How Google Duo works

How Google Duo works

Recently, some of your friends have spoken well to you about Google Duo. A free service from Google that allows you to make calls and video calls, with the possibility of organising group video conferences with a maximum number of 32 participants. Before creating your account and accessing the service in question. You would like to have more information about it and learn more about how it works. For this reason, you have done some research on the Web and ended up straight on this my guide. That’s the way it is, isn’t it? Then let me say that you came to the right place at the right time! In the next paragraphs of this guide, in fact, I will explain how Google Duo works and how to use the service from computers, smartphones and tablets.

In addition to the detailed procedure for accessing the service in question using your Google account or your phone number. You will find the necessary information both for calling and video calling the contacts of your interest and for organizing a group video conference.

If you agree and can’t wait to find out more, let’s not waste any more time chatting and get straight to the action. I assure you that, by dedicating yourself to reading the next paragraphs and carefully following the instructions I’m about to give you, using Google Duo will be a breeze. Happy reading and enjoy!


Compatible devices

Before getting to the heart of this tutorial and explaining how Google Duo works, it may be useful to know which devices are compatible with the service in question.

Well, from a computer, it is possible to use Google Duo without downloading any software since the service can be used directly from a browser. Despite being compatible with the most common web browsers (e.g. Firefox, Safari and Microsoft Edge ) the use of Chrome is recommended.

In fact, using the Google home browser, it is possible to take advantage of all the Duo functions, such as the possibility of organizing group video calls. In addition, with Chrome, you can download the Google Duo web application and access the service without connecting to its official website.

How Google Duo works on PC

Suppose you are wondering how Google Duo works on PC. You will be happy to know that the service in question allows you to make calls and video calls (even in a group) with ease, after logging in with your Google account. You can contact all users who, in turn, use Duo. Find everything explained in detail right below.

How to set up Google Duo

The first thing to do to be able to use Google Duo is to access the service in question using your Google account. To proceed, connected to the official website of the service, click on the Try Duo for Web button. If you have not yet logged in with your Google account, choose the one of your interest in the Choose an account screen. Then enter your password in the appropriate field and press the Next button to access Google Duo.

Alternatively, connected to the main Google page, click on the Login button (top right), choose the Google account with which to use Duo and log in. Once this is done, press the icon of the squares, at the top right. Select the Duo option from the menu that opens, to access the main screen of the service. If, however, you do not yet have a Google Account, you can take a look at my in-depth guide to create one.

At this point, you are ready to use Google Duo both for making calls and video calls (also in groups). Keep in mind, though, that you can only receive calls from people you’ve previously called. To avoid this, you can associate your phone number with Duo: in this way, not only the users you contact will see your number as caller ID (instead of your email address) but the people who know your mobile number will be able to find you and call you with Duo, regardless of the contacts previously made.

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Having said that

if you want to add your phone number to Duo, press on the option Add number visible at the top. Alternatively, click on the gear wheel icon, select the Account option and click on the Add phone number button.

In the new screen that appears, enter your number in the Enter phone number field and click on the Next button, to receive a 6-digit verification code via SMS. Then enter the code in question in the appropriate field and click on the Allow and OK buttons (twice in succession).

Once this is done, you can choose whether to continue to be contacted through your email address or to allow people to call you on Duo exclusively through your telephone number. In the latter case, click on the gear wheel icon, access the Account section. Move the lever next to the option People can contact you using your email address from ON to OFF and press on the Disable option.

How do you say? Have you added and verified your phone number but wish to remove it from the Duo? If so, I am sorry to tell you that it is not possible to do so. The only option available to you is to delete the Duo account (by accessing the Account section ) and then access the service again with your Google account. By doing so, you will lose the list of calls received and made with Duo, but your number will no longer be associated with the account in use.

How Google Duo works video calls

After logging into Duo with your Google Account and configuring the options that interest you, you are ready to receive and make calls. In the first case, all you have to do to answer a call is to click on the Accept button.

If, on the other hand, you want to call a specific person who uses Google Duo, enter their email address or phone number in the Search contacts field or type. At the top, select the option Show call options and, in the new screen that appears, press on the Call button. Alternatively, you can start a call with a user already contacted previously also by acting from the Recent activity section. In that case, all you have to do is click on the person of your interest and choose the Call option.

How do you say? Would you like to know how Google Duo works for video calls? Nothing could be simpler! Again, all you have to do is enter the email address or phone number of the person to contact in the Search contacts or type field. Select the option Show call options and press the Video call button.

Alternatively, you can click directly on the Start a visible button on the main Google Duo screen. Enter the email address or phone number of the person to video call in the field. Call a phone number or email address and click on the Video call button.


It will be useful to know that, thanks to Duo’s Toc Toc function. Even after starting the video call. You can view the video of the called user (and vice versa) even before the latter has answered the call if you are not interested in this feature (which is enabled by default). You can disable it by pressing the gear wheel icon. Selecting the Account option and moving the lever relative to the Toc Toc item from ON to OFF. More info here.

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During a video call, you can quickly switch to a “normal” audio call by pressing the camera icon (function not available if you have initiated a call and want to switch to a video call). In addition, other options are available during both a call and a video call.

  • Deactivate/activate microphone: allows you to deactivate/activate the microphone used during the call;
  • Disable/enable video: to disable the computer webcam and switch to an audio call. Option not available for calls;
  • Send video vertically: it is an option available in video calls (and only on Chrome) that allows you to choose the orientation of your video between vertical and horizontal;
  • Enable Picture in Picture: it’s another feature available only during video calls on Chrome. Allows you to perform other operations during a video call. Keeping the video of the person called in the foreground;
  • Switch to full-screen mode: to activate full-screen mode during calls and video calls;
  • Show settings: allows you to choose the audio and video sources to be used during a call/video call.

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How Google Duo works on smartphones and tablets

As I mentioned in the initial lines of this guide. Google Duo is also available as an application for smartphones and tablets. Unlike what is indicated in the lines dedicated to the operation of Duo from a computer. Where access with a Google account and the optional addition of your phone number is required, using the mobile app of the service, you need to use the number to set up your account.

After downloading Duo from your device store, then start the app in question and press the Accept and Grant access buttons. To accept the conditions of the service and allow Duo to use the microphone and camera of the device and access the contacts.

Now, in the Configure Duo with your phone number screen. Enter your phone number in the appropriate field and tap the Accept / Next button. To receive a verification code via SMS. Then enter the code in question in the appropriate field and start using Google Duo.

You should know that if you previously associated your phone number with the Google account with which you use Duo from your computer. The number in question will automatically be removed by Duo. However, you can reconnect your phone number. Google account and Google Duo and use a single account from all the devices you want.

How Google Duo works

To do this, after configuring your phone number in the Google Duo app. Press the three dots icon, at the top right. Select the Settings item from the menu that opens and tap the Add account button. Visible near the Google Account item.

You are now ready to receive and make calls and organize video conferences. In the main Duo screen, therefore, find the Connect to Duo section (with the list of all your contacts using Duo). Press on the name of the person you want to call and choose. The option of your interest between Voice call and Video call. Alternatively, by pressing on the Message item, you can send a video message (Video). A voice note (Voice) or a text message ( Note ).


However, the person you want to call is not among your contacts. Enter your email address or phone number in the Search contacts or call field. Select the user you are interested in and press on the option you prefer from Voice call. Video call and Message.


How do you say? Do you want to organize a video conference? In this case, in the main Google Duo screen. Tap the Create group button. Put a checkmark next to the contacts to be included in the group in question and press the Finish button. You must know that through the Duo app. It is possible to create groups of up to 12 participants.

In the new screen displayed. Tap on the pencil icon, to assign a name to the group, choose the Message option. To send a video message. A voice message or a text message to all the participants. Tap the Start button to start the video call.

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