A Step-by-Step Guide to Deleting the Offline Gmail Cache Data

The eraser end of a pencil rubbing on a white surface

 Daniel Grill/Getty Images

You can access Gmail even when you're offline, and even unsend Gmail Offline messages. The way it works is by caching your data locally so that even without a connection, your last-downloaded mail will still load and give you a page to draft new messages.

While this is a great idea if you're using Gmail offline on your home computer or some other trusted device, it's not so great if you've left your cached Gmail messages on a public computer where somebody else could potentially read your personal information.

Fortunately, Google makes it really easy to clear your Gmail cache and get rid of these offline files once and for all. This includes any offline messages and attachments.

How to Remove Gmail Offline Cache Files

Here's how to remove your offline data saved by Gmail:

  1. Enter this into the navigation bar in Chrome: chrome://settings/siteData.

    The option here is to navigate there manually by opening the three-dot menu button from the top right of Chrome and then choosing Settings from that drop-down menu. Scroll down and click or tap Advanced and then Content settings from below that. Navigate to Cookies and then See all cookies and site data.

  2. When that page opens, let all the cookies and other site data fully load. This is the complete list of all site data and cookies stored in your Chrome browser.

    From here, you have two options. First, you can press Remove All in the upper right of your screen. This will clear EVERYTHING, ensuring that all your offline mail is gone. It will also erase all other site data from every other site you've ever visited and sign you out of any sites you're currently on.

    Google Chrome site data

    The second option isn't so destructive, but it may leave some data behind, depending how Google's split things up. Scroll down until you see mail.google.com. Select the trash can icon directly across from the web address. This will delete everything coming from Gmail, including your backed up mail.

    Remove Gmail site data from Chrome
  3. If you went with option one, you'll be prompted with the a new window asking you to confirm clearing out all data. Choose the Clear All to continue removing all of the Gmail Offline data along with all of the other cookies stored in Chrome.

    Remove all site data from Chrome
  4. Whichever way you chose, return to chrome://settings, and select Offline. Uncheck Enable offline email to disable Gmail's offline mode.

    Gmail offline settings

Remove Data From the Gmail Offline App

If you're still somehow using the Gmail Offline app for Chrome, there is another way that you can remove your offline data.

  1. Visit this page in the Chrome URL bar: chrome://apps

  2. Right-click or tap-and-hold the Gmail Offline option and choose to Remove from Chrome...

  3. Choose Remove when asked to confirm.