2 Ways to Run Surface Duo Emulator

Microsoft announced they will be releasing the new Surface Duo in December of 2020. The Duo runs on Android and is one of their dual-screen devices that gives users new ways to interact with their apps. It also introduces new challenges for developers to provide the optimal experience for our users. So, Microsoft has released the Surface Duo Emulator to allow developers to get a head start optimizing their apps.

In this article, we will go over 2 different ways to run the Surface Duo Emulator on Windows:

  1. Android Studio
  2. Visual Studio

Shared Requirements

There are a few things that need to be set up any way you run the Emulator.

  1. Install Android Studio
  2. Set up Android SDK Settings:

Tools > Android SDK Manager > SDK Tools


Make sure all these SDK tools are installed.

3. Download Duo SDK

4. In File Explorer, navigate to the Emulator run.bat file. The default path is :


Open this file in any text editor and make sure the ANDROID_SDK_LOCATION is set to the location of your Android SDK. You can find your Android SDK Location here:


For example, this is what the ANDROID_SDK_LOCATION path looks like for the above path:


Great! Now we can start on the platform specific setup.

Android Studio

If everything above is properly configured, you can now run the emulator from the command line.

cd into the directory and run the run.bat script.

The emulator should start running!

Note: It can take a while the first time 

Visual Studio

To run the emulator using visual studio, we have a few more steps.

    1 . Open either an existing or new project with an Android head (including Uno, Xamarin, etc.) in Visual Studio 2019.

    I will be using a new Uno  project.

    2. Set up your Android SDK settings

    Tools > Android > Android SDK Manager

    Make sure you have these tools installed:


    3. In order to run our app, the emulator will need to be running. Search for Duo Emulator in windows and select “Duo Emulator for Visual Studio”


    4 . Select “Open”

    This will run a different run.bat script. The difference only being that the visual studio version removes the port definitions.

    5. Back in Visual Studio, you should now see the emulator as an option in your devices dropdown. It will look like this:


    6. Click the big green arrow and your app will pop up in the emulator!


There you have it! Two ways to run the Surface Duo Emulator on Windows. To learn more about developing for Dual Screen Devices, check out the docs.


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