Sometimes we need to work on our Google Drive files when we don’t have an Internet connection. So I’m going to show you how to access files in Google Drive using the Google Docs offline extension.

How to Access Files Offline in Google DriveThis comes in handy when you are traveling.

It is also a great tool for students and teachers with limited or no Internet access at home.

This process varies by device.

The post below details the steps for accessing files in Google Drive offline on desktops, Android, and iOS devices.

How to Access Files Offline in Google Drive

Below are the steps to get started with accessing your files offline in Google Drive.

This is NOT the same as backup and sync, which stores ALL your files on your local hard drive. This method shows you how to select individual files that you would like to make available for offline access.

If you aren’t connected to the Internet, you can still view and edit files, including:

  • Google Docs
  • Google Sheets
  • Google Slides

Save and open Google Docs, Sheets & Slides offline

Before you turn on offline access

  • You must be connected to the internet.
  • You must use the Google Chrome browser.
  • Don’t use private browsing (incognito).
  • Install and turn on Google Docs Offline Chrome extension.
  • Make sure you have enough available space on your device to save your files.

Open Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides offline

  1. Open Chrome. Make sure you’re signed in to Chrome.
  2. Go to drive.google.com/drive/settings.
  3. Check the box next to “Sync Google Docs, Sheets, Slides & Drawings files to this computer so that you can edit offline.”

How to Use #GoogleDrive Offline

Save Google Docs, Sheets & Slides for offline use

  1. On your computer, go to drive.google.com.
  2. Right-click the Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides file you want to save offline.
  3. Turn on “Available offline.”

To save multiple files offline, press Shift or Command (Mac)/Ctrl (Windows) while you click other files.

How to Access Files Offline in Google Drive

Preview offline files

  1. On your computer, go to drive.google.com.
    • Make sure you turn on offline access first.
  2. At the top right, click Ready for offline Ready for offline.
  3. Click Offline preview.

How to Access Files Offline in Google Drive

Here’s a quick video tutorial from Google:

If you use a Google Account through work or school and have installed Drive File Stream, learn how to save files offline on your computer.

Learn about Drive File Stream and Backup and Sync.

Offline on Android

If you aren’t connected to a Wi-Fi or mobile network, you can still view and edit files, including:

  • Google Docs
  • Google Sheets
  • Google Slides
  • Videos
  • Images
  • PDFs

Open files offline on Android

Important: You must be connected to the Internet to turn on offline access.

Turn offline access on or off

  1. Open Google Drive Drive.
  2. Next to the file, tap More More.
  3. To save a file offline, tap Make available offline.

Find files you saved for offline access

  1. Open the Drive, Docs, Sheets, or Slides app.
  2. Tap Menu Menu and then Offline.

Offline on iOS

If you aren’t connected to a Wi-Fi or mobile network, you can still view and edit files, including:

  • Google Docs
  • Google Sheets
  • Google Slides

Open files offline on iOS

Important: You must be connected to the Internet to turn on offline access.

Turn offline access on or off

  1. Open the app for Google Drive.
  2. Next to the file, tap More More.
  3. To save a file offline, turn on Available offline.

Find files you saved for offline access

  1. Open the app for Google Drive DocsSheets, or Slides.
  2. Tap Menu Menu and then Offline.

How has offline editing made your life easier? Please share in the comments below.


Looking for more Google Tips? Check out these posts:


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