How to Access Gmail Offline in Your Browser

Read your email in Chrome without an internet connection

What to Know

  • Go to Settings > See all settings > Offline and select Enable Offline Mail.
  • Under Sync settings, choose how long you want Gmail to keep offline mail and whether or not you want to download attachments.
  • Under Security, choose whether or not you want Gmail to erase offline mail when you sign out.

Gmail can be used without an internet connection if you enable the Gmail Offline feature. Gmail Offline is handled in the Chrome web browser, and it lets you search, read, delete, label, and respond to emails. Use this feature when you're on a plane, in a tunnel, or camping out away from cellphone service.

How to Enable Gmail Offline

Gmail Offline is only available through the Google Chrome web browser, which works with Windows, Mac, Linux, and Chromebooks.

Before you can use Gmail while you're offline, set it up when you have an active internet connection. Then, if you lose the connection, Gmail will work in offline mode.

  1. Select the Settings gear in the upper-right corner of Gmail

    The Settings gear in Gmail
  2. Select See all settings.

    The "See All Settings" button in Gmail
  3. Select the Offline tab.

    Gmail settings with the Offline tab highlighted
  4. Select the Enable offline mail check box.

    Gmail settings with the 'Enable offline mail' option highlighted

    When your computer connects to a working network, emails that are queued up to send will be sent, and new emails will be downloaded or changed as you requested when offline.

  5. In the Sync settings section, choose how long you want Gmail to store offline mail and whether or not to download attachments.

    Gmail offline settings with the sync options highlighted
  6. In the Security section, choose whether you want Gmail to erase offline mail when you sign out of your Google account.

    Gmail offline settings with the 'Keep offline data on my computer' radio button highlighted
  7. When you're happy with the settings, select Save Changes. You can always revisit this screen to modify your settings at a later date.

On a Shared or Public Computer? Delete the Cache

Gmail Offline is beneficial and can be useful temporarily. However, someone else can potentially have access to your Gmail account if your computer is unattended. Delete the offline Gmail cache when you're done using Gmail on a public computer.

How to Use Gmail Offline Without Chrome

To access Gmail offline without Google Chrome, use an email client. When an email program is set up with the Gmail SMTP and POP3 or IMAP server settings, your messages are downloaded to your computer. Since they're no longer being pulled from the Gmail servers, you can read, search, and queue new Gmail messages while offline.

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