Getting Ready To Go Offline With Your Chromebook – A Guide

Chromebooks are built to live on the Cloud. The experience is at its best when you are connected to the interwebs. Many say that it is at its worst when you are offline.

I disagree.

Of course, Chromebooks are not at their best when offline, but you can still do a lot of stuff when you are offline. But the problem is, you need to get ready for that before going offline. This post will you get started with that.

Offline Files

Most of your files will be on the cloud, with built in Google Drive. There are two ways to keep files offline. If you have files that you do not need on Google drive, and just on the device, you can put them in the Downloads folder on the file manager app. This folder is on the local drive and will be available offline. You can also keep a memory card on your Chromebook to store files offline.

Second option is to make files from your Google Drive available for offline use. For that, go to Google Drive section of the Files app and right click the file. Choose Available Offline.


Offline Gmail

For some, getting access to Gmail while offline is more important than accessing files. Getting offline Gmail is as easy as installing an app and downloading your emails. You can not download your entire Gmail here btw.

Install the offline gmail app from here. Launch the app, and Google will ask you if you want to allow access to this app, say yes and click continue (if you agree to give access, that is.)

By default, emails from one week will be downloaded. To download more, click the settings icon on the top right corner and select two weeks or one month from the drop down list Download mails form past.

Offline Calender, Tasks and Other Apps

There are plenty of apps available on the Chrome Web Store to help you get ready go offline. You can get offline calender, google task and many more. To view offline apps on the Chrome Web Store, click here.When you are on any app, look for a lightening icon and the text Runs offline which identifies the app as offline capable.

Editing Files Offline

You can edit your Google Drive Documents and Google Drive Spreadsheets even when you are offline. Here is how to set this up.

  1. Navigate to
  2. Click More on the left-hand side of the screen.
  3. Select Offline Docs.
  4. Setting up offline access is a two-step process. First, click the blue button that saysEnable offline docs. After a few seconds, you’ll be able to move on to the next step.
  5. On the right side of the dialog, click the blue button that says Install from Chrome web store. If you already have the app installed, you won’t need to complete this step.
  6. You’ll be taken to the Chrome web store. Click Add to Chrome in the upper-right corner of the browser window.
  7. Once the app is installed, you’ll be taken to a Chrome page with the Google Drive app icon. To return to Drive, click the Google Drive icon.
For more information, here is the Google Help link.

Playing Games Offline

Just like other apps, you need to get ready for this too. Browse the Chrome Web Store’s offline apps section and add some cool games. I am not much of a gamer, all I know is, Angry Birds app is available for you to hit pigs when you are not connected to internet.

Reading Books Offline

I am not sure if Google Books is available for offline access so that we can Google Play books without internet. But Amazon has a web reader app that lets you download books for offline reading. You can download the app from here.

Anything More To Add?

This guide is not complete yet. I am sure there are many more things that you guys want to do when you are offline. Do let me know in comments so that we can make this better.

In Category: Chromebook


Dinsan made Google Chrome his default browser within hours of its release. He fell in love with Chromebooks from the day he first touched one and is currently obsessed with Chromecasts.

Show 5 Comments
  • Mark 29/11/2012, 12:26 am

    Google Books works beautifully offline on Chromebooks.

  • Margaret 27/12/2012, 7:35 pm

    With Cabra flashcards, you can study offline. There is also an offline plantarium and periodic table. Great things for students.

  • Lent G 21/05/2013, 2:01 am

    Is a Chromebok a small Chromebook, having one less ‘o?’ (See the title 🙂

  • Roland Roberts 17/06/2013, 1:45 am

    I am having difficulty figuring out how to get video playback to function properly on my C7 Chromebook. Can anybody help me?

Leave a Comment