Wednesday, February 24, 2016

My Windows 10 laptop seeing my Android 6.0 Marshmallow

Notice: Before reading all of this, see update below.

I used to be able to plug in my LG G4 phone to my Windows 10 laptop with a micro-USB cable. Then VZaccess would run, and I would be able to see all my phone files on my laptop under "this pc."

Then on February 19, 2016, my phone updated itself fromVS98613B to VS98624C. After that, my PC could no longer see my phone.

I spent an hour or so in a chat with a very patient Verizon rep, who went above and beyond, googling the problem, but ultimately, she couldn't help. I googled the problem too.

As a result of a pastiche of googling and trying stuff, like the proverbial monkey with the typewriter, I discovered that to keep the function I always had, I had to turn on developer mode in my phone, which I never had on before.

Here's how I fixed the problem:
  1. Turn on developer mode. On my android, this meant going into settings, and then into "about phone," then into software, then click several times in a row on "build number." I think the number of taps is seven.
  2. Plug the phone into the computer using a micro USB.
  3. Now that you are in developer mode, go to USB configuration, then select MTP
  4. Problem solved but I've found that I have to do steps 2 and 3 again every time I want my computer to access my phone.
  5. Update: Instead try this. Plug your phone into your laptop, and then go into notifications. Tap the USB connection entry. You'll see a dialog that lets you select MTP.
There's a good reason for keeping phones from making data connections by default: viruses. So I think they're making it harder for the phone owner to do.

At very least, I think I should have been told that this function was getting obliterated by an innocent Android update. I spent hours on this needlessly.

Here's a discussion about it on Android Central.

I do have a final comment about the service from Verizon. As hard as the rep tried to help, she did suggest I pay for premium service. I said no thank you, that I should not have to pay to restore function that I used to have. It's not okay that Verizon did this.