Chromebooks are best used with an internet connection. However, if you are prepared enough, going offline on a Chromebook can be a much better experience. There are Chrome apps designed to work perfect even when you are offline. When you aren’t online, you can still do lots of things with your Chromebook. However, it is important to learn how to use your Chromebook offline while you are online (need to read about using your Chromebook offline at least the first time).
What Can I Do On My Chromebook When It is Offline?
- Write emails. Gmail Offline is built to support offline access, allowing mail to be read, responded to, searched, and archived without network access. Gmail Offline will send your messages as soon as Wi-Fi is available. Install the Gmail Offline app from the Chrome Web Store. 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.
- View appointments. With offline access from the Google Calendar app, you can view a read-only version of your calendar.
- View, create, and edit documents. The Google Drive app lets you view and edit Google Docs, Slides, Sheets, and Drawings files.
- View and edit photos. Your Chromebook comes with a built-in photo editor, so you can view and edit photos that are saved to your Chromebook.
- Listen to music. You can play music stored on your Chromebook when you’re offline. Copy music files to your Chromebook directly from a storage device like a USB stick or SD card.
- Watch videos. You can download movies and TV episodes to watch offline with the Google Play Movies & TV app. Learn how to download videos on your Chromebook.
- View Microsoft Office and Adobe .pdf files. You can easily use your Chromebook to view Microsoft Office or Adobe files without an Internet connection.
- Take notes. With Google Keep, you can take and save short notes that will save to the cloud the next time you’re online.
- Read offline web pages. If you’ve saved web pages for offline viewing later, they will open in Google Chrome on your Chromebook.
- Use other web apps. Some web applications also have offline counterparts, which you can find in the Chrome Web Store. These include The New York Times and Cloud Reader from Amazon.
- Play games. The Chrome Web Store offers hundreds of games, many of which are also available offline, like Angry Birds and Cube Slam.
- Not use a Chromebook Offline? Enjoy some fresh air and peace and quiet!
Using Your Chromebook Offline Video
Enable offline file syncing in Google Drive
Setting up Google Drive to sync files offline on your Chromebook is really simple and it works on any desktop or laptop that runs the Chrome browser as well as on Chromebooks. To enable offline syncing:
- Click the settings cog at the top right of the screen.
- Click Settings.
- A Settings window will appear with several options. Check the box next to Offline.
Once you’ve done this all of your Google documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and drawings will be available even when you don’t have a network connection. This only includes files created in Google Docs — so if you’ve uploaded video file or lots of photos these won’t be available. You can tweak other setting to store photos on your Chromebook’s hard drive. If you need more storage space, look at these Chromebook external hard drives.
Where is offline sync in Google Docs?
In the upper right corner, click the settings icon > Settings. In the “Offline” area, check the box for Sync Google Docs, Sheets, Slides & Drawings files to this computer so that you can edit offline. If you use Google Apps for Work or Google Apps for Education, you must enable offline access:
- Go to docs.google.com (or sheets.google.com or slides.google.com).
- Click on the menu icon at left.
- Select Settings.
- Look for “Offline Sync” and click “Turn on.”
In the “Offline” area, check the box for Sync Google Docs, Sheets, Slides & Drawings files to this computer so that you can edit offline. Click Done. Wait for a few minutes. Your Chromebook will automatically save your Google Drive documents so you can read or edit them when you’re offline.