January 24, 2023

How to Generate a Custom QR Code to Open an App

QR Code to App for Touchless Commerce

URLgenius-generated Coca-Cola QR code

In today’s digital age, QR codes have been given a new lease on life, particularly in the realm of mobile apps. With consumers constantly on their phones, QR codes, and mobile apps make for the ultimate power couple. The key to a successful QR strategy for your app is to avoid sending users to a login page for a mobile website. Instead, think about the possibility of a single, seamless scan using your brand’s domain that opens your app to a specific screen or sends users to the right app store if the app isn’t already installed. We’ll show you how!

This post will guide you through the process of generating a dynamic QR code that will elevate your app’s user experience to new heights.

QR Code Scanning and Mobile App Deep Linking

The magic behind QR codes that open apps to specific screens is called ‘app deep linking’! But beware, if you use a free QR code generator, your code will simply redirect your audience to a website login. But don’t worry, with deep linking platforms like URLgenius, creating QR codes to open any mobile app is a breeze! URLgenius is a cloud-based solution that doesn’t require installation or technical development, unlike app deep linking platforms that are made for app developers. The QR code will open the Android or iOS app depending on the device that scans it.

For instance, check out this QR code example for the Coca-Cola Instagram profile. It was created with URLgenius by simply entering the Instagram profile link for Coca-Cola into the box on the homepage. When scanned, this QR code will open the Instagram mobile app if it’s installed, or direct the user to the Instagram website if the app is not installed.

URLgenius lets you instantly create dynamic QR codes that can open any screen in any app

QR codes offer a convenient and effortless way for your visitors to access specific screens or features within your app, be it social apps like Instagram or even your brand’s own app. They can be used online, offline, on television, or anywhere your audience is likely to engage with your brand. So, let’s get started and revolutionize the way your audience interacts with your brand!

Opening App With QR Codes and Fallback Destinations

When planning the perfect QR code scanning experience, it’s essential to consider where to redirect users if the app is not installed. While the answer may be evident for an app like Instagram, it’s important to consider the goals of your campaign when creating a QR code for your brand’s app. If your objective is to boost app installs, redirecting users to the appropriate app store is a smart move. On the other hand, if app downloads are not a priority, you may want to redirect users to a web URL.

QR code app routing by platform and device

Marketers have the power to control this setting with platforms like URLgenius. By simply opening the settings page for the link, you can easily change the fallback destination by platform and device. And the best part? URLgenius QR codes are dynamic, meaning you can make changes to the fallback setting at any time, even after the QR code has been printed and distributed. This gives you the flexibility to adjust your QR code strategy as your campaign goals evolve.

In addition, you can append measurement tags to the link behind your QR code in a way that won’t disrupt the scanning experience or make your QR code too dense. Now let’s go through the steps to make your app QR code!

Step-by-Step: How to Generate Custom QR Codes to Open Apps

In the following example, we will create a QR code that opens the Amazon app to a specific product details page. This particular example could be helpful for any Amazon Seller that is promoting products in the Amazon marketplace but the concepts and the steps are the same for any app including your brand’s app.

Navigate to your target page on the Amazon website and copy the root product link from the address bar of your web browser.

If you’re in the Amazon Attribution program include your measurement tags on the link.

Otherwise, you only need the root product link—not the navigation tags.


Paste the link into the box on the URLgenius home page.

URLgenius home page - custom QR code generator

When pasting the link, notice the Amazon app icon is highlighted.

This tells you that URLgenius understands the link type you pasted.

If you’re creating a QR code to your brand’s app and you don’t see your app’s icon highlighted that just means your app has not been added to the URLgenius composer

In that case, start by entering one of your app store links into the composer and fill out each field or contact us for help

URLgenius-generated Amazon app deep link for Coca Cola

Notice the field that lets you customize the end of the link so you can align it with your campaign and find it later in your list of links.

Click the “Compose URL” button which takes you to the settings page which contains the QR code where you can customize and download it.

URLgenius-generated custom Amazon QR code for Coca Cola to open Amazo app

At the top of the settings page, you’ll see the link that will be used to open your app

To create a more branded experience, it is recommended that you use your brand’s domain for all your QR code links

Check out the settings in your account for more information

To download and customize your QR code click ‘QR Design Studio’

URLgenius-generated custom Amazon QR code for Coca Cola to open Amazo app - customization

The URLgenius QR Design Studio lets you change all aspects of your code including colors, shapes, and backgrounds.

Changes must be made cautiously because design elements affect the ability to scan the code. Contact us for guidance!

App QR Code Analytics

URLgenius will track scans separately from clicks, which is helpful when you’re using the QR code as well as the link in a multi-channel campaign. Tracking scans is a great way to enhance your first-party data over time as you increase your understanding of how your customers and prospects like to engage with your app. Contact us to discuss your reporting requirements.

Custom QR code analytics - visits by web referrer / visits by app referrer

The following chart shows the volume of app opens by platform and device. The app open rate tells you what percentage of people who scanned had the app installed for iOS and Android.

Custom QR code analytics - Visits by device opens

This next chart shows scans by city and separately by language preference. These anonymous insights help you figure out where and how to focus your campaign, both in terms of geography and language.

Custom QR code analytics - visits by city / visits by language

Check your spending during the month at any time by clicking ‘Settings’ or ‘Activity’ from the menu. Just be aware that there is a one-hour delay in reporting.

URLgenius Is Your Dynamic QR Code Generator for Apps

At URLgenius, we make generating dynamic Enterprise QR codes for apps easy, but using them correctly and extracting all their potential value takes expertise, the right technology, and the right strategy. We’re here to help you every step of the way!

There is a lot that can go wrong in the process. Even something as simple as logo design or UTM parameters can interfere with the scanning process. We can guide you and your team every step of the way. We’ll make sure to get the design, density, size, and placement perfect for your print ad and other channels in relation to scanning distance— plus we’ll consult with you on your analytics strategy to ensure you’re measuring results as effectively as possible.

Want to master the art of QR codes? Look no further! Our free QR Experience Playbook and QR Strategy Guide have got you covered with everything you need to know to get your QR codes just right. From mastering density and scanning distance to branding and customizing your codes, these resources will help you avoid common mistakes and take your QR game to the next level.

Contact us with questions at about your QR code unique requirements.

If you found this content helpful, check out some of our latest how-to posts for app marketing:


  1. Roelof

    Is it possible to design a QR code that opens an App on an iPhone when scanning the QR code?

    • Scott Allan

      Hello Reolof! Yes you can create a QR code to an app or a web page very easily with URLgenius. The only technical requirement on the app side is that the destination or feature you are linking to needs to have a URL scheme assigned. That is like an address in the app that URLgenius uses to route the user to the right page. See this blog post for more information. You can try it for free up to 5,000 clicks.

  2. Cory

    Is it possible to link to an app installation from the QR code AND also prepopulate certain data points dynamically in the app based on info that was contained in the QR code?
    Example Scenario : I go to a Costco location in my town, I scan a QR code posted on the front door. It either opens the app that is already installs , or directs me to the app installation page to install it. Once its installed, that store’s location and info are populated as data points within the app.

    • Scott Allan

      Hi Cory – yes this is possible and would be dependent on the URL schemes in the app. You would need URL schemes (for iOS and Android) in the app that support all the location details. I’ll check with our technical team for other guidance they might have.

    • Scott Allan

      Cory – confirmed with our technical team that this possible. The URL being encoded as a QR code needs to contain the store tracking ID (e.g. “”). That tracking parameter needs to be appended onto the app URL scheme to activate in-app tracking when app is installed (eg costco://store=123). When the app is not installed, that same app URL scheme needs to either be passed along to app store for referrer tracking or stored as a cookie that the app can consult upon first app open. Platforms like URLgenius with built in QR code functionality can enable this experience and the analytics.

  3. Kevin


    Is it possible to deep link the QR code? I have an app that uses yearly subscription. We’d like our referral partners to display QR code physically in their store, or on live TV… then viewers who scan the QR code are redirected to the app page to download the app, this I understand is doable, but can we track from this QR code how many people who downloaded the app actually subscribed to our yearly plan? So that we can know how much money we owe to our referral partners.


    • Scott Allan

      Hi Kevin – thanks for your question! You can do that with an app analytics package that supports the passing of parameters. For example, there is an SDK for Google Analytics specifically for apps that gives you more insights into attribution. Appending a parameter to the URLgenius link will give you that referral information. In addition, when someone subscribes, your app should pass a parameter that the user successfully subscribed. So it sounds like a combination of passing a referral parameter for the download and then another one for the subscription. Think of URLgenius as the conduit getting the visitors to the right app store or for opening the app to a certain place (via QR code or link) and then the attribution information comes from your app analytics solution. Do you have something installed for app analytics? Thanks!

  4. Wagengang


    I am not exactly sure how to pose this but, would it be possible to use a single qr code that could somehow link to different individuals profiles on an app or website?

    • Scott Allan

      That might be possible with a QR code but URLgenius was designed to deep link or route traffic to a “page” in an app (iOS or Android) vs. the mobile website or to the right app store if the visitor does not have the app installed. But you could also setup a URLgenius link (QR code) to route visitors to different websites based on their geo-location and the language preference setting in a browser.

    • Scott Allan

      Also our technical team said that depending on the URL architecture of the website and the app, yes you could use a single QR \ URL that once clicked checks the device’s local cookies and logs that person into their account. Amazon’s order history URL is a good example. Anyone can click this generic public URL and it will log you into see your order history -> That URL could be encoded as a QR and placed in a catalog to then enable anyone to see their history etc.

  5. Kai

    I’m intending on using QR codes to point to different profiles within my app to allow profiles to connect with one another phone to phone. What is the best way to go about this? I’d like to wrap the confirmation into the actual action of scanning the QR code since no one is likely to scan your phone without your permission in the first place. Thanks so much for the help!

    • Scott Allan

      Hi Kai – thanks for your patience. I think you could do this with URLgenius. The most important thing to look into are URL schemes for iOS and Intent schemes for Android. Think of that as an address in the app for iOS and an address for Android. Another thing to consider is embedded browsers. If you’re using an embedded browser you just want to make sure to understand how it handles URL schemes and opening apps. To see how URLgenius works, just a URLgenius link to your Instagram or Facebook profile and look at the settings page for the link. You will see the app address to the profile by device.You will also find the QR code on that page which you can download. It would work in a similar way for your app. Hopefully that helps!


    Hello, I’m creating an app from an excel spreadsheet. This will be a simulation of a travel agency. My idea is to generate a specific QR code on the app for the client customized trip cost. (the trip final cost will depend on the client’s requirements). Is it possible to be done? Thank you very much in advance for your help.

    • Scott Allan

      Hi Fernanda – Yes you could do that. You can just paste the link to the spreadsheet into @urlgenius which will return a URLgenius link. The settings page for the URLgenius link includes a QR codes that you can download. You can signup and try it with a link to any spreadsheet and let us know if you have any questions. Thanks!

  7. Belle

    Hi there!
    I’d like to know if it would be possible to create a deep link that stems from a site only accessible to someone who’s a member.
    If it is, what integrations/triggers need to be put in place to make the following process feasible:
    The deep link on the QR code will lead to:
    IF MEMBER and hasn’t deleted their cookies
    > Visits Site
    > Automatically logs in (assuming that person who scans is a member)
    > Arrives at specified Landing page
    IF MEMBER and HAS deleted their cookies
    >Visits Site
    >Prompts user that they’ve been logged in and needs to re log-in
    > Arrives at specified landing page once log-in is successful

    • Scott Allan

      Hi Belle – URLgenius lets you append parameters to your deep links. For example if you appended the UTM “checkregistration” but your website would need to interpret that parameter and use it to check on your side if the user is a member or not. However there at this time we do not have a way receive back information from your site and then route the the user to a different places that depend on that information (member and deleted cookies or not be a member etc.) That would take a bit more programming.

  8. Nickie White

    Can you tell me if it is possible to have a QR code install an app and then open it or if the QR code must first link the customer to the app site and they have to click through to install the app?

    • Scott Allan

      Hi Nickie – the QR code could not install the app automatically but what you could do is setup a QR code that will open the app if it’s installed (iOS and Android) and if it’s not installed your visitor would be routed directly to the right app store depending on the device clicking the link. It could also have “deferred deep linking capabilities” which means if they choose to install the app they would then be brought to the intended page in the app when they initially clicked on the link.

  9. Henry Ong

    Is that possible to have deferred deep linking after user download the app ?

    • Henry Ong

      How it work ? example of coding ?

      • Scott Allan

        Hi Henry – please check out our blog with lots of step-by-step examples and information.

    • Scott Allan

      Yes – with your app that you own. But not a third party app that you do not own (the owner of the app would need to implement such a feature).

  10. Damien D

    Is there a way to automate a process where someone fills out a custom profile. That profile details are converted to a QR contact card. That QR code is generated and stored in an invisible place in the profile. If the profile owner wants to share their contact details, they share a link where the qr code is converted automatically to a vcard and provides an option to import the contact details into your phone?

    • Scott Allan

      Hi Damien! That’s a great question. You would need a application developer to build something like that for you. The URLgenius platform has an API that developers can use to create QR codes and links programmatically. The QR codes are dynamic so you could change the destination for the QR code at any time to open an app or a website. I hope that is helpful.

  11. Aira

    Would it be possible to deep link 1 QR code, to be disseminated across a wide-range of stores/location, and analytics can attribute which location was the QR code scanned/app downloaded?

    • Scott Allan

      Hi Gwynette – yes absolutely you can do that with URLgenius. You can append tracking tags just like a regular web URL. You just need to make sure to do that in a way that does not disrupt the scanning experience. There are several things you should watch out for actually. You should always use your brand’s domain for the link behind the code as well. Contact us at we are happy to jump on a call to discuss further and give you a demo of the platform.


    Can you create a QR code that automatically opens the URL without having to click on anything within the camera?

    • Scott Allan

      Hi Christine no essentially a QR code is a tool to present the user with the right link. You should always use your brand’s domain for the link for a more branded experience and to maximize scans which you can do with URLgenius.

  13. Giff

    is it possible to design a qr code to confirm continuing the video being played (like skip ads youtube) on android tv?

    • Scott Allan

      Hello – It could be up to the app if the own of the app wanted to allow an “app address” that did that it would be possible. It’s not something that URLgenius can control.

  14. Katie

    Say that an individual has a customized QR code that links to an app download – could you measure the traffic that only that code brought to your specific app store listing and/or measure how many downloaded the app specifically from that 1 QR code?

    • Scott Allan

      Hi KAtie – yes you can do that. That’s done in the settings for the link and via the app stores for Google Play and Apple App Store

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