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How to Use a Barcode Scanner: A Comprehensive Guide for 2024

1.5 minutes

In this article, we provide you with a comprehensive guide on how to use a barcode scanner. Read on to learn more. 

How to Use a Barcode Scanner

Below is our step by step guide on how to effectively use a barcode scanner.

1. Choose the Right Barcode Scanner

Before you start scanning, it's crucial to select the appropriate barcode scanner for your needs. There are several types of barcode scanners, including handheld, cordless, and fixed-mount scanners. Consider factors like the volume of items to be scanned, the scanning environment, and your budget when making your choice.

use barcode scanner

2. Power On the Barcode Scanner

Most barcode scanners are straightforward to operate. To begin, locate the power button on your device and press it to turn it on. Some scanners may require you to hold the button for a few seconds until you see an indicator light or hear a beep, indicating that it's ready for use.


3. Connect the Scanner (if necessary)

If your barcode scanner is cordless or connects to a computer, ensure that it's paired or connected correctly. Follow the manufacturer's instructions to establish a connection via Bluetooth, USB, or other supported methods. This step is essential for wireless or corded scanners but can be skipped if you're using a standalone handheld scanner.

4. Aim the Scanner at the Barcode

Now that your scanner is powered on and connected (if necessary), it's time to scan your first barcode. Hold the scanner with the barcode scanning end facing the barcode you want to read. Make sure the scanner is within a reasonable distance from the barcode, usually a few inches, and align the scanner's laser or camera with the barcode.

trigger button of a barcode scanner

5. Trigger the Scanner

Barcode scanners typically come with a trigger button, a designated area on the scanner that you can press to initiate the scanning process. Depending on your scanner, this trigger button may be on the top, side, or rear of the device. Gently press the trigger button while aiming at the barcode.

6. Wait for Confirmation

As you press the trigger button, the scanner will emit a light or a beep, indicating that it has successfully captured the barcode data. Keep the scanner steady until you hear or see this confirmation to ensure accurate scanning.

7. Interpret the Scanned Data

Once the scanner confirms the scan, you'll need to interpret the scanned data. This could be a product code, a serial number, or any other information encoded in the barcode. The data will appear on your connected device's screen or the scanner's display, depending on the model.

8. Store or Use the Data

Now that you have the scanned data, you can use it for various purposes, such as updating your inventory database, processing a sale, or tracking shipments. Follow your specific application's instructions to store or use the data effectively.

9. Power Off the Scanner (if necessary)

After you've completed your scanning tasks, it's a good practice to power off the barcode scanner to conserve battery life. Simply locate the power button again and press and hold it until the scanner powers down.

Using a barcode scanner is a straightforward process that can greatly streamline inventory management and data entry tasks. We hope our article has now left you with a better understanding of how to use a barcode scanner efficiently.

If you enjoyed this article, you might also like our article on thin barcodes or our article on 1D barcodes.

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