Working Offline With G Suite (Google Apps)

Most people now accept the benefits of working in ‘The Cloud’ one of which is always having access to your files regardless of which device you have with you, collaborating on documents and excellent security measures. But one assumed disadvantage always seems to pop-up.

“What if I have no internet connection? I can’t get anything done!”

We hear this worry from time to time, but surprisingly, while it’s understandable there’s a lot you can do when disconnected. Google Apps lets you synchronise all of your Google files with your devices for use offline, so you really can work anywhere, on any device, at any time. In this guide, we’re going to show you how to setup your Google Drive and Gmail for offline use.

Drive Sync Tool

To download Drive for your laptop or PC, you can log into your Google Drive account in Chrome, clicking on settings in the top right corner and selecting “Download Drive” from the menu. Or else you can go straight there via this link.

Drive will automatically detect which kind of computer you’re using and prompt you to download the correct version for you.

Once the installation is complete, you’ll work through a Google Drive wizard which helps you get set up with your login and two-step verification.

At the end of the wizard, you’ll see a button labeled “Sync Options”. Click on this and it’ll display the Google Drive folder that all of your files will sync to, but if you want to edit this, you can just click “Change”.

Now, it’s time to select which folders from your Google Drive you want to have offline access to. Simply tick the boxes next to the folders you want to have stored offline and they’ll begin to download, you’ll then see green ticks next to the folders that are fully synchronised and can access them from the Google Drive folder. And if you want to upload any files, you can just place them into this folder and they’ll automatically sync the next time you’re connected.

Gmail Offline 

The Gmail Offline Sync Optimizer is an extension that helps you sync messages faster, improve battery life and keep Chrome running fast. There’s also a Gmail Offline app available for download which is currently still in beta.

Gmails offline features allow you to search through and view any of your emails while offline, as well as edit and create new emails. Once you send an email while in offline mode, it’ll go to your outbox and wait patiently until you reconnect. To get up and running with offline mode you can follow our quick guide below.

    • Sign into your Gmail account through Google Chrome
    • Click the gear icon in the right corner of the screen and select Settings.
    • From the navigation bar, choose Offline and click Install Gmail Offline.
    • Click the blue Add To Chrome box and choose Add from the Confirm New App screen.
    • After the app is finished installing, an Offline Google Mail icon should automatically appear on your Chrome app page.
    • Click the icon, select Allow offline mail and click Continue.
  • From now on your Gmail account will sync with your computer, allowing you to access your mail while offline.

Editing Files 

Google Drive operates the exact same way offline as it does when you’re online. So just open Google Drive, as usual, you’ll see all of your synchronised files, but the ones that aren’t available will be grayed out. As long as they’re Google formats – they’ll be available.

The same goes for saving your documents, it happens automatically as you make changes to ensure you’re never left with an old version or duplicates to complicate matters. Once you reconnect to the internet, the documents you’ve been working on will automatically be synced back into your account.

On Mobile 

The Google apps for Android and iOS both provide excellent support for the offline features allowing you to synchronise your smartphones and tablets. They don’t offer the same all-in-one setting as the desktop feature, but you can browse through your files and select which ones you’d like to sync to your device. You can do this by tapping the three dots icon next to the file of your choosing from the main screen of the app and selecting Keep offline.


If you’re interested in finding out more about working offline, Google For Work, or have any queries about the cloud in general, please don’t hesitate to get in touch via and we’ll be happy to help.