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Google Docs can now be edited offline… but not without some work on your part.

For security reasons this feature must be enabled on each computer or mobile device you plan to use to edit your docs away from the internet. This is not recommended for public terminals or shared devices. Remember, you are enabling the DEVICE, not your account for offline access to your documents. If you are using a shared terminal that does not require a password for individual users, Google strongly discourages enabling this feature. With that warning out of the way, let’s proceed.

1) Log into your Google account, select Drive and click the gear icon. If you are using the “classic” look the gear is in the upper right of your window; “new look” users will find the gear just above your documents list.

2) From the drop down menu select “SET UP DOCS OFFLINE.” That will trigger a dialog box that says “Set Up offline viewing of Google Docs.”

3) Click the blue button that says “Allow offline docs.” You’ll have to wait a few seconds for this to take effect.

If you have Chrome installed – you are done!

4) If not, click on the blue button on the right side of your dialog that says “Install from Chrome Web Store.”

5) Once in the Web store, click “Install” on the right side of your browser window

Once installed you’ll arrive at a Chrome page with a “Google Docs” icon. Click that to return to your Docs list.

You’re all set!

To access your docs offline, just fire up Chrome, head for your docs — and have at it!

Google Spreadsheets are viewable (but not editable) offline, and offline access to Google Presentations is coming in the future.

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About The Author

Avatar of Cali Lewis

Host of GeekBeat.TV - Cali has been using new media and podcasts to talk about her passion - technology, gadgets and science - since 2005. Find out more about her at www.geekbeat.tv/about or on Cali's Google Profile.

2 Responses

  1. Jacqueline Nehama

    Can this be done on mobile devices that do not have chrome? My phone is still on Gingerbread. So I was wondering if the mobile app would be configurable. That would be very helpful.

  2. Curiosity63

    Hello Miss Lewis,

    thank you for the well written article! Also thanks for the easy to read guidelines in the article.

    Take care and greetings,
    nick.