How to enable your smartphone to read NFC tags

Both Android and Apple now offer their customers the ability to use their smartphones to read NFC tags.

Here’s how to activate NFC on your own smartphone:


  • Make sure you’re running the latest version of Android. The majority of new Android smartphones have an NFC chip in the phone.
  • Your phone’s NFC chip (and Android Beam) needs to be activated before you can use NFC:
    • Go to Settings > More
    • Tap on the NFC switch to activate it. The Android Beam function will also automatically turn on.
    • If Android Beam does not automatically turn on, just tap it and select Yes to turn it on.
  • Smartphones’ NFC capabilities operate in tandem with Android Beam. If Android Beam is disabled, it may limit NFC’s sharing capacity.


  • iOS 11 allows iPhones 7, 8 and X to read NFC tags. iPhones 6 and 6S can be used to make NFC payments, but not to read NFC tags.
  • Apple only allows NFC tags to be read by apps – there is no native support for reading NFC tags, just yet.
  • Visit the App Store and download an NFC reader app – such as GoToTags ( ).
  • Launch the app and you’re ready to read NFC tags.