When they say Google Drive is everywhere, they mean it. Not only is it in the cloud, providing you access whenever and wherever you have an internet connection, but it can also live right on your hard drive, giving you access to the files you need, even when you’re offline.
Uses for offline Google Drive:
- When driving or flying (as a passenger!)
- When poor internet connections keep interrupting your workflow
- When traveling to areas of unknown or insecure internet
Students can also take advantage of this when they're at after-school practices without reliable connection, but want to get a head start on their Chromebook homework. To take advantage of the most useful aspects of Google Drive, you should access it through the Chrome browser. Installing it on your computer is pretty straightforward; just go here and follow the download instructions. If you don’t have a Google or Chrome account, get one (it’s worth it, and it’s free), then follow these instructions.
- Download all the Google Drive onto all of your devices.
If you want to edit your Google Doc (or worksheet, presentation, etc) from anywhere, all of your devices need to be on the same page. The Google Drive app is available on Android and Apple; download it on the devices you’ll be using for access. You’ll also need to download the Google Drive app onto our computer.
- Log into Google.
Signing into your Google account usually triggers automatic offline access so you’ll have instant access to the Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides.
- Enable offline access.
If you use Google Apps for Education or Google Apps for Work, you’ll have to manually enable offline access, which is as simple as going to google.com, click on the menu icon, and select Settings. Find “Offline Sync” and toggle it to “on.”
You’ll know you’re working offline in Drive when a gray circle with a lightning bolt appears next to your page title. Here's how to do it for Google Docs.
Remember, in offline mode, you can create, edit, and write until your heart is content, but you won’t be able to sync those changes to the online file or see anyone else’s contributions in a collaborative document until after you return to wireless. Syncing will happen automatically once your computer detects a familiar network.
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