What is Duo Mobile for Android?

This security app - often confused with Google Duo - can keep you safe

An image of a padlock on top of a computer keyboard.

Duo Mobile, not to be confused with Google Duo, is a two-factor authentication app that offers more security to your online account logins. Duo Mobile allows you to generate security keys for a wide variety of third-party accounts, as well as Duo's own security accounts. By creating and using passcodes to log in, you significantly reduce the chances of having an account compromised.

Duo Mobile supports Android devices running Android 6.0 Marshmallow and later.

What We Like
  • Duo Mobile is free to use for multi-factor authentication on third-party accounts.

What We Don't Like
  • Limited supported for third-party accounts.

How to Install Duo Mobile for Android and Add a Third-Party Account

Setting up Duo for Android is straightforward and only requires a few steps to get the app up and running on your device. The steps below explain how to install the app, as well as how to add a third party account for two-step authentication.

  1. On your Android device, go to Duo Mobile's Play Store page, then tap INSTALL.

  2. Once it's installed, tap OPEN.

  3. Tap GET STARTED, then tap Allow when the app requests access to your camera.

    Screenshots of the Duo Mobile for Android installation.
  4. Tap NO BARCODE?.

  5. Scroll through and confirm that Duo supports the account you wish to add. You'll have to sign in and enable two-step authentication.

    A screenshot of Duo's barcode scanner and add account options.
  6. Open a web browser and sign in to the online account or service you wish to use.

    A screenshot of GitHub's sign in page.
  7. Go to your account settings, select either Security or Sign-in options, then select Enable Two-factor authentication.

    This step will differ depending on the account or service you're using.

    A screenshot of GitHub's account security options.
  8. Select Set up using an app.

    A screenshot of GitHub's two-factor authentication set up page.
  9. Open Duo, tap GET STARTED, then scan the barcode displayed on your computer's screen.

    A screenshot of a Google Pixel scanning a barcode to enable two-factor authentication.
  10. Enter the 6-digit passcode displayed in Duo, then select Enable.

    A screenshot of GitHub's two-factor authentication verification page.
  11. If you've successfully verified Duo, you'll see a notification that two-factor authentication is enabled. If you get an error when entering the passcode, use a new one; Duo generates keys every 30 seconds.

    A screenshot showing that two-factor authentication is enabled in GitHut.
  12. That's it!

How to Use Duo Mobile With Third-Party Accounts

With Duo installed and an account with two-factor authentication enabled, you can now generate passcodes for each login session. The steps below illustrate how to use Duo's passcodes to sign in to one of the app's supported third-party accounts.

  1. Launch a web browser and sign in to the account you just added to Duo.

    A screenshot of GitHub's login page.
  2. Open Duo Mobile on your Android device.

  3. Tap the down arrow to the far right of the account you're signing in with.

  4. With the account passcode visible, make a mental note, then head back to your browser.

    If you're using the same mobile device Duo is running on, tap the security key to copy it to your clipboard.

    A screenshot of Duo Mobile generating a passcode for a third-party account.
  5. Enter the passcode into the Authentication code field, then select Verify.

    A screenshot of GitHub's two-factor authentication page.
  6. You're done!

How to Edit or Remove a Third-Party Account in Duo Mobile

  1. Open Duo Mobile.

  2. Tap and hold on an account, then tap Edit Account.

  3. Tap either your account name or icon to make a change, then tap the checkmark in the upper right corner to save.

    A screenshot showing how to edit a third-party account in Duo Mobile.
  4. To delete an account, Tap and hold on the account name, then tap Remove Account.

  5. Tap REMOVE ACCOUNT again when the dialog box appears.

    A screenshot showing how to remove an account from Duo Mobile.
  6. That's it!

How to Use Duo Mobile to Perform a Security Checkup

Duo Mobile comes with a handy security checkup tool. The app scans your device for any potential security risks, then provides the instructions to fix them. Follow the steps below to run a security checkup with Duo Mobile on Android.

  1. Tap the vertical ellipse in the upper right corner.

  2. Tap Settings.

  3. Tap Security Checkup.

    A screenshot of Duo's settings screen.
  4. Duo will scan your device for any security risks.

  5. Tap an item with a warning icon next to it.

  6. Follow the steps listed to fix the security issue.

Sign up for a Duo Security Account 30-Day Free Trial

An addition to the app's third-party account support, you can register a Duo security account. Duo's security accounts are ideal for administrators and professionals who manage multiple users signing into and using online tools and local applications. A Duo security account provides access to a vast number of advanced features, such as multi-factor authentication, device insights, endpoint views, authentication adaptation, remote access, and single sign-on.

  1. Go to Duo's free account signup page, enter your information, then select Create My Account.

    A screenshot of Duo's account registration page.
  2. Enter a 12 character password, then select Continue.

    A screenshot of Duo's account password creation page.
  3. Open Duo Mobile on your Android device, then scan the barcode displayed on your computer's screen.

    A screenshot of Duo's activation page.
  4. Tap Continue once the barcode is scanned successfully; a green checkmark will appear.

    A screenshot showing successful activation of Duo Mobile.
  5. Enter your mobile device's phone number for backup verification via SMS, then select Finish.

    A screenshot of Duo's backup verification page.
  6. Select Duo Push.

    A screenshot of Duo's log in page.
  7. Tap Duo Mobile's Login request: Admin Panel notification on your device.

  8. Tap APPROVE.

  9. A dialog box will appear once your device is confirmed.

    Screenshots of a Google Pixel enabling Duo Push.
  10. If you selected Text Me to confirm your identity, open the text from Duo in your messaging app.

  11. Copy or make a note of Duo's 6-digit login code.

    A screenshot showing login code message from Duo.
  12. Enter or paste the 6-digit login code into the Passcode field, then select Submit.

    A screenshot of Duo's identity confirmation page.
  13. Once your device is confirmed, you'll be redirected to the "Protect an Application" page inside your Duo dashboard. From here, explore the options and features mentioned above.

    A screenshot of Duo's Protect an Application options.
  14. You're done.

When using Duo Mobile with third-party accounts, you should download and store each account's backup passcodes. If you lose a device or have to perform a factory reset, you'll still be able to sign into your accounts using your backup keys.