Use a USB Barcode Scanner With an IPad




Introduction: Use a USB Barcode Scanner With an IPad

About: We're an ecommerce site that sells supplies and develops point of sale systems for small to medium businesses. The core of our business is focused on Microsoft Windows solutions as they are the most proven an…

You can use a USB Barcode Scanner with an iPad but you have to get clever using different accessories.

Step 1: Obtain a Powered "USB Camera Connection Kit"

You'll need a camera or media connection kit/adapter and in most cases your going to want a powered adapter as the port on the iPad is not powerful enough to power both the adapter and the barcode scanner. The kit that you purchase will need to accept USB input. The one were using in the tutorial is a generic one purchased off amazon for about $10.

Step 2: Plug in the Scanner to the Adapter (not the Ipad Yet)

Plug in the Scanner to the power supply and then plug in the scanner to the adapter. In some cases where the adapter gets enough power the scanner will activate at this time.

Step 3: Plug in the Adapter to the IPad

Now plug in the adapter to the ipad and wait a few seconds for the scanner to power up and initialize, normally the scanner will give an audible tone that it has connected.

Depending on what type of scanner you are using you will get a notification from iOS that your device is not compatible. If that happens click "OK".

Step 4: Your Device Is Now Ready to Use

Your barcode scanner should now work as a USB keyboard, so wherever the cursor is your scanner will send the barcode information to that spot. By default Motorola barcode scanners will send a tab after the scan, you can configure the scanner to only send data or send a carriage return instead of a tab.

Please note that in our tutorial we used a Motorola Li2208. We've found that most Motorola and Honeywell scanners will work. Some of the high powered multi dimensional imagers do draw more power then a 1D linear imager or laser scanner and won't work. Have not found any direct from China/Taiwan generic barcode scanners that are compatible with iOS.

Be the First to Share


    • Back to School: Student Design Challenge

      Back to School: Student Design Challenge
    • Teach With Tinkercad Contest

      Teach With Tinkercad Contest
    • Fandom Contest

      Fandom Contest



    Question 3 years ago

    Hello there,
    I know the post is 4 years old but i have an issue with a setup that is very similar

    USB barcode scanner connected to a switch (with a button to switch from USB to other cable), the switch is USB connected to a lightning adapter connected to an iPad (and to power)

    The barcode is used inside a personal application. The switch button is there to allow user to enter manually his credentials, then to switch back to scanner.

    The issue is that during normal use of the application the native keyboard randomly pops up and the switch button does not respond anymore. User needs to unplug/replug the lightning. By doing that it will initialize back the scanner and it will work again
    It can happen 50 times over one hour then it may work fine for hours or days or week on this same iPad, ...

    Have you ever faced the same issue? Any inputs would be warmly welcomed !

    Thanks for your help

    Installation with scanner 1 - Copie.JPG

    8 years ago

    Add a USB battery pack and you have a "mobile" scanning station!


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Great idea, if you really want to be mobile you could also go with a bluetooth barcode scanner that has a keyboard toggle button (pairing a bt keyboard device will sometimes remove the on-screen keyboard, need a way to get it to reapear)