How to enable offline use for Gmail

When you need to work in Gmail but are in a situation without network connectivity, you can enable offline use. Find out how.

How to enable offline use for Gmail

Did you know you can use Gmail offline? That's right. 

For those times when you're going to be outside the range of network connectivity (such as a flight), you don't have to miss out on composing or replying to important emails. 

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But how do you do it? I'm going to walk you through that process. 

Before we embark on this, however, know that you cannot use Gmail offline with any browser other than Chrome (version 61 or higher). So Firefox, Safari, and whatever browser Microsoft offers these days need not apply. 

Enable offline usage

Once you have Chrome at the ready, let's enable Gmail for offline usage. To make this easier, you might want to bookmark Gmail in Chrome, so you have faster access to the tool. 

  1. To enable offline usage, open Gmail, and click on the Gear icon in the top right corner. 
  2. In the Settings window, click the Offline tab. 
  3. Click the checkbox for Enable offline mail, configure how many days worth of email you want to sync, and then, in the Security section, check one of the options. If you opt to keep the offline data on your computer, it will not be deleted and will not require a re-syncing once you log back in. If you have a large amount of data in your inbox, you should check Keep offline data on my computer, otherwise the re-sync could take considerable time. 
  4. Once you do that, click Save Changes, and you're done. You can now start working with Gmail, without a network connection.
  5. When you find yourself with network connectivity once again, reverse the process, and your Gmail inbox will start sending the messages you composed. 

That's all there is to using Gmail offline. This makes for an incredibly handy feature, when you know you need to compose or reply to emails in those rare instances when you're not connected. Just remember, however, all work and no play makes Jack one exhausted IT admin.

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Image: Google