How to install Android 11 on Surface Duo

Here are the steps to upgrade your Surface Duo to Android 11 skipping the queue.

Surface Duo recovery (source: Microsoft)
Surface Duo recovery (source: Microsoft)

After missing out on the December 2021 original deadline, Microsoft is finally bringing the Android 11 update to Surface Duo devices. However, not every dual-screen device will get it on day one. Instead, on January 24, 2022, Microsoft is starting the rollout with unlocked Surface Duo devices in the United States, Canada, and Europe. If you have a locked Duo in the AT&T network, for example, then the update will arrive at a later date. 

The Android 11 update ships with a number of improvements and visual changes for notifications, settings, Microsoft Feed, and more. In addition, the company explains that Photos by OneDrive and Xbox Game Pass are getting updated with this release.

In this guide, you will learn the steps to upgrade to the latest version of Android available for your Surface Duo device.

Upgrade Surface Duo to Android 11

To download and install Android 11 on a Surface Duo, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.

    Quick note: The device must be connected to the Wi-Fi network before downloading the update.
  2. Tap on System.

  3. Tap on System update.

  4. Tap the Check for update option.

  5. Tap the Restart now option.

Once you complete the steps, the latest updates will download and install on the dual-screen device.

Here’s the list with all the new Surface Duo features coming with Android 11:

  • Enabled launching of OneNote when clicking the top button on Surface Slim Pen 2. It requires Surface Slim Pen 2 to be paired with Surface Duo.
  • Enabled in Surface Duo features, in Settings, to choose the preference for answering phone calls when folded.
  • Enabled in Surface Duo features, in Settings, to choose specific apps to automatically span across both screens when you open them.
  • Optimized Quick Settings and notification width for portrait and landscape orientations.
  • Adjust media volume directly from Quick Settings in any device mode.
  • Use thumb mode in Microsoft SwiftKey now with all device modes and application states.
  • Updated app drawer and folder design with improved drag-and-drop support.
  • Refreshed Microsoft feed design with updated cards and new Microsoft Start widgets for News and Weather.
  • Photos by OneDrive: New dual-screen enhanced experience for viewing and editing photos in the OneDrive app.
  • Xbox Game Pass: Discovery and play games from the cloud with an on-screen controller.

In addition to these new features, Android 11 for Duo also comes with the January 2022 security update.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].