How to use and edit Google docs without internet connection

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Cloud-based tools, such as those delivered through Google Workspace, save lives when it comes to working and collaborating remotely. However, cloud-based applications need an internet connection for full functionality.

Fortunately, Google allows users to view and edit Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides offline when an internet connection is not available. With this feature, your productivity will not suffer in dead zones, on airplanes or during a storm. You can really work anytime, anywhere.

How to enable offline mode in Google Drive & Docs

Image shows the offline mode setting in Google Docs

To use Google Docs offline, you must use the Google Chrome browser. Next, you will need to install the Google Docs offline extension offered through Google Chrome. To do this, open the link and then select Add to Chrome then Add extension.

Once the Chrome extension is installed, you are ready to enable offline mode in Google Drive. To do this, go to Google Drive and then follow these steps:

  1. Select the Settings icon in the upper right corner of your screen.

  2. Scroll until you see Offline. Check the box next to Create, open, and edit your recent Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides on this offline device.

  3. Select Done in the upper right corner.

How to save documents for offline access

The image shows the option available offline in Google Docs

The next step is to choose which Google Docs you want to make available offline. This means that you will need to make each individual file accessible offline before you lose the connection.

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If you often lose connection, make it a habit to turn on offline mode for every document you create or edit.

To enable offline mode for a specific document, follow these steps:

  1. Locate the Google document you want to view or edit offline and highlight it.

  2. On a Mac, locate the three-dot menu (on a computer, right click on the document) and click on the tilt bar beside Available offline.

If you want to save time, you can press Command (Mac) Where Ctrl (PC) to highlight and set multiple files to be available offline at a time.

How to Find and Edit Google Docs Offline

Once offline, you will be able to access these documents once they are synchronized. To find the documents you have selected for offline use, simply search for them.

To check and make sure your documents have been saved for offline use, select the check mark icon at the top of Google Drive when you are online. Then click on the toggle bar to activate Offline preview. If you can open the document, it is saved for offline viewing and editing.

You can also see which documents are available for offline use by looking for the check mark icon next to each document name.

Editing your Google documents

You can view and edit your document the same way you would online. However, it’s important to note that offline mode offers basic word processing capabilities, not all of the features you might expect online.

After reconnecting you may still need to come back and format your work, add images, etc. When the connection is reestablished, Google Docs will automatically sync your changes.

Best practices for using Google Docs offline

Although offline mode is very useful, there are some best practices you should follow. For example, don’t try to use incognito mode when accessing files offline. Chrome extensions are disabled by default in incognito mode, which means your offline files won’t show up for viewing or editing.

You should also make sure that you are using the latest version of Google Chrome to take advantage of offline mode. And if you’re having trouble syncing or taking files offline, try clearing your Google Docs cache.

Related: Google Docs Apps and Add-ons to Boost Your Productivity and Efficiency

Discover the flexibility of Google Docs offline mode

Although Google Docs is internet-based, you still have the option of making sure your documents are available offline at all times.

This is just one of the features that make Google Docs and Google Workspace great choices for work.


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