Google Docs: Using Google Docs Offline

Lesson 26: Using Google Docs Offline


Using Google Docs offline

Google Docs is a great tool for creating and sharing documents online. It also has a useful feature that allows you to edit documents while you're offline. This can be helpful if you're planning on using your laptop, tablet, or smartphone somewhere without Internet access. Any changes you make to your documents while offline will be stored and applied to your files the next time you connect to the Internet. There are two methods you can use to work offline, and both are covered in this lesson.

Watch the video below to learn how to view and edit documents while offline.

Before you set up the offline features, you will need to be connected to the Internet.

To use Google Docs offline on your computer:

  1. For this method, you will need to use Google Chrome as your web browser. Go to, click the gear in the upper-right corner, then click Settings.
    clicking the gear icon then settings
  2. In the Settings menu, check the box in the Offline section. This will give you the ability to turn on the offline feature for any of your Google Drive files.
    checking the box in the offline section
  3. Open Google Docs and locate the document you want to edit offline. Click the button with the three vertical dots, then click the switch next to where it reads Available offline.
making a document available offline

To use Google Docs offline on your mobile device:

You can also easily make your documents available offline using your mobile device. For this method, you will need to have the Google Docs app downloaded onto your mobile device. It's available for both iOS and Android.

  1. Open the Google Docs app, and locate the file you want to edit offline. Tap the three dots.
    tapping the three dots
  2. Tap Make available offline from the menu. The app will inform you when it's done making the document available offline.
    tapping make available offline

Unavailable features while offline

While viewing and editing your documents without an Internet connection, there are a few functions and features that won't be available.

  • You won't be able to see edits online users are making to your documents.
  • You can't share your documents with others until you reconnect to the Internet.
  • The spell check feature, adding images, and any add-ons you may have installed will no longer be available.