Preparing your Chromebook for offline use

using chromebook offlineChromebooks are unique in that most people will be using the Chromebook on Wifi. It’s more than a web browser. Your Chromebook can run real apps without an internet connection. However, there are many times when you will have to use a Chromebook offline. This article has some tips on preparing to use your Chromebook without an internet connection. Several offline Chromebook apps are discussed that people may find very useful. Why get a computer that you can only use on the internet? It is a big myth that you cannot use a Chromebook offline.


Do Chromebook Apps Work Offline?

Most Chrome apps are browser-based, but a few are so-called Desktop apps that can run offline and outside the browser, not only on Chromebooks but also on Windows PCs and Macs. Google announced these back in September along with a Chrome App Launcher for Windows, prompting lots of stories about how the company was trying to hijack the Windows desktop. But more than six months later there still aren’t very many of these new apps in the Chrome Web Store (they are listed under the “For Your Desktop” collection).


How to Work Offline on a Chromebook

The key to using a Chromebook offline is preparing ahead of time and ensuring your apps and data will be ready. When you no longer have the internet, you must have already downloaded all the apps and data onto your Chromebook

New-style Chrome apps offer the best offline experience, but Google hasn’t yet migrated all their old apps to new Chrome apps. Some Google services and third-party apps still require you set them up in the original way.


Using Gmail Offline on Chromebook

Gmail: Install the Gmail Offline app from the Chrome Web Store. You can read, respond to, and search your emails when you aren’t connected to the Internet using Gmail Offline. It will automatically sync new mail in the background. You can read your email and compose new emails when offline and the app will send them when you reconnect. Note that the Gmail Offline app is separate from the standard Gmail app and has a different interface.


Using Google Docs Offline on Chromebook

Google Docs: Install the Google Drive app. You can see your calendar and respond to event invitations while you’re offline Click the More option on the left side of the Google Drive website and click Offline. Follow the instructions to set up offline access, which will allow you to view, edit and create documents while offline. Just visit the Google Drive website while offline. Heavy Google Drive users should head to the settings page (click the wrench icon at the top right) inside Drive to enable offline storage.

Using Google Calendar Offline on Chromebook

Google Calendar: Install the Google Calendar app. Click the gear on the Google Calendar website and click Offline to enable offline support. You can then visit the Google Calendar website and view your calendar events while offline.


Using Google Keep Offline

You can take notes offline using Google Keep. First, if you’ve already taken notes, you’ll need to save them so you can read and edit offline:

  1. Make sure your Chromebook is connected to the Internet.
  2. Click the Launcher
  3. Open the Google Keep app
  4. Wait for a few minutes. Your Chromebook will automatically save your notes so you can see them offline.

After your Chromebook saves your notes, you can edit them or write new notes offline. Any changes you make will show up in Google Keep the next time you’re online.



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