yet….Thanks! This is an awesome step by step.

  13. In your video after you have created your QR code YOU STILL HAVE TO PRESS OPEN TO VIEW THE QR CODE VIDEO.

  14. I’m more than happy to uncover this site. I need to to thank you for ones time for this fantastic read!! I definitely loved every part of it and i also have you bookmarked to look at new information in your website.


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Chris Edwards

Chris is Co-Owner of Data Driven Labs and a 17-year internet marketing expert in web design & development, SEO, digital marketing, and analytics. He often speaks at conferences around the world on everything WordPress and analytics.


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