Google’s Gmail is unquestionably one of the most widely used email services out there. To improve its user experience, the Californian tech giant has come up with a breakthrough feature in the form of Gmail offline. When enabled, this new feature eliminates the need to have an active internet connection to be able to read and reply to Gmail messages, as well as to search for them. It will be useful for people who like to work on the go or in areas with little or no access to Wi-Fi or data services. Keep reading to learn more about how this new feature works and steps to configure Gmail offline on mobile phone and laptop/PC.
How to configure Gmail offline
Depending on the device you’re using, here’s a step-by-step guide to setting up Gmail offline:
Android users can activate Gmail offline using the built-in Gmail app by doing the following:
- Go to the Gmail app and click on the three-bar menu icon in the upper left corner.
- Scroll down the list of options and select “Settings“.
- Click on the Account you want to use Gmail offline.
- Go to the Data Usage section and check the box “Sync Gmail” box.
- Now press the “Email days to sync» and select the desired period.
To note: The number of days of mail you want to sync depends on the amount of storage available on your device. Typically, a day of emails takes up around 10MB of space.
Now you can now read, search, write and delete Gmail messages without Wi-Fi or mobile data.
Unfortunately, iPhone users will not yet be able to use the Gmail app to access the offline feature. However, they can configure Gmail offline via Google Chrome browser app. The process will be the same as activating the feature on a laptop/PC. Refer to the steps below.
Click on here to download Google Chrome for iPhone.
Here are the steps to access Gmail offline on your laptop/PC with Windows or Mac OS:
- Open Chrome browser on your device and navigate to google.com.
- Enter your username and password to identify.
- Once logged in, click the Settings icon in the upper right corner.
- Faucet “See all parameters“.
- On the page that opens, select the “Offlinetab “.
- Check the “Enable offline messaging” box.
- As soon as you check the box, new settings will appear under the option. Select the number of days of emails you want to sync with the “Sync Settings” option.
- Next, choose whether you want to keep offline data on your computer and delete it from your computer (depending on how much storage space is available for offline mail on your computer as shown in the menu) and click “Save changes“.
And There you go ! You are now ready to use Gmail offline on your computer. It is important to note that Google suggests you mark Gmail in your chrome browser so you can easily access your emails without an active internet connection. Read on to find out more.
How to Access Gmail Offline in Browser
In order to easily access your Gmail account offline, it is best to bookmark your inbox. Here are the steps to add Google to your Chrome browser and how to access it later.
- On your computer or mobile device, open the Chromium Browser (or app).
- Go to google.com and log in with your username and password.
- Once you have reached your inbox, click on the star icon at the top right of the address bar. Android or iPhone users should tap More (three dots) > star icon.
Next time you want to open Gmail offline, just find the bookmark in the Chrome browser under More (three dots at the top right) > Bookmarks and tap it.
How does Gmail’s offline feature work?
As of now, Gmail offline feature is available on Chrome browser only for laptop/PC and mobile users (except Android users, who can also use Gmail app) . It’s important to note that the offline option will only work if you’re browsing in normal mode, not private browsing.
Once configured, this feature will automatically sync your latest Gmail messages for offline access for a period of 7-90 days, depending on your settings. You can browse emails, search, archive or delete them in offline mode. However, when you send an e-mail in offline mode, it is placed in the Outbox folder and will not be sent to the recipient until you reconnect.
Here are a few other things you should know before you start using Gmail offline:
- The feature only works if Gmail is open in a tab. If you try to open it again, you will get a message saying “Gmail is open in another tab, switch tabs to use offline mail.”
- If you have a work or school account (on G Suite), you cannot enable the offline option on your own. You will need to ask the administrator to change the settings.
- The number of emails you can save offline is limited to the storage space available on the Chrome browser or your mobile phone.
- You must have a working internet connection to set up the feature before you can start using Gmail offline.
- You can only enable this feature if you’re using Chrome version 61 or higher. It is therefore essential to update your Chrome browser, if it is not updated.
Now that you have all the details about how Gmail works offline, let’s see how you can activate and use it on your Android phone, iOS device, and laptop/PC.
How to disable Gmail offline?
Before disabling Gmail offline, you must delete all offline data from your device. For the same, open Chrome and tap More (three dots) > Settings > Advanced > Content settings > Cookies > See all cookies and site data > Delete all. Then just go to Gmail Offline Settings and uncheck “Enable Offline Mail” to disable the feature.
Can I use multiple Gmail accounts offline?
Yes, you can enable Gmail offline for multiple accounts. However, it should be noted that you need to configure offline mode individually for each Gmail account.
My messages stopped syncing in offline Gmail. What to do?
You may run out of storage space to sync emails offline. Try these:
- Clear cache, cookies and old site data.
- Select fewer days to sync emails from Gmail offline settings.
- Uncheck “Download attachments” in Gmail offline settings.
Your messages may also stop syncing if you close Chrome. Open it again to start synchronization.
Why can’t I see email attachments in offline Gmail?
When using Gmail offline, you cannot preview attachments. However, you can download and open them with an application installed on your device.
My Gmail account shows “insufficient storage” error in offline mode.
There could be several reasons why you might be notified that you don’t have enough storage.
- You don’t have enough space on your hard drive.
- You are using incognito mode in Chrome.
- You are using a guest profile in Chrome.
- Your Chrome is set to clear all settings on exit.
Make sure you are accessing Chrome from your home profile in normal mode and have enough space to store offline Gmail messages. To fix the last issue, go to Chrome Settings > Advanced > Privacy & Security > Content Settings > Cookies and make sure mail.google.com is not listed under “Clear on Exit”.
Can I use Gmail offline without Chrome?
It is in fact possible. All you need to do is use an email client configured with Gmail SMTP and POP3/IMAP server settings. In this case, your emails are downloaded to your computer and hence you will be able to read, search and queue Gmail messages offline.
Is it safe to use Gmail offline on a shared or public computer?
It is not advisable to use Gmail offline on shared or public devices as your emails will remain stored on that device until the feature is disabled and someone else can potentially access them. If you need to use Gmail offline on a shared or public computer, you should remember to delete the Gmail offline cache after you’re done.