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How to Upgrade the Microsoft Surface Duo to Android 11


Android 11 is now available for the original Microsoft Surface Duo. Here’s how you can upgrade.

Microsoft first announced the original Surface Duo in August 2020, running Android 10 out of the box. Despite multiple updates, the device has been stuck on Android 10 since its launch, while Google has already released Android 12.

After months of delays and broken promises, Microsoft has finally started rolling out Android 11 for the original Surface Duo. Here’s how you can install the update on your Surface and enjoy the improvements it brings.

Android 11 Comes to the Surface Duo After a Year

Android 11 will be a significant update for the Surface Duo and fix its stability and performance issues. This should bring its usability on par with the Surface Duo 2, which offers a notably better experience than its predecessor.

Microsoft initially promised to bring Android 11 to the Surface Duo before the end of 2021. However, that date came and went by without any word from the Redmond-based company.

Considering the phone launched with a $1,399 price tag, this is not the experience that customers were expecting. The device did not exactly launch to glowing reviews, and Microsoft could have turned things around with quick and regular software updates to address the issues.

However, after some initial updates to address user complaints, the update pace slowed down.

Kindle on Microsoft Surface Duo
Image Credit: Microsoft

How to Install Android 11 on the Microsoft Surface Duo

Thankfully for Surface Duo owners out there, Microsoft has finally gotten its act together and released a major OS update for the device. Apart from the bump to Android 11, there are several new features like using thumb mode in SwiftKey across all device modes, enhanced dual-screen experience in Photos by OneDrive, and more.


You can find everything new in the update over at Microsoft’s Surface Duo Support page.

To upgrade your Surface Duo to Android 11, connect it to a Wi-Fi network first since this is a large 2.8GB+ download. Then follow the steps below:

  1. Tap the Settings icon on the home screen.
  2. Navigate to System > System update > Check for update.
  3. Your Surface Duo will check for and then show the Android 11 update. Proceed to download it.
  4. Tap on Restart when done to start with the installation.

Microsoft is still in the process of testing and validating Android 11 for locked and unlocked AT&T Surface Duo units, so the update should be available for them in due course.

Give Your Feedback to Microsoft About the Update

Since the Android 11 update is a major one, it could also have bugs and introduce new issues. Ensure that you give your feedback to Microsoft about the update from Settings > About > Give feedback to Microsoft.

Here’s also hoping that Microsoft can roll out the Android 12L update for the Surface Duo faster, as it contains several improvements for dual-screen and foldable devices.

Google Announces Android 12L: Here’s What You Need to Know

Hot on the heels of Android 12 comes Android 12L, a new version of the operating system optimized for big screens and folding devices.

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