Google Drive is a popular cloud storage service that basically lets you to save and access various documents, files, and folders from anywhere using any device as you’re logged in to your Google account.
One of the benefits of using cloud storage, in general, is that you can access them from multiple devices. I personally use it and it can be a real life-saver if you have more than one device for work.
You can drop what you’re working on your Google Drive in your office and later pick it up at home, or make quick changes on your smartphone while you are on a cab to work.
The downside to that is, without an internet connection, you would not be able to see or edit them.
Now, let’s create a scenario where you are traveling in an area that doesn’t have an Internet connection but something comes up and an important file needs to be worked urgently.
It can be really disastrous. But fortunately, this isn’t the case with Google Drive, Docs, and Google Sheets as it comes with an Offline mode that allows users to access their files while they are not connected to the internet.
Users can also edit the documents and files which will then sync automatically when an internet connection is re-established.
Related read: How to Drop a Pin in Google Maps
How to Access Google Doc Offline on PC
You first need to set up your Google Drive for offline use and it requires an active internet connection.
This is pretty obvious but if you haven’t already install Chrome on your PC. You first need to download and install the Chrome Browser on yor desktop.
Next,Open the Google Chrome browser.
Login to Your Google Account
Again, another obvious step. You can’t access your Google Drive without signing in to your Google account.
So, do that.
Install the Google Docs Offline Chrome extension
Similar to Firefox, Chrome also allows you to install browser extensions to add and enhance the functionality of your browser. You can add and enable specific extensions to tailor the overall Chrome functionality to individual preferences and needs.
Download an install the “Google Docs Offline” extension to be able to Edit, create, and view your documents, spreadsheets, folders — even if you lose internet access.
Enable Offline Access
Head back to your Google Drive page, click on the hamburger icon in the upper-right corner and select Settings.
Enable the offline toggle next to create, open, and edit your recent Docs files on this device while offline.
Select done, and now you’ll be able to continue working on Google Docs, Google Sheets, within the Chrome browser even if you lose internet connection.
It is quite similar to the Guttenberg editor, where any changes will be saved and cached locally on your browser and will be updated to the online version when you are connected to an internet.
This much is sufficient if you need to work in case you are offline on your computer. However, if you want to have your files in the Google Drive folder of your computer, you can do so by installing Backup and Sync.
For personal use, it is not essential. But here are the steps to do so if interested:
- Visit Backup and Sync for Google Drive. Download and install the free personal version.
- Once installed, open the Backup and Sync application and login with your Google Account.
- You can also save files from your computer directly to Google Drive.
- Click the box beside “Sync My Drive to this computer”
- Select “Start”
- It can take a few minutes for your Google Drive files to be downloaded to a folder named Google Drive. Any of the future files – Images, Folder, PDF, etc you add to your Google Drive will be automatically downloaded to your PC.
How to Use Google Doc offline on Android and iOS
Mobile Chrome browsers doesn’t support Chrome extensions, but it has seperate individual iOS and Android apps for Google Drive that allows you to edit files offline.
Important: Similar to Desktop, you still need to be connected to the Internet to turn on offline access.
- Download and install the Google Drive App.
- Open the app while connected to the internet.
- Either press and hold or tap on the three vertical dots next to the file you wish to edit offline.
- On the pop-up menu option, tap Available offline for offline editing.
How to Enable Google Doc Offline on Mac
Important: Since Safari is the default browser on Macs, you need to set Google Chrome as your default browser before you can use Google Docs offline.
This means that Chrome will be used to launch each time you open a URL on your Mac. However, you can always switch back to Safari later on.
To do so, click the Apple icon on your dock < System Preferences < General < Default web browser < Google Chrome.
Similar to the PC version, Download and install the chrome extension for Google Docs offline. Log in with your Google account.
Next, go to your My Drive page, tap the gear icon in the upper-right corner. Select Settings < General < select the box next to Sync Google Docs, Sheets, Slides & Drawings < Done.
How to Make Recent Files Available Offline
Users can make any files that you’ve worked on recently automatically made available offline.
Open the “Google Drive” app and tap onthe hamburger menu in the top-left corner. Select tap Settings < Enable toggle of “Make recent files available online”.
How to View Offline Files
You can view files that you have made offline in a few clicks.
- Open the Google Drive app.
- To open the menu, select the hamburger icon in the top-left corner.
- Tap on the Offline tab to view any saved files.
Now that you know how to use Google Docs offline, you can view and edit files including Google Docs, Slides and sheets. Work on your resume, write articles, fill up your form and what not.
Make as many edits and changes on the go without the need for any internet connection at all! Personally, offline editing has made my work life easier. How about you? Please let us know in the comments below.