Offline access to Google Docs

Author: Bit Software
Date: 24- 05- 2012

There may be times when you don’t have an Internet connection, like on an airplane or train without wireless Internet, but you still want access to a file you’ve saved in Google Docs. Now, Google made it possible. So, you can select any file in Google Docs to make it available offline. So regardless of whether you’re connected to the internet, you’re always connected to those files. And this option is available for PC, Notebook, Smartphone or Tablet.

View files offline in the Google Drive Android app

Individual items in the Google Drive app for Android can be viewed offline when your mobile device has no Internet connectivity. And you can also make many file types available offline, including Google documents, Google spreadsheets, uploaded images, and files in formats such as .pdf, .doc, .xls and .ppt. When your Android device loses Internet connectivity, you can access your offline items by touching Offline on the landing page of the Google Docs app (phone), or in the left-hand navigation panel (tablet).

But how you can do it? On an Android tablet, open an item’s preview pane, click the „Menu” button and touch „Make available offline”. Or touch and hold the name of an item for 2-3 seconds and then touch „Make available offline” in the menu that appears. On an Android phone, touch and hold the name of an item for 2-3 seconds and then „Make offline” in the menu that appears. Or touch the arrow button next to an item, and select „Make offline” from the menu that appears. A notification that indicates if an item is available for offline viewing will appear in the top (phone) or the bottom right (tablet) of your screen. When you no longer need offline access for a given item, select Remove offline from the same menus.

Even better, Google Docs automatically updates your offline files when you’re on Wi-Fi. You can also manually update files anytime you have a data connection by opening the file or tapping ‘Update’ from the Offline section of the app.

View files offline on PC and Notebook

When your computer is disconnected from the Internet, open Chrome. Click the Google Docs app icon or visit The offline version of your Documents List will load. If you're working with an intermittent Internet connection, type into your Chrome browser for a more stable view of your offline Documents List.

Offline access is allowed on a computer-by-computer basis. In other words, you must allow offline access for each individual computer where you'd like to view your documents and spreadsheets without an Internet connection. Offline copies of your documents and spreadsheets will be synced to each computer where you've enabled Google Docs offline. Anyone with access to a computer with offline access enabled will be able to view all of your synced documents and spreadsheets when they open Chrome.

When you're using your Google Docs in offline mode and regain access to the Internet, click "Return to online mode" in the bar at the top of your browser window. This will reload the online version of your Documents List if you're signed into your Google account. A few seconds after you regain Internet access, your documents and spreadsheets will return to online mode automatically. You can always speed this process up by reloading the document or spreadsheet.

A few things to remember:

  • Offline access is available in Chrome browser only.
  • Offline access is available only for Google documents and spreadsheets.
  • New documents and spreadsheets can't be created without an Internet connection.
  • You'll need to allow offline access separately on each computer where you want to view your Google Docs offline.

Sources: Google Official Blog, Google Docs Blog, Google Enterprise, PC World