How to edit Google Docs offline on your computer or smartphone

How to edit Google Docs offline on your computer or smartphone
It's easy to use Google Docs - whether online or offline.Shutterstock
  • You can edit Google Docs files offline if you've synced them with your device beforehand.
  • Both the Google Docs website and mobile app support offline editing.
  • Enabling offline editing in Google Docs is great for users without a steady internet connection.

Google Docs is great - until you lose your internet connection and suddenly lose all editing access.

It's frustratingly common, but avoidable: if you enable it while you still have internet, you can sync any Google Docs file to your device and edit it offline. Note: You'll need an internet connection to download the files, and they'll take up space on your device.
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Here's how to enable offline editing on both the Google Docs desktop website and mobile app.

How to edit Google Docs offline on desktop

1. Open Google Chrome and log into your account, and then go to https://drive.google.com/drive/settings.

2. In the Offline section, tick the box next to Create, open and edit your recent Google Docs, Sheets and Slides files on this device while offline.
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How to edit Google Docs offline on your computer or smartphone
Toggle the "Offline" checkbox.Devon Delfino/Insider

3. If you have any Google Docs pages open, refresh them.

4. To download specific files, head to the main Google Docs page and right-click on any file, and then select Available offline.
How to edit Google Docs offline on your computer or smartphone
You can make specific files available offline.Devon Delfino/Insider

How to edit Google Docs offline in the mobile app

Both iPhone and Android users can save Google Docs for offline editing.
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1. Open the Google Docs app and find the file that you want to edit offline.

2. Tap the three dots next to its name and select Make available offline. Your file will download, and a checkmark icon will appear on the thumbnail once it's done.

How to edit Google Docs offline on your computer or smartphone
You can make your files available offline from this menu.William Antonelli/Insider
Now when you're left without internet access, you can simply open your Drive app, tap the three stacked lines in the top-left corner, and then select Offline. You'll be shown all the files you can edit offline.
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Quick tip: You can also set it so any documents that you've opened recently will be downloaded automatically. Tap the three stacked lines in the top-left corner and select Settings, and then tap the switch next to Make recent files available offline.

How to edit Google Docs offline on your computer or smartphone
Flip on the switch to make your files available offline.William Antonelli/Insider
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