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© Mohamed Ahmed Soliman |

Use Google Drive on the go? You’re going to love this new offline feature

Google Drive is a great online application to collaborate with people and keep documents in one place. Even if you don’t have Microsoft Office, Drive allows you to use Google’s similar tools. Tap or click here for 15 smart ways to get more out of Google Drive.

But it comes with a rather big caveat: it’s an online repository of files, so when the internet goes down, you can’t access or work on them. That did change in 2019 when Google enabled the ability to make any file type available offline.

It was limited to G Suite users though, while the company tinkered with changes during the beta process. But now, all users of Google Drive can make their files accessible and editable when they have no connection.

Here’s the backstory

When you create a new document in Google Drive, you use the company’s version of Microsoft Office. These consist of Google Docs, Sheets, Slides and Forms. When using Drive, more file types can now be made available offline.

That is why the update rolling out is such a big detail. File types that can now be made available offline include:

  • PDF files
  • Microsoft Word files
  • JPG and PNG image files
  • Audio files
  • Other non-Google file types

When the files are marked available offline, you can access them through your browser for offline viewing.

If you use ChromeOS, there is an added function for you. You can select multiple files at once and make them available offline. To do this, select all the files you want, and at the top of the window slide the toggle next to Available offline to enable it.

The rollout will happen gradually for all Google Workspace users. So, if you don’t see the function immediately, know that it can take up to 15 days to reach you.

How to make Google Drive files available offline

The process to mark a file to be available offline is simple. In just a few clicks, you can access whatever files you select offline. Here’s how:

  • Open Google Drive
  • Right-click on the file you want to make available offline
  • In the menu that pops up, click on the option Available offline
  • Toggle the Available offline slider to on

Just keep in mind that you should notify anybody that also has access to the file to do the same. That way, when internet issues are resolved, the edited file will be updated for everybody.

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