Offline access to Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides has long been available on Android phones, but it’s much easier than you think to set up offline access to Google Docs on your PC or Mac computer. You can do this using Chrome, or using the standalone Chrome app of your choice. In either case, all you need to do is follow these five simple steps!
What To Expect In This Article
- 1 Step 1: Download And Install The App
- 2 Step 2: Connect Your Account
- 3 Step 3: Start Editing Files Offline
- 4 Step 4: Sync It Back Online When You Are Ready
- 5 Step 5: Save Them Locally In Case They Are Not Backed Up
- 6 Where Are Google Drive Offline Files Stored On PC?
- 7 How to Enable Offline Mode in Google Drive
- 8 Conclusion
Step 1: Download And Install The App
There are several ways to install a Google app on your computer. The easiest is to download and install Chrome, which comes with access to all of your favorite web apps like Gmail, YouTube, Google Drive, and more. It’s free for personal use and available for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux operating systems. Just make sure you choose Run when prompted during installation instead of Save (if it appears). If you’re new to Chrome, check out this beginner’s guide for a helpful intro or get familiar with everything that Chrome can do there.
Step 2: Connect Your Account
First, log into your Google account from a browser on your computer. Next, click on Your Account and then Documents. Clicking on that link should prompt you to sign in if you aren’t already. Once you’re signed in, simply click on Enable offline access. That’s it! From now on, any changes or new documents you create will automatically sync up with your Google account when you’re online. Easy peasy.
Step 3: Start Editing Files Offline
Before you can work offline, you need to enable offline access in your Chrome browser. In your browser’s toolbar, go to File -> Work Offline. This will allow you to edit files even when there is no internet connection available. All changes made while offline will be synced with your cloud storage once an internet connection becomes available.
When editing a file on Chrome for Android or iOS, open and begin editing a file on your device, then swipe right on the filename at the top of your screen. This should bring up options including Available offline—choose that option to have all future edits done on that document saved locally on your device as well as any devices synced with it.
Step 4: Sync It Back Online When You Are Ready
If you want to go offline, when you are in your Drive, click on your username at the top right. Click Settings and then click Sync. You can select which docs and folders to sync by default. You can also get an offline link for any doc by clicking Share at the top left of a document or folder page, or by going to Settings > Get a link. When you open an offline link, you’ll be prompted to download all of that doc’s files locally; choose Yes and Chrome will keep them in sync with any changes made online. If some files need updating while others don’t, it’ll tell you which ones are different. When you’re ready to sync back online, just click the “Done & Sync All” button at the bottom right of the window.
The latest version of Chrome has a useful new feature called Offline Docs. It lets you view documents stored in Google Drive—the company’s cloud storage service—even if you aren’t connected to the Internet. This is great if you’re traveling without access to Wi-Fi, or if your office doesn’t have reliable Internet access. However, I found it works better than I expected and could save me from lugging around my laptop during long flights (especially since I always end up spending most of my time watching movies).
Note: This feature isn’t available yet for Android users.
Step 5: Save Them Locally In Case They Are Not Backed Up
This is an easy task for PCs, which allows users to download files and documents. Simply double-click on a file you wish to download, select Save As from its drop-down menu and choose where you want it saved (you may want to select your Desktop or Downloads folder). If that option is grayed out, check that your security settings don’t block downloads. Another simple way to save files locally is through Google Drive’s web interface—simply click on File, then Make a Copy. The downloaded document will have a .odt extension at the end of its name, but as long as you don’t rename it (or open it) in Word or another program, it should open just fine in Google Docs when you’re connected again.
Where Are Google Drive Offline Files Stored On PC?
Files created in Google Drive are stored on your computer in a folder called My Drive, or sometimes in a folder called Documents. However, when you need to access them while you’re offline, you can’t. Let’s explore how to quickly and easily access those files when you don’t have internet access and how to store them locally so they will always be available. But before we begin, let me explain what exactly offline mode is.
When you save files to Google Drive from your desktop or laptop computer, it creates an online copy of that file as well as an offline copy. The online version allows you to edit and make changes anytime—even if you don’t have internet access. The offline version only allows editing if you do have internet access; otherwise, it displays a message saying that there was an error trying to open because it is unable to sync with Google servers (or something along those lines).
This makes sense because syncing requires an active connection between your device and the cloud. So, whether you’re editing an image or working on a document, everything gets saved automatically—as long as there’s an active connection with which to sync these new changes back up into your account for safekeeping.
How to Enable Offline Mode in Google Drive
By default, offline mode is turned off. If you want to use it, follow these steps:
Open Google Drive. Click on Settings in the upper-right corner of your screen. In Settings, click on General and then select Offline. Select Enable offline for all files and then click Save Changes at the bottom of your screen.
Google will now store a copy of all your files in My Drive/Documents folder that you can access when you don’t have internet access. It will also sync those changes back up to its servers once you reconnect to Wi-Fi or mobile data.
You now know how to access your Google docs offline. It’s a handy feature that lets you keep working on important projects even when you don’t have an internet connection. If you want to continue browsing your documents, click on Settings, which is located in the upper right-hand corner of your screen.
Next, select Offline from the left side navigation and enable downloading documents via desktop Chrome or another device with Chrome installed (such as Android). Once it’s enabled, every time you open a new tab or window in Chrome while offline it will automatically begin to download previously viewed pages and known document links.
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