In a previous Tech Tip, we discussed how to Enable the use of Offline files in Windows to allow you to edit your files and folders when not connected to the Internet. But what if you store your files in a location like Google Docs? Google Docs is great, but because it typically requires an internet connection to use, you are restricted to only accessing your valuable data when you are online. The great news is that Google has now allowed the use of offline files and all you need to do is install an official extension named Google Docs Offline. In this article, we will show you how to set up Google Docs Offline.
As a side note: Using Google Docs offline requires Google’s official Chrome extension, so you can only use it in Google Chrome. It works for Docs, Sheets, and Slides, but not Forms.
How to Use Google Docs Offline
Using Google Docs offline is really simple and it only requires you to install the Chrome extension Google Docs Offline. After installing it, you’ll find a new setting in each of the main Google apps that lets you set things up for offline use.
Please note, that the same steps outlined here can also be followed in other Google Apps such as Google Slides and Sheets.
In the Settings window, toggle the “Offline” switch to the on position and then click “OK.”
Doing this enables offline mode across all the Google Drive applications (Docs, Sheets, and Slides).
In an attempt to save space locally, Google Docs only saves recently accessed files locally for use offline. You have to manually enable it by clicking on the three dots icon to the side of a specific document, then toggle “Available Offline” to access your file from anywhere.
Any file that is available offline shows a grey checkmark in the bottom left corner of your Docs, Slides, or Sheets homepage.
Now, when you open the file in offline mode, a lightning bolt icon appears at the top of the document, signifying you are opening the file while offline.
You can now create, open, and edit any files without connecting to the internet. The next time your computer connects to a network, all the changes you made are synced to Google’s servers.
Use Google Docs offline on iOS and Android
You can also view and edit files offline or without a mobile network connection on iOS devices such as an iPhone or iPad, along with Android devices. You will not need to install anything other than the Google Drive App and you will have the same offline feature on each file.