How to Turn on Offline Editing in Google Docs: A Step-by-Step Guide


Matthew Burleigh

Turning on offline editing in Google Docs is a straightforward process that allows you to keep working on your documents even when you don’t have an internet connection. Once enabled, you can create, view, and edit files with ease, and your changes will sync automatically the next time you’re online. Let’s dive into how to enable this handy feature.

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Turn on Offline Editing in Google Docs

Before we start, make sure you have Google Chrome installed on your computer, as offline editing only works in this browser.

Step 1: Connect to the Internet

First things first, make sure your device is connected to the internet. You’ll need an active connection to change the necessary settings.

Being online is crucial because you need to download the Google Docs Offline extension and ensure your files are up to date before you can switch to offline mode.

Step 2: Install the Google Docs Offline Extension

Navigate to the Chrome Web Store and install the Google Docs Offline extension.

This extension is what makes the magic happen—it allows your browser to save your Google Docs files locally so you can access them without an internet connection.

Step 3: Go to Google Drive Settings

Head over to, click on the gear icon in the top right corner, and select ‘Settings’.

The settings menu is where you’ll find the option to enable offline access for your Google Docs files.

Step 4: Turn on ‘Offline’ Setting

In the settings menu, under the ‘General’ tab, check the box next to ‘Create, open and edit your recent Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides files on this device while offline’.

By ticking this box, you’re instructing Google Drive to sync and prepare your recent files for offline access.

Step 5: Make Specific Files Available Offline

(Optional) If you want to ensure certain files are available offline, right-click on them in Google Drive and select “Available offline.”

This step is optional but recommended for files you know you’ll need to access while offline.

After completing these steps, your Google Docs will be set up for offline editing. The next time you’re without an internet connection, you’ll be able to open Google Chrome, head to Google Drive, and access your documents. Any changes you make will be saved locally and then synced back to the cloud once you reconnect to the internet.

Tips for Offline Editing in Google Docs

  • Always make sure your Google Chrome browser is up to date for the best offline experience.
  • Before going offline, manually sync your files in Google Drive to ensure all your latest changes are available.
  • Don’t forget to clear your local storage if you’re using a shared or public computer to protect your privacy.
  • Remember that while offline, functionalities like add-ons and certain formatting tools may not be available.
  • If you’re collaborating on a document, communicate with your team about when you’ll be working offline to avoid version conflicts.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if my files are available offline?

Files that have been made available for offline use will have a checkmark or “Available offline” indicator when you right-click on them in Google Drive.

Can I edit my Google Docs offline on a mobile device?

Yes, you can. The process is a bit different, but you can enable offline editing in the Google Docs app on your smartphone or tablet.

Will my changes sync automatically when I reconnect to the internet?

Absolutely! Any changes you make offline will be automatically updated in the cloud once you’re back online.

Can I make all my files available offline?

While you can make all your files available offline, it’s best to select only the ones you need to save storage space on your device.

What if I’m using a different browser like Firefox or Safari?

Unfortunately, offline editing for Google Docs only works in the Google Chrome browser at this time.


  1. Connect to the internet
  2. Install the Google Docs Offline extension
  3. Access Google Drive settings
  4. Enable offline editing
  5. (Optional) Make specific files available offline


With the world moving at a breakneck speed, being able to work anywhere, anytime, is more important than ever. Thankfully, Google Docs’ offline editing feature has your back. Whether you’re in the depths of a subway station, on a flight without Wi-Fi, or just trying to save on data usage, you now know how to keep the productivity ball rolling uninterrupted. Remember, the key is to be prepared—install the necessary extensions, update your settings, and sync your files while you’re still connected. Once you’ve mastered the art of offline editing in Google Docs, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it. So, go ahead, give it a try, and never let a spotty internet connection slow you down again!

Matthew Burleigh

Matthew Burleigh has been writing tech content online for more than ten years. He enjoys writing about Google Docs in addition to many other applications and devices and has cumulatively covered Google’s word-processing application in hundreds of different articles.

He has been published on dozens of popular websites, and his works have accumulated millions of pageviews.
While focused primarily on tutorials and guides for popular electronics like the iPhone and iPad, as well as common applications like Microsoft Word, Powerpoint, and Excel, he covers topics across the entire technology spectrum.

You can read his bio here.

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