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Frequent traveller? No internet access? Here's how to enable Gmail's new offline mode

The new feature will eventually replace the legacy Gmail Offline Chrome app — here's how to get it up and running.

Published onMay 14, 2018

Gmail received a major feature at I/O 2018 in the form of Smart Compose. However, the new offline mode has been silently enabled for desktop users too, replacing the Gmail Offline Chrome app.

The mode allows you to read messages, search your inbox, and queue messages for sending — without an internet connection. Android users have had offline features for a while, but desktop support is a boon for people with limited connectivity.

How to get the Gmail offline mode

To access offline mode, you should be using the Chrome web browser, as this is the only supported browser. You’ll also need an internet connection to enable offline mode for the first time.

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Gmail Logo

From here, you should enable the new-look Gmail by clicking the settings/gear icon > try the new Gmail. Once you’ve enabled the new take on Gmail, you’ll need to visit the settings/gear icon > settings > offline tab. You’ll then want to tick the “enable offline mail” box.

Once you’ve ticked the box, you can tweak sync duration (e.g. storing emails for seven days, 30 days or 90 days), and choose whether to download attachments when syncing. Using a public computer? Then you’ll also want to make sure your offline data is deleted when you log out. This can be done by ticking the box labeled “remove offline data from my computer.”


Gmail offline mode

Once you’re happy with the settings, click the “save changes” button at the bottom of the menu.

Google says the legacy Gmail Offline app for Chrome will be discontinued in “late 2018,” so if you’re still using it, you’d better switch to the integrated mode before you’re left in the lurch.

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