Lesson 17: Using Google Docs Offline

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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.

For both methods, you will need to be connected to the Internet while setting up offline capabilities.

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 drive.google.com, click the gear in the upper-right corner, then click 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.
  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.

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 More button.
  2. Tap the Available offline button. The app will inform you when it's done making the document 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.