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Working offline in G Suite

Your G Suite account operates in the cloud, so does mean you can only use it when you’re online? Nope! G Suite has increasingly good offline functionality that enables you to access your Gmail, Google Calendar and Google Drive while offline. In this blog post, I’ll explain how to setup offline functionality for each of these applications.

Wondering if it is possible to use #GSuite offline? The answer is yes! Learn how here. Click To Tweet

 

Gmail offline

The refreshed Gmail interface (released in May 2018) includes in-built offline functionality in the Google Chrome browser. Unlike the previous offline tool that operated in a lightweight application, this works within the regular Gmail interface. While offline, you can:

  •  Access up to the last 90 days of emails and attachments (the default is 30 days, but this can be changed).
  • Read and respond to emails.
  • Compose new emails.
  • Search for emails.
  • Label emails.

When you are next online, Gmail will automatically send emails that have been stored in your Outbox.

You can now access the full #Gmail interface offline! Here’s how to set it up. Click To Tweet

 

Enabling offline Gmail

Be sure that you have switched to the new Gmail interface before following these instructions (you will find this option on the Settings (cog) button). Offline mode should only be used on your own device (not a shared device).
Note: Your G Suite domain administrator can choose to disable Gmail Offline for your organisation. If you do not see the settings below, speak to your IT support.

1. Click the Settings (cog) button > Settings.

2. Click the Offline tab.
3. Tick the Enable offline option and choose your required settings.

4. Click Save changes, then Got it.

Accessing Gmail while offline

To use Gmail offline, simply open Google Chrome and use a bookmark or shortcut to open Gmail. If you don’t have one, you can also visit https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox.
Tip: The instant spell check feature will not work in offline mode, so you might like to pay some extra attention to your spelling when composing emails!

Accessing Gmail offline on mobile apps

Both the iOS and Android Gmail apps have offline functionality which allows you to read, compose and file messages. However, note that not all mail will be accessible while offline. If you are planning to be offline, I recommend going in to the app and refreshing the labels you may want to use offline to ensure the mail within them has been downloaded.

Google Calendar offline

Offline functionality for Google Calendar is currently only available from the mobile app (for iOS and Android). Once you’ve got the app installed, you can create events, view and edit existing events and respond to event invitations all while offline. When you’re online again, these changes will be updated in your calendar and other’s calendars.

Google Drive offline

The Google Drive web interface can be used offline after offline functionality has been enabled. However, this will only provide offline access to Google Docs, Sheets, Slides and Drawings (Google Forms and My Maps don’t yet work offline). If you also require offline access to non-Google files stored in Drive (such as PDFs and Microsoft Office files), you will need to use either Google Backup and Sync (for consumer Google accounts) or Drive File Stream (for G Suite accounts).

Want to access your #Google #Drive offline? Here’s how to set it up for both Google and non-Google files. Click To Tweet

 

 

Google Docs, Sheets, Slides and Drawings offline

Google Drive’s offline mode provides access to view, edit and create Google Docs, Sheets, Slides and Drawings in My Drive, Team Drives and Shared with me. Any changes made are synchronised back to the cloud when you are next online.
Note: If you are working on shared files offline at the same time others are working on them online, they won’t see your changes until you are back online. This could result in content conflicts which you may need to manage by working through the version history of the file. You may prefer to take a copy of the file before working on it offline.

Before you can access Google files offline, you need to enable offline functionality in the Google Chrome browser by following the instructions below. Offline mode should only be used on your own device (not a shared device).

1. Open Google Drive in Google Chrome.
2. Click the Settings (cog) button > Settings.

3. Tick the option to Sync Google Docs, Sheets, Slides & Drawings files to this computer so that you can edit offline.

4. Click Done.

Your files will now begin to synchronise to the Chrome browser. To use Google Drive offline, simply open Google Chrome and use a bookmark or shortcut to open Drive. If you don’t have one, you can also visit https://drive.google.com/drive/my-drive.

Non-Google files offline

To access non-Google files offline, you will need to install and configure either Google Backup and Sync (for consumer Google accounts) or Drive File Stream (for G Suite accounts). Google Backup and Sync will automatically download the files and folders you select during installation, meaning they are available offline immediately. However, it can only be used to access the contents of your My Drive. Drive File Stream can be used to access My Drive and Team Drives, however you must explicitly make these files available offline.

Note: If you are working on shared files, Google will attempt to consolidate versions when your files are synchronised online. However, this can be problematic and should be treated with caution. You may prefer to make a local copy of the file before making substantial changes.

The instructions below are for the installation and configuration of Drive File Stream. If you want to use Google Backup and Sync, refer to this blog post.

1. From within Google Drive, click the Settings (cog) button > Download Drive File Stream for Windows.
Note: If you do not see this option, try downloading it directly.

2. Download and install Drive File Stream.
3. Follow the instructions to login to Drive File Stream.
Note: If you are unable to install or configure Drive File Stream, talk to your IT Support.
4. After installation and login is complete, navigate to the Drive File Stream drive on your computer. You will find this in Windows Explorer (Windows) or Finder (Mac).
5. Locate the file or folder you want to access offline.
6. Right-click the file/folder, select Drive File Stream > Available offline.

Accessing Google Drive offline on mobile apps

You can access Google Drive files (both Google and non-Google files) offline in the Google Drive iOS and Android apps. Follow the instructions below to enable offline access.

1. Locate the file you want to access offline and tap the three dots button on the right.
Note: You cannot currently make folders available offline.

2. Toggle on the Available offline option.

3. These files will be shown in the Offline section of the Google Drive app (tap the menu button with the three lines to access).

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