Different ways to use Surface Duo

Your Surface Duo adapts to you and what you want to do to be more productive on the go during your day. Here are just some of the ways you can use the different modes to get the most from your Surface Duo.

Surface Duo open and held in two hands

Put both screens to work

Use two apps at the same time. Put one app on one screen and another on the other side. For example, you might have a Teams video call on one screen with PowerPoint on the other to take notes for your presentation.

With Microsoft Edge, you can have two browser windows open at the same time—one on each screen. Tap Microsoft Edge at the bottom of one screen, then tap it again on the other screen. This lets you compare websites side-by-side, which works great whether you’re doing some research for work or school, comparison shopping, or just looking at different restaurants for takeout tonight.

Some apps on your Surface Duo are dual-screen enhanced, which means they are built for two screens. Just open one of these apps and drag it to the middle of the two screens on Surface Duo to get a whole new view.

For example, when you open Outlook and drag it to the middle, you can get through email quickly where your inbox appears on one screen and messages or email attachments open on the other. You don’t need to go back and forth in the app, so you stay in the flow when working. And if you like, you can still use it on one screen only if you want.

Outlook open on Surface Duo

Here are some examples of dual-screen enhanced apps that are preinstalled on Surface Duo: Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint), Outlook, Microsoft Teams, OneNote, To Do, OneDrive, Microsoft Edge, Camera, Microsoft SwiftKey Keyboard, Microsoft Solitaire Collection, Microsoft News, and Spotify.

When you're using any of them, just drag the app to the middle, then use these apps in better ways to get more done during your day.

Open two apps at once

Use app groups to open two apps you frequently use at the same time. After you create the app group, one app opens on one screen and the other app opens on the other.

  1. On your Home screen, tap and hold the first app you want to include in the app group, then tap Groups.

  2. On the Select another app screen, tap the other app you want to include in the group, then tap Done.

  3. Enter a new name for the app group and tap Okay.

  4. Tap the app group to open both of those apps at the same time from now on.

Some app groups are already created for you and appear on your Home screen.

Drag and drop between apps

Get the most from two screens by dragging information between apps. You can drag text, images, lists, and more from one app to another. For example, see a recipe you like online? Just select the list of ingredients in Microsoft Edge and drag them into Microsoft To Do, so you know what to pick up the next time you’re at the grocery store.

Here are some examples of apps that support drag and drop that are preinstalled on Surface Duo: Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint), Outlook, Microsoft Teams, OneNote, To Do, OneDrive, Microsoft Edge, Microsoft Solitaire Collection, and Microsoft News.

Rotate for more room

Rotate your Surface Duo for more space when browsing or typing. Open Microsoft Edge, drag it to the middle to maximize it across both screens, and then rotate your Surface Duo. After that, you can scroll across both screens when browsing.

When it comes to typing, just tap a place where you can enter text so the keyboard shows, then rotate your Surface Duo. Enjoy the extra space when typing on the full-screen keyboard.

Outlook open with full-screen keyboard

Use a single screen

Fold one screen backwards on Surface Duo when you want to use just one screen. Works great when you’re just using one app at a time on the go. When you get a phone call and want to answer it, just fold the left screen back, and start talking on the right screen.

Phone call in progress on Surface Duo

Take pictures on Surface Duo using one screen. Open the Camera and take a selfie, or fold the right screen back and take a snapshot of something around you.

Watch your favorite shows and relax

Fold your Surface Duo like a tent, set it down on the table, then sit back and relax. Watch your favorite shows or videos, or use it like this for chatting on a video call using Microsoft Teams.

Video playing in tent mode on Surface Duo

Take a peek

Need to check the time quickly and other things quickly? When your Surface Duo is closed, slightly open it. Take a peek and go back to what you were doing.

Peek mode in Surface Duo

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