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Troubleshooting Scanners
Troubleshooting Scanners

How to fix invalid scan, invalid barcode, and other scanning issues

Updated over a week ago

In most cases, a compatible scanner will be "plug and play" with SKULabs. As a cloud-based web app, our system doesn't require intimate hardware connectivity and configuration to work. With that said, there are some circumstances where issues come up, and some recommendations we can offer when troubleshooting:

If nothing happens when you scan a barcode

Seeing no input or feedback when you've attempted to scan a barcode usually means that the barcode is not configured properly. However, we should first ensure that it's an issue with the scanner and not anything to do with SKULabs:

First, open a note app, text editor, or web browser and scan a different product's barcode in a selected input area. If the barcode's value appears on its own line in that input area, the scanner is correctly entering HID inputs to the computer or mobile device. Try scanning within SKULabs again. If after testing, the scanner is confirmed to be entering inputs but is still not executing scans in SKULabs contact the SKULabs support team so that we can investigate further.

If the test describe above reveals that no input is occurring, even outside of SKULabs, consult the manufacturer-provided manual or documentation for your barcode scanner. There is likely a barcode or input sequence available for a "factory reset", which is a good next step. From there, ensure that the scanner is in "Basic mode" or "HID mode", if either mode is available in the documentation.

There have been reports in the past of companion connection or pairing apps for scanners stealing priority of registered scans. If you have used a pairing app or some other software to connect the scanner to your device, try removing that companion app and simply connect the scanner via your devices normal system settings, then try testing again.

If you've confirmed that the scanner is powered on, paired or connected to the device running SKULabs, and is on the correct mode (if applicable) but you are still not seeing your barcodes being entered anywhere when scanning, contact the scanner's manufacturer to see what other troubleshooting options are available.

If you get an "invalid scan" or "invalid barcode" message when scanning

Scanning a barcode only to receive a negative message means that the string of letters and/or numbers input by the scanner does not match any barcodes that SKULabs was looking for. To address this, try the following steps:

  1. Obtain a user manual or other documentation provided by the manufacturer for your scanner.

  2. Perform a factory reset, if one is available per your documentation.

  3. Ensure that the scanner is in "Basic mode" or "HID mode", if applicable.

  4. Check the documentation for "command barcodes" or other settings that enable or disable the following:
    - Suffix carriage returns or tabs
    - UPC/EAN supplemental characters
    - UPC check digit
    - UPC prefix or preamble

  5. Try disabling text suggestions and auto-complete on the mobile device's keyboard.

  6. Test the barcode scan again to see if the negative message occurs again.

If you've tried the above steps and are still getting an "invalid scan" or "invalid barcode" message when scanning a particular item barcode or order number, contact the SKULabs support team so that we can investigate further.

iOS / Older Android tip for cut-off scans

Many barcode scanners automatically hit enter after you scan. SKULabs automatically detects barcode scans with or without this suffix. On certain iOS versions there is a known bug which causes the last few characters of your barcode to be cut off when the enter key is pressed. Disable this "suffix carriage return" if your mobile device is causing the end of your barcodes to be cut off.

How do I get the on-screen keyboard to reappear in SKULabs?

Android has a dedicated on-screen button to show your keyboard but in iOS there are a few tricks to open your keyboard without disconnecting your scanner.

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