The first 3 cycles in the cold crank-start process at 20°C are studied in a GDI engine. The focus is on the dependence of the HC and PM/PN emissions of each cycle on the injection strategy and combustion phasing of the current and previous cycles. The PM/PN emissions per cycle decrease by more than an order of magnitude as the crank-start progresses from the 1st to the 3rd cycle, while the HC emissions stay relatively constant. The wall heat transfer, as controlled by the combustion phasing, during the previous cycles has a more significant influence on the mixture formation process for the current cycle than the amount of residual fuel. The results show that the rise in HC emissions caused by the injection spray interacting with the intake valves and piston crown is reduced as the cranking process progresses. Combustion phasing retard significantly reduces the PM emission. The HC emissions, however, are relatively not sensitive to combustion phasing in the range of interest.