Enable Offline Access for Google Drive

Google Drive is the latest entrant to cloud storage services and was launched last week with 5GB free space for all users. The service is similar to other cloud storage services like Dropbox or Skydrive. But one important difference is that all the files in the drive are online by default and if you open files from local drive, it will be opened in the web version of Google Docs. But if you are always working from your personal computer, it is good that you have access to these files even if you are not connected to Internet like when travelling. Google provides users with an option to enable offline access if you have Google Chrome installed.

To get started, open Google Drive (https://drive.google.com/) from Chrome and them click on the options button and select Set up Docs offline.

Docs offline

The process of setting up has two steps, first is to Allow offline docs and second is to install the Google Docs extension for Chrome to view documents.

Set up offline access

Once you have done with the two steps, you can see the options to view offline docs from the options menu.

Offline docs

Whenever you want to disable offline viewing, you can do it from the same menu. When using offline docs here are the file permissions for different file types.

Google documents and spreadsheets: Can view, can’t edit

  • While you can’t edit Google documents and spreadsheets offline, you can view them without an Internet connection. Just point your Chrome browser to drive.google.com and select Google document or spreadsheet to view. View access isn’t available for Google presentations, forms, or drawings.

Non-Google Docs files that you’ve stored in Google Drive: Can view and edit.

  • You can both view and edit files such as PDFs, Microsoft Office files, and images, from your Google Drive folder even when you’re disconnected from the Internet. Any changes you’ve made to synced files while offline will sync to all devices with a time stamp when you reconnect to the Internet.
Nirmal is a Technology Blogger and a Microsoft MVP in Windows. Blogging has been his passion for more than a decade now, he started with this blog in 2007. He can be contacted at nirmal@nirmaltv.com. You can find Nirmal on , and .

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