Gmail continues to roll out new features after its design overhaul. Just a few days ago, the confidential mode went live. Now, there’s a new offline mode that you can enable. The new Gmail Offline Mode brings offline support for reading and writing emails. This is hardly Google’s first venture into offline apps. The entire Google productivity suite has an offline version and like the productivity suite, the Gmail offline mode is made possible with a Chrome extension.
Since this works with a Chrome extension, it comes with a major limitation; it only works with the Chrome browser and literally every other browser is locked out. You cannot use Gmail offline mode on Firefox or Edge. You also need to be on the new Gmail to use it, and you must be running Chrome 61, or above.
Gmail Offline Mode
To enable Gmail Offline Mode, visit the Chrome Web Store and install the Gmail Offline app. You can install the app directly or, you can open Gmail in Chrome, click the cog wheel under your profile picture, and select Settings. On the Settings page, go to the Offline tab, and select Install Gmail Offline.
Once you’ve installed the app/extension, return to the Settings>Offline page to configure your offline settings.
The configuration has you explicitly enable offline mode. Simply installing the app isn’t enough. Once you’ve enabled it, you can select which messages, subject to when they were received, will be kept offline. For example, you can keep messages that are seven, or ten, or thirty days old offline. You can choose to download attachments with the messages, or just download the message.
You also need to select what happens if you sign out of Gmail. The app can keep a copy of the messages on your system, or it can automatically delete them when you sign out of Gmail.
To access Gmail offline, open a new tab and the Gmail Offline app icon should appear with the other apps. If it doesn’t, visit the following page to access it.
The messages that have been synced offline will be available when you select the app. Give it some time to sync them all offline. You can archive messages, compose new messages, read the ones that have been synced, etc. The app is in beta so manage your expectations. We should also mention that this app will take up considerable space if you receive large attachments. It will save files to your user folder on your system so consider that when you configure it.