How to quickly share Wi-Fi settings in Android 10

What network is it? What’s the password? How do you spell that?

If you’re anything like us, you’ve heard those questions from guests to your home or work many, many times. You probably have the answers memorized, or maybe you have them written on a card for this precise situation. With Android 10, there’s another, easier way to share the pertinent information with someone and it doesn’t require you to remember any details or spell out a password. Google has added a quick shortcut option to generate a QR code that you can display on your phone screen with a tap. Visitors can then scan the code on their phone to get instantly connected to your network.

Although you need a phone running Android 10 or later to generate the QR code, the beauty of this feature is that any phone — whether it’s a phone running an older version of Android or even an iPhone — can scan the QR code and join the network.

How to create a QR code for your Wi-Fi network

We used a Pixel 4 for this guide. If you have a phone running Android 10 and want to try this, then here’s how you do it:

  • Pull down the notification shade and long press on the Wi-Fi icon, or tap Settings > Network and internet > Wi-Fi.
  • Tap on the network you want to share details for, most likely the one at the top that you’re currently connected to.
  • Tap on the Share option which has a QR code icon.
  • You may have to confirm it’s you with a face or fingerprint scan, or a PIN or pattern, then your phone should display a QR code on the screen with the password underneath.

Note: You don’t necessarily need to have Android 10 to do this; our Samsung Galaxy S10 running Android 9.0 Pie, for example, has a similar feature. Simply pull down the notification shade, long press on the Wi-Fi icon and tap on the network you want to share and you should see a QR code at the top of the page.

How to scan a QR code and join a Wi-Fi network

Although not all phones will be able to generate a QR code for network settings, most will be able to read one. There’s a QR reader built into the camera app for most Android phones and all iPhones running iOS 11 or later. Here’s how to use it, and what to do if it doesn’t work:

  • Open the camera app and hold your phone still over the QR code for a few seconds.
  • You should see a link or a notification pop up on the screen with the name of the network you are trying to join and you can simply tap it to log onto that Wi-Fi network.

If it doesn’t work on your Android phone, but you do have Android 10, then try this:

  • Pull down the notification shade and long press on the Wi-Fi icon, or tap Settings > Network and internet > Wi-Fi.
  • At the bottom of the list, you should see an option that says Add network with a blue QR code icon on the right. Tap that and align the scanner.

If it didn’t work and you have a phone running an older version of Android, then try this:

  • Open the camera app settings and look for an option to enable Google Lens or Google Lens suggestions, then try again.
  • If that didn’t work, then you could install the Google Lens app and scan the QR code with it.
  • If you prefer something else, then install an app like QR Code Reader and use that to scan the QR code.