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Use a screen reader with Surface Duo

Surface Duo runs on Android and has the screen reader TalkBack installed. TalkBack describes the action on your screen verbally so that you can use your Surface Duo without seeing the screen. For example, you’ll hear a TalkBack announcement when you maximize an app across both screens, or move it from one screen to another.

For a full set of TalkBack documentation, go to the Android Accessibility Help site. 

To turn on the Volume key shortcut for accessibility:

  1. Go to Settings > Accessibility > TalkBack.

  2. Turn on Use TalkBack.

  3. Tap TalkBack shortcut.

Learn more about the volume key shortcut

To turn TalkBack on:

  • Press the Volume up and Volume down buttons for 3 seconds


  • Go to Settings > Accessibility > TalkBack and turn on Use TalkBack.

  • The first time you turn on TalkBack, you’ll need to allow the service to start, and there will be a bit of setting up to do.

Learn more about how to get started with TalkBack

Basic default TalkBack gestures


Do this

Turn TalkBack on

Press both volume keys for 3 seconds

Move to the next item

Swipe right

Move to the previous item

Swipe left

Activate an item

Double tap

Scroll in a page

Drag with two fingers slightly separated

Go back

Swipe down then left

Open notifications

Swipe right then down

Open local context menu

Swipe up then right

All TalkBack gestures

Select to Speak

Have any text on your Surface Duo read aloud using Select to Speak. For more details, go to Android Accessibility Help.

To turn on Select to Speak, go to Settings > Accessibility > Select to Speak > Select to Speak shortcut.

More about Surface Duo accessibility and TalkBack

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