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My QR Code Just Died


Are QR codes limited to a certain shelf life before they cease to function? This burning question has left many marketers and consumers puzzled. In this illuminating article, we delve into the realm of QR code expiration and uncover the truth behind this enigmatic phenomenon.

Contrary to popular belief, QR codes do not expire on their own. The black and white squares continue to be scannable indefinitely, as long as they are not damaged or distorted. However, the content linked to the QR code can expire, making it inaccessible to users. This expiration is typically determined by the creator, who may set an expiration date for the linked content.

So, before you dismiss QR codes, thinking they have a limited lifespan, think again. These tiny codes can be a powerful tool to connect consumers to valuable information, promotions, and interactive experiences. Join us as we demystify QR code expiration and explore how businesses can leverage this versatile technology to engage and convert their target audience effectively.

Unlock the potential of QR codes and stay ahead of the game in the digital age. Keep reading to discover the truth about QR code expiration and how it can impact your marketing strategies.

What is QR code expiration?

QR code expiration refers to the time when the linked content becomes inaccessible to users. While the QR code itself does not expire, the content it leads to, such as a website, video, or promotional offer, can have an expiration date set by the creator. This means that after a certain period, users scanning the QR code will no longer be able to access the intended content.

The expiration of QR codes is not inherent to the technology but rather a decision made by the creator. This allows businesses and marketers to control the lifespan of their QR code campaigns and ensure that the content remains relevant and up-to-date.

Common misconceptions about QR code expiration

There are several common misconceptions surrounding QR code expiration that have led to confusion among marketers and consumers alike. One prevalent misconception is that QR codes themselves have a limited lifespan and become unusable after a certain period. However, this is not true. QR codes can be scanned indefinitely as long as they are not damaged or distorted.

Another misconception is that QR codes automatically expire after a specific duration, regardless of the linked content. While it is true that the content can have an expiration date set by the creator, the QR code itself does not have an inherent expiration date. It is essential to understand that the expiration of the linked content is separate from the QR code's functionality.

The truth behind QR code expiration

The truth is that QR codes do not inherently expire. They are simply a visual representation of data that can be scanned and decoded by a QR code reader. The information contained within the QR code can be accessed as long as the code is scannable and the linked content is still available.

However, it is important to note that the content linked to QR codes can expire. This expiration is determined by the creator of the QR code, who may set an expiration date for the linked content. Once the expiration date is reached, the content becomes inaccessible to users, even if the QR code itself is still scannable.

Why do QR codes expire?

There are several reasons why creators may choose to set an expiration date for the linked content of a QR code. One reason is to ensure that users are directed to up-to-date information. For example, a QR code printed on a promotional flyer may lead to a limited-time offer or a time-sensitive event registration page. By setting an expiration date, the creator can ensure that users only access the content while it is still relevant and available.

Another reason for QR code expiration is to manage campaign timelines and create a sense of urgency. By setting an expiration date, businesses can create a time-bound promotion that encourages immediate action from consumers. This can help drive conversions and increase engagement with the linked content.

How to prevent QR code expiration

To prevent QR code expiration, creators can take several steps. Firstly, they can choose not to set an expiration date for the linked content, allowing users to access it indefinitely. This is particularly useful for evergreen content that remains relevant over an extended period.

Another way to prevent QR code expiration is to regularly update and refresh the linked content. By keeping the content up-to-date, businesses can ensure that users always find valuable information or promotions when scanning the QR code. This approach requires ongoing maintenance and monitoring to ensure that the content remains relevant and accessible.

Benefits of using non-expiring QR codes

While setting an expiration date for QR codes has its advantages, there are also benefits to using non-expiring QR codes. By creating QR codes with no expiration date, businesses can provide users with perpetual access to valuable content. This is particularly useful for long-term campaigns or evergreen resources that do not have a specific expiration date.

Non-expiring QR codes also eliminate the need for constant updates and maintenance. Once the QR code is created and linked to the desired content, it can be used indefinitely, reducing the time and effort required to manage and monitor expiration dates.

Examples of successful QR code campaigns

QR codes have been used in various successful marketing campaigns, leveraging their unique capabilities to engage users and drive conversions. One notable example is Coca-Cola's "Share a Coke" campaign, where QR codes were printed on personalized bottles. Scanning the QR code led users to a mobile website where they could create and share virtual personalized Coke bottles. The campaign generated significant buzz and encouraged social media sharing, resulting in increased brand awareness and engagement.

Another successful example is the "QR Code Resume" campaign by Victor Petit, a graphic designer. Petit created a resume in the form of a QR code that, when scanned, led potential employers to his online portfolio. This innovative approach to resume design garnered attention and helped Petit stand out in a competitive job market.

QR code expiration best practices

To make the most of QR codes and avoid expiration-related issues, here are some best practices to consider:

  1. Set clear goals: Before creating a QR code campaign, define your objectives and what you want to achieve. This will help you determine the appropriate expiration date, if any, for the linked content.

  2. Monitor and update content: If you choose to set an expiration date, regularly monitor and update the linked content to ensure it remains relevant and accessible to users.

  3. Test QR codes: Before launching a QR code campaign, thoroughly test the scannability and functionality of the codes to ensure a seamless user experience.

  4. Provide context: Clearly communicate the purpose and value of the QR code to users. Include instructions and a brief description of what they can expect when scanning the code.

  5. Track and analyze: Use analytics tools to track the performance of your QR code campaigns. Monitor scan rates, conversion rates, and other relevant metrics to gain insights and optimize your strategies.


QR codes are a versatile and powerful tool that can connect businesses and consumers in the digital age. While QR codes themselves do not expire, the linked content can have an expiration date set by the creator. By understanding how QR code expiration works and implementing best practices, businesses can leverage this technology to engage and convert their target audience effectively.

So, don't let misconceptions about QR code expiration hold you back. Embrace the potential of QR codes, and unlock new possibilities for your marketing strategies. Whether you choose to set an expiration date or use non-expiring QR codes, remember to provide valuable content, track performance, and continually adapt to the evolving needs and expectations of your audience.

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