Using Google Gmail, Drive and Calendar Offline

Hwuhat's that you say?  Gmail offline? Drive offline?  Sounds weird, yes.  Gmail and Google Drive are great tools for collaboration but can be frustrating when you're unable to access things if the Internet is unavailable or unreliable.  To help this a little bit, Gmail, Google Drive and Google Calendar all have offline modes.  Here's how to set them up.

NOTE:  You'll need to be using Chrome for anything outlined here to work. 

Gmail Offline

To set up offline Gmail, do the following:

  1. Browse to your Gmail Inbox.
  2. Click the cog in the upper right and click Settings.image
  3. Click the Offline tab.
  4. Click Install Gmail Offline. This will bring you to the Chrome Web Store.
  5. Click Add to Chrome.image
  6. Click Add to confirm adding the Offline Gmail app.

To launch the Offline Gmail Chrome app, open up a new tab in Chrome and you should have an icon to launch the Offline Gmail app.  This will allow you to browse, compose and reply to messages even if you don't have an Internet connection.

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Using Google Drive Offline

Google Drive for Mac is great for syncing non-Google Doc files back and forth from your Mac to Drive.  However, it doesn't allow you to access any of your native Google Docs while offline. To do this, you need to enable Google Drive offline mode. 

  1. From drive.google.com, click More on the left-hand side of the screen.
  2. Select Offline Docs.
  3. Setting up offline access is a two-step process. First, click the blue button that says Get the app. If you already have the app installed, you won't need to complete this step.
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  4. You'll be taken to the Chrome web store. Click Add to Chrome in the upper-right corner of the browser window.
  5. Once the app is installed, you'll be taken to a Chrome page with the Google Drive app icon. To return to Drive, click the Google Drive icon.
  6. On the right side of the dialog on the Offline Docs page, click the blue button that says Enable offline.

Once you complete these steps, the Drive page will start syncing your files. When the sync is complete, you'll be able to view, edit and even create Google Docs, Sheets or Presentations even if you have no Internet connection. 

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For iPad & iPhone, also install the Google Drive, Docs and Sheets apps.  They will also let you create, view and edit offline via your iDevice.

Google Calendar Offline

And finally... here's how to do the same thing as above for Google Calendar.

  1. Click the gear icon and choose Offline from the dropdown menu
  2. You’ll be prompted to install the Google Calendar web application from the Chrome Web Store. Click Install from Web Store.
  3. You’ll be taken to the Chrome web store page for the Google Calendar web application. Click the Install button.
    • The Google Calendar Web App download page opens in a separate window. If you accidentally closed it or it was prevented by a popup blocker you can try to open the download page again by clicking the Install from Web Store button in the popup again.
  4. Once installation is complete, a new Chrome tab will open and the Google Calendar web app icon will appear. Click on the icon to be taken to Google Calendar.
  5. Click the gear icon again. Next to Offline, you should see a green icon with a checkmark . This means your calendar is synchronized and ready to be used offline. If your calendar is still syncing, you’ll see a green spinning icon  until it’s completed.

 

  • Lindsay Clark (Banned)
    Lindsay Clark 2286 days ago

    Very helpful! Thanks, axis of awesome!