Google Pixel 3A with Android 10 and Your Phone Companion Windows 10

Introduction

This guide looks at setting up a Google Pixel 3A with Android 10 and configuring the Windows 10 Your Phone App. In my case I am using a Everywhere Everything (EE) Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) card. EE is a British Telecommunications (BT) subdivision. Instructions are however likely to be very similar to most devices running Android 9 or 10.

Initial Setup and Factory Setup

When your first Power On your Android you should get the following screen:

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Proceed to Initial Setup.

Factory Reset from Settings

Initialising the Factory Reset from Settings requires the user password, user pin or finger print. If you do not have these use the Android Recovery Menu.

Open up Settings and select System:

Select Advanced:

Select Reset Options:

Select Erase All Data (Factory Reset):

Select Erase All Data:

Your phone will restart taking you to the Initial Setup.

Factory Reset from Android Recovery Menu

Power Down.

Hold (blue) down the Volume Down Key and press (red) the power button.

You will get the Android Bootloader.

Use the volume keys to go up or down and the word Start will be replaced with another option. Cycle through (Start, Power Off, BarCode, Rescue Mode, Recovery Mode and Restart Bootloader) until you get Recovery Mode.

Press (red) the power button as an Enter Button.

On the Android Command Screen.

Hold down (blue) the Power Button and press Volume Up (red).

On this screen are some diagnostics such as a graphics test and locale test. If you are having issues with your phone you should run these before proceeding with a factory reset.

Use the Volume Keys to highlight Wipe Data/Factory Reset and press the power button once as an [Enter] button.

Use the Volume Keys to highlight Factory Data Reset and press the power button once as an [Enter] button.

You should now be taken to the initial setup.

Initial Setup

When you power on your Android, you will be asked for your language:

I am going to change to UK English:

Then select Start:

Next you will be prompted to connect to a wireless network (it is recommended to do so as there may be a lot of updates and apps to download). Select your wireless network, mine is with EE:

The onscreen keyboard will display type in your password and select Connect:

The wireless network should authenticate and then obtain an IP address:

The Android OS will then look for updates. To the top right you should see your wifi strength, network strength and battery:

You can copy your apps and data from a previous phone. I will start fresh so will select don't copy:

You will be prompted to sign into your Google Account or to create one. I will opt to create one and then select next:

Then select for myself:

Press into the text fields and the onscreen keyboard will display. Input your first and second name:

Select Next:

Input your date of birth and gender and then select Next:

You can use one of the email addresses generated from your email or optionally create a new one:

If it is taken you may need to modify it slightly:

Input your password and confirm it and then select Next:

Slide down and select Yes I'm In:

Select Next:

Scroll down:

Check the two checkboxes to select the terms and select Create Account:

Select Confirm:

Scroll through and disable any privacy settings you want to turn off (by default all are on, for maximal functionality). When done select Accept:

Create and confirm a pin:

Select confirm:

You can also unlock your phone using a finger print sensor:

Press and release your finger from the finger print sensor as prompted. Select Next when finished:

Select Continue:

You can now set up Google Voice Assistant, to do this select More:

If you want to proceed with Google Voice Assistance select Turn On:

Select I agree:

Read the phrases:

When done, you will be congratulated, select Next:

Next you will be prompted to squeeze your phone, you should aim for the middle. This squeeze will activate Google Voice Assistant when the phone is locked or unlocked:

To enable notifications and the time on your lock screen select Turn On:

Select No Thanks:

You can optionally sign up to email notifications about Googles new hardware, features and software. When done select Next:

You should now be able to use your phone.

Android Gestures

Android Home Screen

On the Android Home screen you have your favourite 5 icons at the bottom which can be opened with a single press and a google search box.

Notifications and Settings Menu

Swipe down from the top of the screen to access the notifications screen:

Drag until you reach the bottom:

Notifications can be selected by tapping on them or dismissed by dragging them over to the left hand side:

To the top are some commonly used settings. These can be expanded by pulling the menu down:

More settings can be added to this menu by selecting the edit icon:

These can be dragged over to the top menu and the tiles can be reordered:

Alternatively all settings can be reached by selecting the settings icon:

We will have a look at these in a moment:

The Apps Preview Screen and All Apps

The Apps screen can be accessed by pulling the slider up from the bottom. If the slider is pulled partially up, the Apps preview screen will display, displaying all currently opened apps. You can swipe to your desired App and open it.

To close an open app, drag it up the way on the Apps preview screen:

Swiping from the bottom all the way up to the top will open the All Apps menu:

You can open an App by clicking on it or alternatively pin an App to the Android Home Screen by pressing down and then dragging it to the desired location on the Home Screen. Dragging to the far right or left, will create another pane which you can also pin tiles to:

You can then open the app by pressing the pinned icon on the Home Screen:

To unpin an App from the Home Screen once again by pressing the App and Holding down and then dragging it to the top over the word remove or uninstall it by dragging it over the word uninstall:

Taking a Screenshot

To perform a screenshot press the Power Icon and the Volume Down Icon simultaneously:

This will save a screenshot:

Android Update

Your Android should update automatically, however at this stage it is worthwhile checking to see what version you are on and if an update is available.

Expand the Apps Menu by pulling up from the bottom and press click Settings:

Select System:

Select Advanced:

Select System Update:

Select Check for Update:

It will prepare for a system update:

If it finds one you will be prompted to install updates otherwise you will be told your system is up to date:

Storage

Expand the Apps Menu by pulling up from the bottom and press click Storage:

Here you can see your storage. The internal SSD is about 64 GB and the OS with default Apps takes up about 14 GB giving approximately 50 GB user storage space (although conservatively estimate leaving 10 GB for later updates and 10 GB for any additional applications):

Sound and Vibrations

You may be annoyed by the default sounds and vibrations which are enabled when you type on your phone for insance.

To change these open Settings and select Sound:

Scroll down until you get to Other Sounds and Vibrations.

Disable the settigns as desired:

Network and Internet

Expand the Apps Menu by pulling up from the bottom and press Network and Internet:

Wi-Fi

You can use the toggle switch to turn on or off the Wi-Fi:

You can also connect to a new network here:

This setting can quickly be accessed by pulling down the settings menu and pressing the Wi-Fi icon (tapping the icon will turn the Wi-Fi off or on):

Wi-Fi Calling

My flat is in the middle of three telephone masts and as a consequence is in a dead spot with regards to most telephone networks. Fortunately I can use Wi-Fi calling. To get to Wi-Fi calling from Settings → Network and Internet select Mobile Network. Alternatively pull down settings and press and hold Mobile Data (pressing the icon will turn the Mobile Data on or off):

Slide down and select advanced:

Now select Wi-Fi Calling:

Then turn it On:

Wi-Fi Calling should now be Enabled:

Data Limit & Warning

The Data Limit by default is set very low. To change it to match your monthly plan select Settings → Network and Internet select Mobile Network. Alternatively pull down settings and press and hold Mobile Data (pressing the icon will turn the Mobile Data on or off):

Select Data Warning & Limit:

The default warning is set to 15 GB:

My data plan has 10 GB Mobile Data + 5 GB Mobile Data (as I get a bonus for having both my phone and home broadband with EE) so I will change mine to 15 GB:

It is also possible to set the data limit using your Data Warning:

When this is done the Mobile Data Usage will be turned off so you can't be overcharged. Select OK:

Your Data Limit is now set:

You can set the day of the month (i.e. your billing date) the count begins from:

Scroll to set your Day:

Roaming

Roaming is Disabled by default. To use your phone abroad, this will usually incur additional charges select Settings → Network and Internet select Mobile Network. Alternatively pull down settings and press and hold Mobile Data (pressing the icon will turn the Mobile Data on or off):

Then Turn Roaming On:

Select OK:

Roaming will now be Enabled:

USB Tethering

You can also use your phone as an internet conenction for another device such as a laptop using USB tethering, Bluetooth tethering or a Wi-Fi hotspot.

Select Settings → Network and Internet select Mobile Network.

Then select Hotspot and tethering:

On this screen you will have multiple options.

USB tethering requires a computer with a USB type C port and a USB C to USB C cable from the computer to phone or a computer with a USB 3.0 port and a USB 3.0 to USB C cable. This will also charge the phone from your computer and is usually the most reliable option. The option will be greyed out unless a cable is attached

Your computer should now be connected to the internet:

Wi-Fi Hotspot

You can also use your phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot for your laptop when on the go.

Phone: Select Wi-Fi Hotspot and turn it on. Note the Hotspot name will be shown and can be changed if desired.

PC: Select the network icon on the right hand side of your PC. Your Wi-Fi hotspot from your phone should display.

Note if you are only wanting to connect the Wi-Fi hotspot from your phone to your laptop while on the go it is recommended to uncheck Connect Automatically. This will avoid your laptop connecting to your phone automatically and eating up your data when at home instead of using your landline wireless connection.

Select Connect.

Phone: Select Hotspot Password to view the password, you can also change it here but the default usually suffices:

Phone: Keep this screen open.

PC: Look at the password on your phone and input it and select Next.

PC: it will then say connected.

Phone: You can then select cancel (which will leave the password as default and leave your PC connected).

USB Settings: File Transfer Windows 10 PC

By default when you attach your phone (via USB) to your PC it will display in Windows Explorer under Devices and Drives and charge over USB 3.0:

If you go to look at files you will see none because file viewing and sharing is not enabled by default for security. This is to prevent files from being accessed for instance when students take their phones to library computers and want to only charge their phone not share their files.

To change this setting go to Settings and Connected Devices:

Then to USB:

Change USB Preferences to USB Controlled By (This Device) and Use USB for File Transfer/Android Auto:

Now in Windows Explorer:

You will be able to view the Drive:

Note the internal storage is approximately 50.0 GB (Android System Files and Apps which utilise about 12 GB are hidden).

To access pictures taken by your camera select DCIM:

Then Camera:

You can cut or paste the pictures from your phone to your computer. Unfortunately the preview is usually poor so in many cases it is easier to copy and paste everything across to your PC and then preview the images from there:

For example:

Screenshots are found in Pictures:

Then in Screenshots:

Once again you can cut or paste the pictures from your phone to your computer. Unfortunately the preview is usually poor so in many cases it is easier to copy and paste everything across to your PC and then preview the images from there:

Windows 10 Your Phone App

The Windows 10 Phone App can be used to connect to your Pixel 3A Phone to conveniently access files such as photos on your PC from the phone. It requires a Microsoft Account on your PC and the Your Phone Companion App on your Pixel 3A.

PC: On your Windows 10 PC select Your Phone.

PC: If you never have had a Phone Connected the screen will look as follows:

Proceed to Connect a Phone.

PC: If on the other hand the screen looks like this, it is because you have a previous Phone setup. In my case the Google Pixel 3A before I done a Factory Reset. I will need to remove the old connection from the Pixel 3A before the Factory Reset before I can add it again:

Remove a Phone

PC: Select Settings and look at My Devices. Your old Device should be listed. Select learn how to Remove this Device:

PC: Chromium Edge will open, click on the link provided:

PC: You will be prompted to login to your Microsoft Account.

PC: You will see your Devices listed.

PC: Find your Pixel 3A hone on the list and select the ⁝ icon and select Unlink this Phone.

PC: Check Unlink this Mobile Phone and Select Remove.

PC: Select OK.

PC: You can now close the Chromium Edge tab and should Close the Your Phone App and Relaunch it. It should look like the following:

Add a Phone

PC: Select Android and then Continue:

PC: You will now be prompted to go to your phone and install the Your Phone Companion Android App.

Phone: Open the Play Store and look for Your Phone Companion App.

Phone: Select Yes, I'm In.

Phone: Search for Phone Companion App.

Phone: Select Install.

Phone: Launch the Your Phone Companion App. Select is there a QR code on your PC.

Phone: Select Allow to Allow use of your Camera to take a Picture of the QR Code on your PC.

PC: Check Yes I Finished Installing Your Phone Companion and select Open QR Code.

PC: Your QR Code will now display.

Phone: Point your camera at the QR screen.

Phone: Once the QR Code is selected you will be signed in with your Microsoft Account. You will then be asked to allow the App to Always Run in the Background. Select Allow (the App won't work very well fi you do not).

You will be then prompted for App Permissions.

Phone: The following will display on your phone.

PC: Your Phone will finish setting up your Phone.

PC: If you get stuck on the screen above Close Your Phone App and then relaunch it. Then select Relaunch Notification.

Phone: A notification will flash. Select Allow.

Phone: Select Done.

Phone: You will then be asked to help improve Your Phone by sending Usage Data. Select Allow or Cancel as desired.

Phone: To use the App you will need to give it permissions, select View Permissions:

Phone: It will tell you the permissions required (the wording is likely for an older version of Android). Select Got It.

Phone: Select each of the settings.

Phone: Then select Allow and then back.

You should allow the following:

Phone: Now the Phone and PC are linked.

PC: Select Notifications and then Get Started.

Phone: Select Open.

Phone: Turn your Phone Companion On.

Phone: Select Allow.

Phone: You should get a notification saying your all set.

PC: You should see this listed under Notifications.

PC: Select Messages and then Send Notfication.

PC: Since this already enabled, the messages will now just display.

PC: Now go to Messages and select Send Notification.

PC: Because the setting is already allowed, you will see your messages.

PC: Now go to Photos, once again select Send Notification.

PC: Because the setting is already allowed, you will see your photos.

You should be able to connect calls also however it requires Bluetooth and on my system the Your Phone Companion App failed to connect.

If your system doesn't have a spare USB port (for example is a 2 in 1 system where the tablet splits from the keyboard) you may instead use Bluetooth Tethering. On the PC right click the Start Button and select system.

On this screen your PCs Device name will be displayed.

Windows 10 gives your PC a random name after a clean install of Windows 10. You may wish to rename it something that makes more sense to you such as the model number:

Input your new PC name and select Next and then Restart:

Restart the computer when prompted to update your PC name.

On your phone open up settings and select Connected Devices.

Select Pair New Device:

Look for your PC name:

If it does not show on your PC right click the Bluetooth icon in the notification tray and select Add New Device:

This should give a screen like the following, select "Add Bluetooth or Other Device":

Do not click anything on the next screen:

Go back to your phone and your PC should now display:

On your PC you should see the following notification, click on it to open it up:

PC: You will get a pin on your PC.S elect Yes if the pin matches your phone.

Phone: You will get a pin on your phone. Select pair if the pin matches your PC.

PC: You should get the Connection succeeded screen, select C