How to Use a Barcode Scanner with QuickBooks Desktop and Online?

QuickBooks Barcode Scanner

A barcode is a machine-readable, optical, and representation of the data. Basically, this type of data describes the item or object that has a barcode. Barcodes are used to scan and identify inventory data. Using barcode scanner with QuickBooks makes the data entry easier and faster. As you assign barcodes to items, it becomes easy to scan barcodes wherever you sell or buy items. If required then you can scan the barcodes in order to adjust the items’ quantity. Those who have no clue how to use a barcode scanner with QuickBooks Desktop and Online can read the following guide carefully.

This comprehensive guide talks about the whole process of using barcode scanner with QuickBooks Desktop and Online.

Things to Remember Before Using the Barcode Scanner

Before you set up and use the barcode scanner with QuickBooks, there are a few things one should consider.

  • The scanner you should support EAN-13 which is an International Article Number.
  • The Barcode scanner should support the Code-128 barcodes.
  • Also, the scanner should produce a single carriage return at the barcode’s end.
  • This should also be noted that serial port scanners will not be compatible if you are using the ES feature.
  • The sales order fulfillment worksheet and the Warehouse Manager App require a different kind of scanner.

After making sure of the aforesaid things, you can start going to set up the barcode scanner. Whether you use QuickBooks Online or Desktop version, it is pretty easy to scan barcodes by using barcode scanner with QuickBooks.

How to Use a Barcode Scanner with QuickBooks Desktop?

To use a barcode scanner with QuickBooks Desktop, users are required to perform a series of steps. Make sure that you align with the barcode scanner requirements or compatibility. After that, the first thing you will do is to enable the barcode feature in your account. Once you do so, make sure you test the scanner by scanning any barcode. If your scanner can identify the code then you can proceed with the barcode scanner with QuickBooks items.

For better insights, you can pursue the following steps with detailed instructions. Remember that these steps can only be performed in QuickBooks Desktop.

Step 1: Enable Barcode in QuickBooks

To proceed with the barcode feature, first, you will have to enable it in your QuickBooks Desktop. All you have to do is go to the Items and Inventory(Delete Inventory Items in QuickBooks) option from the Preferences window. Thereafter, you can click on the Enable Barcode and mark the item fields for which you want to generate barcodes.

Read the following steps in detail:

  • Open “QuickBooks Desktop” and click on the “Edit” menu.
  • Then, click on the “Preferences” option.
  • After this, click on the “Items and Inventory” option.
  • Here, you can choose the “Barcodes” tab.
  • Click on the “Enable Barcode” option.
  • At this point, you need to click on the “Open Barcode Wizard”.
  • When the “Barcode Scanning Setup” window opens with a series of options, you can start selecting the item fields that you wish to use for tracking the barcode. In case you are not sure about this, then select a unique field for each item, e.g., “Part Number” or “Item Name”.
  • Press the “Next” button.
  • Once done, you can choose the type of items for which to create the barcode.
  • After doing so, click the “Next” button.
  • Now, press the “Finish” button to end the process.

As you enable the barcode scanning feature in QuickBooks Desktop, you can continue testing the barcode scanner.

Step 2: Test the Barcode Scanner

Before using the barcode scanner, it is important to test it. The Barcode Scanner Tester can be a useful app that will help you to know if your QuickBooks software is able to recognize the USB scanner.

Carry out the following steps to test the barcode scanner:

  • Download the “Barcode Scanner Tester” on your computer.
  • Once downloaded, run the app and make sure you install it properly without leaving the window.
  • Here, you will see a sentence in the tester that needs to be added in the first field.
  • Now, go to the second field and then check your scanner by scanning any barcode. It is not necessary to have a barcode from QuickBooks.
  • Press the “Test” button. If your app easily recognizes the scanner then move ahead by clicking on the “Next” button.
  • When a new text box displays, click on it and scan a barcode.
  • Now, click on the “Test” button. If your barcode scanner seems compatible with QuickBooks, you will find a success message.

After you find the barcode scanner compatible with your QuickBooks Desktop, you can continue using it to scan the barcodes.

Step 3: Use Barcode Scanner

Once your barcode scanner is ready to use, you can perform the following steps:

  • To get started, open the transaction in your QuickBooks account.
  • After that, you can start scanning the item with the barcode scanner that is connected to your computer.

As you perform the aforementioned steps, the item will show up as a new line item on the transaction. By using this barcode scanner, users can also scan the barcodes of the following transactions:

  • Sales Orders
  • Estimates
  • Sales Receipts
  • Invoices
  • Purchase Orders
  • Refunds & Credits
  • Bills
  • Item Receipts
  • Inventory transfers
  • Write Checks

For these transactions, you can easily scan barcodes in order to fill out. Now, we have shown you how to use a barcode scanner with QuickBooks Desktop. For the online version, you can continue reading more.

How to Use Barcode Scanner with QuickBooks Online?

In QuickBooks Online, first, you will have to enable the barcode scanning feature. After doing so, you can continue adding the barcode to the items. Thereafter, you can use the barcoded items in QuickBooks bills or invoices.

For using barcode scanner with QuickBooks Online, check the whole procedure with a step-by-step guide.

Step 1: Enable Barcode Scanning

To get started, you are required to enable the Barcode Scanning feature. For this, you can open the Company Settings, move to the Sales tab, and place the checkmark for Barcode Scanning box in the Products and Services.

  • Click on the “Gear” icon.
  • Then, move to the “Company Settings” option.
QuickBooks Online Company Setting
  • After this, click on the “Sales” tab located on the left panel.
  • In the “Products and Services” section, click on the “Barcode Scanning” checkbox.
  • Press the “Save” button.
  • Click the “Done” button to confirm the action.

When you successfully enable the Barcode Scanning option, you can continue adding the barcode to your QuickBooks items.

Step 2: Add Barcode to the Item

If you have created the inventory item then you can add the barcode to the item. All you have to do is open the Products and Services list. Then, you can create or edit against the existing item. After that, you can locate the Barcode field and scan the barcode available on the item. This will automatically fill in a numeric barcode value.

Check out the detailed steps:

  • Go to the “Products and Services” list.
  • Then, click on the “New” button. Alternatively, click the “Edit” option against the existing item.
  • Then, you can scroll down to reach the “Barcode” field.
  • After this, click the field and scan the barcode of your item.
  • As you do so, it will automatically fill in a numeric value in the field “Barcode”.
  • Once done, click on the “Save and close” button located at the bottom.

Now you have learned to enable barcode scanning and add the barcode for the existing items. Henceforth, you can start using the barcoded items in your QuickBooks invoices.

Step 3: Use the Barcoded items in Bills or Invoices

The items you have just barcoded can now be used in the invoices or bills. All you have to do is open the Invoice, click on the Products/Service option, and scan the product.

  • Click on the “New” button.
  • Then, click on the “Invoice” or “Bill”. You can also select the purchase form or other sales.
  • Now, you can click on the column “Products/Service”.
  • After that, you can start scanning the barcoded product.
  • Then, you will see the item’s details are filled in automatically for the specific product.

Note: You may need to edit the quantity as per the requirement. This should also be noted that scanning the product several times will not modify the Qty number. Rather it will create a new line item.

  • If there are more items then you can follow the same steps to add them. (Click on the “Product/Service” column and scan your barcoded product).
  • Thereafter, you can save the transaction.

This is how you can end the process of using barcode scanner with QuickBooks Online. However, users need to make sure that they meet hardware compatibility. For instance, you can only use Bluetooth and USB based barcode scanners. You should also remember that the compatible barcode scanner is the one that can mimic a keyboard input.


Barcode scanner plays a vital role in identifying the inventory data. To use a barcode scanner with QuickBooks, all you have to do is enable the Barcode Scanning feature and use the scanner to add the item. The process of using barcode scanner with QuickBooks Desktop is different from QuickBooks Online. Hence, we have shared the information of our best knowledge. We hope you find this guide helpful.

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