How to work offline with Drive and other Google productivity apps

Google offers a whole suite of apps that are free to use and are quite powerful. Docs, Sheets, and Slides are productivity tools that are an alternative to Microsoft Office apps.

Docs is a replacement for Word, Sheets for Excel, and Slides for Powerpoint. Google’s alternatives have very similar functionality, with new updates added regularly, and can be accessed for free from Android devices, PCs, Macs, and the iPhone/iPad.

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One common misconception is that you can only use these tools with a WiFi or cellular data connection. You can use these tools while offline when you don’t have access to the internet if you enable offline mode. Here’s how:

Work on Google files offline

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

Open files offline

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

Turn offline access on or off

  1. Open the Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, or Slides app.
  2. Next to the file, tap More
  3. To save a file offline, tap Available offline

To end offline access, complete the same steps.

Find files you saved for offline access

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

Turn offline access on or off

  1. Open the Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, or Slides app.
  2. Next to the file, tap More
  • In Google Drive: Tap Available offline.
  • In Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides: Tap Download & keep in sync.

Find files you saved for offline access

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

You can turn on offline access for your entire Google Drive, but not specific files. Offline access is only available in the Google Chrome browser.

Open your Google Drive files 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.”

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