How to Use Google Duo on the Web

One of the best video chat apps, now in your browser

Compared to the success of Gmail, Google's history with other messaging apps like Allo is rocky. Google Duo is the company's video messaging app. It started out as solely a mobile app, and the company later introduced Google Duo for the web.

Google Duo can support 12 participants in a group call as of March 26, 2020. If you need to include more people than that, use Google Hangouts instead.

What Is Google Duo for the Web?

Duo is Google's video-chat application. It's a competitor to FaceTime on iOS, with the added bonus of being available on both iOS and Android devices. While there are some other Google applications (notably Hangouts) that also support video conferencing, Duo is aimed more at the casual user, providing an easy-to-use interface to quickly connect with friends and family.

Previously, there was no way to use Google Duo on a PC, but Google solved that with the introduction of Google Duo for the web, a version of Duo that runs directly within your browser. If you're worried it won't be as functional, don't be; this version of Duo is just as good as its mobile app counterparts. What's more, it doesn't require a full installation (though you'll need to allow it access to your webcam and microphone), and it's available on any platform running a modern browser, including Windows, macOS, Linux, or Chrome OS, though some refer to it as Google Duo for PC or Google Duo for Mac.

Google Duo for the Web Prerequisites

In order to use Duo for the web, you need to have:

  • A modern web browser, such as Firefox, Edge, Safari, or Internet Explorer. Of course, Google's own Chrome browser is preferred.
  • A fast internet connection. While you can try to use it with whatever you have available, the performance you get may be choppy and difficult to understand.
  • A microphone and speakers. Most laptops have both of these built in, but for desktops you may need to purchase a mic.
  • A webcam. This can be either built in or one you add via USB.

How to Use Google Duo for the Web

These instructions work on any desktop operating system that supports the Google Chrome, Firefox, or Safari browsers.

  1. Signing into your Duo account is as easy as signing into Google. From your browser, go to https://duo.google.com.

  2. The Duo for the web interface is sparse. You'll see your most recent calls listed at the top of the window, with the contact's name, picture, and the date of the call. You can select one of these to redial that individual if that's who you're looking for.

    The Duo Web Interface Puts All Your Contacts Front and Center

    Your other contacts are listed beneath, with their picture, name, and phone number (if available). However, this list doesn't comprise your entire contact list in Google. The list here is limited to those people who also use Duo.

  3. To place a call, select the name of a recent call or contact. This displays a chat window, provided you've allowed Google Duo access to your microphone and webcam.

  4. Select either Voice Call or Video Call, whichever you prefer.

    Google Duo screen showing Voice call and Video call buttons
  5. When you're ready to end the call, select End Call to hang up.

    The End Call button that hang up a Duo call
  6. That's all there is to it. You're now able to chat over Duo using any available web browser.