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Duo Single Sign-On for Google Workspace (Google G Suite)

Last Updated: December 8th, 2020

Add two-factor authentication and flexible security policies to Google Workspace (formerly called G Suite) SSO logins with Duo Single-Sign On, our cloud-hosted SAML 2.0 identity provider, complete with inline self-service enrollment and Duo Prompt.

Duo Federal customers or those looking for an on-premises SSO solution: try Duo Protection for Google Workspace (Google G Suite) with Duo Access Gateway.

These same instructions provide SAML SSO to Google Cloud Platform (GCP) as well, as G Suite and GCP share the underlying domain's authentication configuration. Learn more about SSO and GCP.


As business applications move from on-premises to cloud hosted solutions, users experience password fatigue due to disparate logons for different applications. Single sign-on (SSO) technologies seek to unify identities across systems and reduce the number of different credentials a user has to remember or input to gain access to resources.

While SSO is convenient for users, it presents new security challenges. If a user's primary password is compromised, attackers may be able to gain access to multiple resources. In addition, as sensitive information makes its way to cloud-hosted services it is even more important to secure access by implementing two-factor authentication.

About Duo Single Sign-On

Duo Single Sign-On is our cloud-hosted SSO product which layers Duo's strong authentication and flexible policy engine on top of G Suite logins using the Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) 2.0 authentication standard. Duo Single Sign-On acts as an identity provider (IdP), authenticating your users using existing on-premises Active Directory (AD) or any SAML 2.0 IdP and prompting for two-factor authentication before permitting access to G Suite.

Duo Single Sign-On is available in Duo Beyond, Duo Access, and Duo MFA plans, which also include the ability to define policies that enforce unique controls for each individual SSO application. For example, you can require that Salesforce users complete two-factor authentication at every login, but only once every seven days when accessing G Suite. Duo checks the user, device, and network against an application's policy before allowing access to the application.

Configure Single Sign-On

Before configuring G Suite you'll first need to enable Duo Single Sign-On for your Duo account and configure a working authentication source.

Once you have your SSO authentication source working, continue to the next step of creating the G Suite application in Duo.

Note: If you are using Google as your SAML IdP for Duo Single Sign-On you cannot protect that same G-Suite account with Duo Single Sign-On.

Create the G Suite Application in Duo

  1. Log on to the Duo Admin Panel and navigate to Applications.

  2. Click Protect an Application and locate the entry for G Suite with a protection type of "2FA with SSO hosted by Duo (Single Sign-On)" in the applications list. Click Protect to the far-right to start configuring G Suite. See Protecting Applications for more information about protecting applications in Duo and additional application options. You'll need the information on the G Suite page under Metadata later.

Duo Universal Prompt

Duo's next-generation authentication experience, the Universal Prompt, is coming to web-based applications that display the current Duo Prompt in browsers.

Migration to Universal Prompt for your G Suite application is a two-step process:

  • Duo updates the G Suite application to support the Universal Prompt.
  • You activate the Universal Prompt experience for users of that Duo G Suite application (when the Universal Prompt becomes available).

We've already updated the Duo G Suite application hosted in Duo's service to support the Universal Prompt when it's ready, so there's no action required on your part to update the application. The "Universal Prompt" section of this application's details page in the Admin Panel reflects this status today as "Waiting on Duo".

Universal Prompt Info - Application Updated

Activate Universal Prompt

When the Universal Prompt becomes available, you'll return here to activate it for users of this application. The status will change to "New Prompt Ready", and you'll see the control here for turning it on or off. Until then, your users continue to experience the current Duo prompt.

Universal Update Progress

Click the See Update Progress link to view the Universal Prompt Update Progress report. This report shows the update availability and migration progress for all your Duo applications in-scope for Universal Prompt support.

Read the Universal Prompt Update Guide for more information about the update process to support the new prompt, and watch the Duo Blog for future updates about the Duo Universal Prompt.

Universal Prompt Private Preview

If you're interested in participating in a private preview of the Universal Prompt experience, please apply using this form.

Enable G Suite SSO

Add Duo Single Sign-On as a new single sign-on provider for G Suite.

  1. Log on to the Google Admin console and navigate to Security > Set up single sign-on (SSO) with a third party IdP.

  2. Check the Setup SSO with third party identity provider box.

  3. Copy the Sign-in page URL from the Duo Admin Panel Metadata section and paste it into the G Suite Sign-in page URL field.


  4. Copy the Sign-out page URL from the Duo Admin Panel Metadata section and paste it into the G Suite Sign-out page URL field.


  5. Click Download certificate next to "Verification certificate" on the Duo Admin Panel under Downloads to download the Duo Single Sign-On signing certificate. Upload the certiciate to G Suite in the Verification certificate section.

  6. Check the Use a domain-specific issuer box.

  7. If your organization has a web service for Active Directory password changes enter that URL into the "Change password URL" field. Otherwise, leave this field blank.

  8. After you've entered all the required information click SAVE.

    G Suite Single Sign-On Setting Edit

Learn more about G Suite SSO at the G Suite Help site.

Update the G Suite Application in Duo

  1. Return to the Duo Admin Panel with the G Suite application open. Find the Service Provider section.

  2. Enter your G Suite domain name in the Domain name field.

  3. G Suite uses the Mail attribute when authenticating. We've mapped the <Email Address> bridge attribute to Duo Single Sign-On supported authentication source attributes as follows:

    Bridge Attribute Active Directory SAML IdP
    <Email Address> mail Email

    If you are using a non-standard email attribute for your authentication source, check the Custom attributes box and enter the name of the attribute you wish to use instead.

    Duo G Suite Application Settings

  4. You can adjust additional settings for your new SAML application at this time — like changing the application's name from the default value, enabling self-service, or assigning a group policy.

  5. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click the Save button.

G Suite Session Duration

G Suite Business, Education, and Enterprise editions have the ability to customize how long a session remains valid after logging in with a third-party SAML IdP (like Duo Single Sign-On). Set this in the Google Admin console under SecurityGoogle session Control. Learn more about this G Suite option at the Google support site.

Verify SSO

You can log on to G Suite using your organization's domain login page e.g. for Gmail. This redirects to the Duo Single Sign-On login page. Enter your primary directory logon information, approve Duo two-factor authentication, and get redirected back to the G Suite site after authenticating.

G Suite super administrators will never be redirected to Duo Single Sign-On from Google and will always be shown the Google login page.

Duo Single Sign-On Login and Authentication Prompt

Users can also enter the email address on the main G Suite login page or any and click the Sign In button (with a blank password) to be forwarded to the Duo Single Sign-On logon page.

You can also log into G Suite using Duo Central, our cloud-hosted portal which allows users to access all of their applications in one spot. Link to G Suite in Duo Central by adding it as an application tile. Once the tile has been added, log into Duo Central and click the tile for G Suite.

Congratulations! Your G Suite users now authenticate using Duo Single Sign-On.

Enable Remembered Devices

To minimize additional Duo two-factor prompts when switching between G Suite and your other Duo Single Sign-On SAML applications, be sure to apply a shared "Remembered Devices" policy to your SAML applications.


Need some help? Try searching our Knowledge Base articles or Community discussions. For further assistance, contact Support.