Manage Google Drive Offline Files Easily | Ultimate Guide

What are Google Drive offline files and how to manage them? Just scroll down to get detailed information about Google Drive available offline.


by Ailsa Lasted Updated February 28, 2023

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What is the Google Drive Offline Files?

Google Drive offline files are the copy of Google Drive files (Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides) that you make available offline or that you’ve recently opened, for offline access even if you are not connected to the Internet. So Google Drive offline files are located on your local hard disk, and you can remove offline access to these files to free up storage space for your local disk.

Google Drive Offline Files

Here, we will figure out how to use Google Drive files offline for a better experience. Just follow the below steps to make them available offline in Google Drive on different platforms, like on the Google Drive website, Drive for desktop, and on Android, iPhone/iPad apps.

How to Use Google Drive Offline Files on Any Device

Use Google Drive Offline Files on the website

On the Google Drive website, you can open Google Drive files offline, save them for offline use, preview offline files, and edit offline files, let’s find out the detailed information:

Important preparations:

  • Ensure you have connected to the Internet.
  • You must use Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge browser.
  • Don’t use private browsing.
  • Install and enable Google Docs offline Chrome extension: Please go to Google Docs offline extension from the Chrome web store, and hit Add to Chrome > Add Extension, then it will be added.
  • Ensure you have enough disk space to save these Google Drive offline files.

Use Google Drive Offline Files on the computer

1. Please sign in to your Google Drive account in Chrome or Edge.

2. Tap the settings icon (Gear icon) > Settings to open Google Drive settings.

3. Tick the option Create , open and edit your recent Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides files on this device while offline under the Offline section.

Enable Google Drive Offline Files

Note: If you did not install the Google Docs Offline extension, it will prompt you to install it when you check this option, hit INSTALL to finish the process, and check the offline option again.

Extension Needed Install

Wait for a second, it will take some time to set up offline, offline setup complete message will show up on the bottom left when it is finished the configure.

Then the Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides will get the Available offline option, and the top right will show up the Ready for offline icon.

Available Offline Option And Ready for Offline

Preview Google Files Offline

1. Tap the Ready for Offline icon on the top right, and toggle on Offline preview.

Enable Preview Offline

2. Then the Offline preview turned on message will appear. And it will grey out the files that cannot be offline accessed.

Available And Unavailable Files

Now, you have an idea about which files are Google Drive offline files, if you want to make some files offline, you can follow the below steps to make them available offline.

Save Google Drive Files Offline

1. Please go to the Google Drive website, then right-click the Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides, then choose Avaliable offline.

Available Offline

2. It will show an offline icon behind the file name.

Show Offline Icon

Tips: You can use Shift and Ctrl key (Windows) or Command key (Mac) while selecting files to choose multiple Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides.

3. Now, you can access Google Docs from the Google Drive website even if you’re not connected to the Internet.

Google Docs Offline Access

Edit Google Drive Offline Files

If you’re off the Internet, you can open the Google Drive offline files from the Google Docs, Google Sheets, or Google Slides website.

1. Open the Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides files on the website when you cannot access the Internet. And the document's status shows Working offline.

Working Offline

2. Edit the files you want to modify.

3. After editing, it shows you the status, like saving, saved to this device at the top left.

4. Any changes will be synced to the Google Drive server when connected to the Internet.

So, you can keep files up to date everywhere.

Set Files Offline with Drive for Desktop

1. Please sign in to your Google Drive account, and tap the Google Drive icon from the taskbar.

2. Tap the account icon, and press the Google Drive folder icon behind the right Google Drive account.

3. Right-click the file or folder that you want to make available offline.

4. Click Drive for desktop > Available offline.

5. Then your Google Drive offline files will get a green check mark next to the file.

Use Google Drive Offline Files on Android

You’re allowed to view and edit the following files on Android phones even if you are not connected to the Internet (Wi-Fi or cellular data):

  • Google Docs
  • Google Sheets
  • Google Slides
  • Videos
  • Images
  • PDF files

To use Google Drive files offline on Android, just follow the below steps:

1. Please sign in to your Google Drive account on your Android phone.

2. Click the more icon (vertical three-dots icon) next to the file.

Make Available Offline on Android

3. Select Make available offline.

It will show you the message “File will be made available offline” right away. Now you can use the Google Drive offline files directly if you did not have an Internet connection.

Use Google Drive Offline Files on iPhone/iPad

Only Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides can be created, viewed, and edited on your iPhone or iPad when you’re off to the Internet.

Here is how to make it available offline on your iPhone or iPad:

1. Open Google Drive mobile app on your iPhone or iPad.

2. Click the more icon (the vertical three-dots icon) next to the file.

3. Toggle on Available Offline to save Google Drive files for offline access.

How to manage Google Drive Offline Files?

To make it easy to manage Google Drive offline files, you can go to Drive for desktop on your computer, and follow the steps:

1. Ensure you have logged in to your Google Drive account, and tap the Google Drive icon from the taskbar notification bar.

2. Select the Settings icon > Offline files.

Google Drive Offline Files on Desktop

3. It leads you to the Manage Offline Files window, here you can remove offline access to these Google Drive files and free up disk space.

Manage Offline Files Window

How to Free Up Space for your Limited Local Disk Storage

Although Google Drive offline files are quite convenient for you to modify and manage files, they will take up much space on your local drive. So, you can try to back up or sync files to Google Drive easily with the free cloud backup service - CBackup if you’d like to save files to Google Drive.

With CBackup, you can keep all the backup versions while Google Drive only keeps you up to 30 days versions, or set up the backup retention policy.
You can create Google Drive incremental backup to save cloud storage space.
Delete files on the local disk will not affect the backup files on the Google Drive server with CBackup.
You can enable Scheduler to perform Google Drive automatic backup if you like.

Preparations: Ensure you have uninstalled Google Drive for desktop app, then download the CBackup desktop app.

Download CBackupWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
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1. Please install the CBackup desktop app, register a free CBackup account and sign in.

2. Tap Storage > Google Drive > Authorize Now in order to complete the adding.

Select Google Drive

3. Select Backup > Backup PC to Public Cloud.

Backup PC to Public Cloud

4. Choose the computer files that you want to keep on Google Drive, and tick Google Drive as the target location. Hit Settings > Scheduler to run Google Drive automatic backup hourly, daily, weekly, or even monthly.

Google Drive Schedule Backup

5. Press the Start Backup button to backup files to Google Drive automatically.

Backup Files to Google Drive Automatically

To work seamlessly, CBackup provides the following useful features:
Merge two or more cloud drives to increase cloud storage for free, so you can increase Google Drive storage for free without any payment.
Migrate Google Drive to OneDrive, Dropbox and more directly without downloading everything and re-uploading manually to another cloud.
Besides, you can migrate Google Drive to Combined Cloud to free up Google Drive storage space.
Offers 10GB of free cloud space of CBackup Cloud, which allows you to expand to 1TB, 5TB, etc., at a good price.

The Epilogue

Now, Google Drive offline files usage information has been introduced in detail, just find the way you like to manage Google Drive offline files. Or you can remove files from your computer but keep them on Google Drive if you don’t want to take up much more disk space on your computer. Moreover, you can try the free cloud backup service - CBackup to sync files to OneDrive, Dropbox, Google Drive without a local copy, which saves much space for you as well.

Ailsa · Editor
Ailsa is an editor of CBackup, she has a good insight into cloud backup and cloud drive management, data backup and restore, and other data protection measures. She is pleasure in helping readers to solve computer problems. She loves shopping, traveling, and other beautiful things.

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