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Set up Google Duo

You can use Duo to call your family, friends, and anyone else who uses the app.

1. What you need to get started

You'll need to first download and install the app:

  • Get Duo for Android
  • Phone number with SMS service: Then you can receive a verification code to get started with Duo.
  • Give permissions:
    1. Contacts: When prompted, give access to your device's contacts so you can find friends to call. Your contacts will only be used to find who you can call with Duo.
    2. SMS: When you sign in, Duo asks for SMS permission to read your verification code. But if you reject SMS, you can still use the app. You can control your app permissions through your Android settings.
    3. Microphone and camera: Allowing access to your phone's camera and mic will help others see and hear you.

2. Verify your phone number

Duo will ask you to confirm your phone number. By verifying your number, you also allow others who have your number to see that you use Duo and call you using the app. This won't make your number visible to others.

When you verify your number, people with your number can connect with you across Google services. You also allow Duo to periodically send your contacts and location to Google.

How to verify your phone number
  1. Enter your phone number and make sure it's correct.
  2. Tap Next.
  3. Duo will send a code in a one-time SMS message to the number that you entered. (Carrier text-message rates may apply.)
  4. Enter the code that you received in the text message.
    • If you don't receive a text message, tap Resend SMS
    • If you have a cell connection and aren't getting the SMS, request a call by tapping Call me.
    • If you continue having problems verifying your phone number, you can also see the section below.

You're now set to start using Duo to video call with friends.

Problems verifying your phone number

If you're having problems verifying your phone number, try these steps to solve the issue:

  1. Make sure your phone number was entered correctly with the right country code and full phone number.
  2. Check that your Wi-Fi or mobile data is turned on and airplane mode is turned off. Your network signal icon should have at least 1 bar.
  3. Make sure your cell signal is on. Test your connections by sending yourself an SMS.
  4. Quit and restart Duo.
  5. Uninstall and re-install the app.
  6. Restart your phone.

For more detailed tips, visit the verification troubleshooting article.

3. What you can do with Duo

Here are some things you can do with the app:

  • Easy video calls with anyone in your contacts who use Duo: Call friends and family with high-quality audio and video. The quality will also adjust automatically if your connection is spotty.
  • Cross-platform: Video call all your friends across all smartphones with just one simple app.
  • Knock Knock: You can see a live video preview before answering the call when one of your contacts calls.
  • End-to-end encryption: Your calls are secure and can only be seen by you and the person you're talking with.
Caroline author photo

Caroline is a Google Duo expert and author of this help page. Help her improve this article by leaving feedback below.

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