Google Workspace (previously called G Suite) is a cloud platform that offers various productivity, collaboration, and business applications developed by Google. As an administrator, you have a lot of access and control over these apps.
But did you know you can also enable offline access as a G Suite admin?
With the correct settings, you can allow all the users connected with your Google Workspace business account to use applications such as Gmail, Drive, Docs, Calendar, and many others without internet connectivity.
If you’re an admin for your G Suite business account, this article will show you how you can enable offline access for your company users.
Let’s get started.
Enable Google Docs Editors Offline Access As A G Suite Admin
Google Workspace is a collection of various applications like Docs, Drive, Slides, Gmail, Sheets, etc.
While individual users can enable offline access to their applications for personal accounts, offline access to Google Workspace apps for business accounts can only be enabled by an admin.
Therefore, if you want to enable offline access to G Suite apps, you must first sign in with your admin account (not your personal Google account).
In this step, we will enable offline access for Google document editors, including Google Sheets, Google Docs, and Google Slides.
By default, offline access to these applications is enabled, and users can turn it on or off for their personal accounts.
As a G Suite admin, here’s how you can manage these settings.
Visit the Google Workspace website and click Admin console on the top of your page.
Sign in to your Google Workspace admin account.
Go to Apps→ Google Workspace→ Drive and Docs from the Google Workspace admin console homepage.
In this section, click Features and Applications.
Next to Offline, select Allow users to enable offline access.
This will enable offline access to Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides for your Workspace users from any systems they trust.
However, to enable offline access, every user needs to sync their files for offline use to complete the process.
Here’s how to do it.
How Users Can Enable Google Workspace Offline Access
To ensure that G Suite offline access works properly for all users associated with your Google Workspace business account, they need the following.
An Active Internet Connection
For offline access to work correctly, your associated user accounts need to have an active internet connection. Users only require connectivity when setting up offline access. Once it is configured properly, they can access their files offline.
Google Chrome as the Default Browser
Google Workspace offline access is only available for Google Chrome users. Therefore, users associated with your Workspace business account need to have Google Chrome as their default browser before enabling offline access.
Google Workspace offline access configuration only works in the regular browsing mode in Google Chrome. So users must ensure they’re not using Private or Incognito browsing modes while using Workspace offline. Otherwise, they won’t be able to configure it properly or access their files offline.
Google Docs Chrome Extension
To enable offline access, every user associated with your Workspace account needs to install the Google Docs Offline Chrome Extension.
This extension is available for free in the Chrome Web Store and allows you to enable offline document access and file syncing for Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides.
Here’s how you can download and install it to your Chrome browser:
Open Google Chrome on your computer and make sure you’re signed in to your Chrome browser with your Google account associated with Google Workspace.
Go to the Google Docs Offline Chrome extension page and click Add to Chrome to install the extension.
Wait for the installation to complete, after which you’ll see a confirmation message from your Chrome browser.
Once the installation is complete, go to File Menu→ Settings in your Chrome browser.
Click Extensions in the menu on the right side of your screen.
Find the Google Docs Offline extension on the Extensions page and toggle the switch to turn it on.
You have successfully installed the Google Docs Offline Chrome extension, which will allow you to sync your files and use Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides offline after an admin enables offline access for your Google Workspace account.
Enable Offline Access For Individual Users
Once you’ve enabled offline access as a G Suite admin, the associated users need to enable offline access from their account settings as well.
Here’s how an individual user can enable or disable offline file access for Google Docs, Slides, and Sheets.
Open Google Chrome on your computer and make sure you’re signed in to your Google account associated with Google Workspace.
Go to your Google Drive account.
Click on the Settings icon on the top left of your screen.
Click Settings from the dropdown menu.
In Settings, click the checkbox next to Offline – Create, open, and edit your recent Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides files on this device while offline.
Click Done to complete setting up offline access.
With this setting enabled, you can now create, open, and edit files in Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides in your Chrome browser even when you don’t have an active internet connection.
Once you’re back online, your browser will automatically sync your files with your Google Workspace account and update all your files.
Save Google Docs, Sheets, And Slides For Offline Use
Now that users have enabled offline access to their Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides files from Google Drive settings, they can enable or disable offline access for individual files in their accounts.
Here’s how you can do it as a Google Workspace user.
- Open Google Chrome.
- Sign in to your Google account associated with Google Workspace.
- Go to your Google Drive account.
- Right-click on your desired file.
- Turn on the Available offline switch from the menu.
To enable this option for multiple files, press and hold CTRL and click on all the relevant files to select them. Then let go of CTRL and right-click on any of the selected files to open the options menu and turn on the Available offline option.
Once a file has been successfully made available offline, you’ll see a small tick mark next to it.
You have now successfully enabled offline access for these files. As a result, you can now create, open, edit, and save files in Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides even without internet connectivity.
Using Google Drive For Offline File Editing
Once you enable offline file access as a G Suite admin, your team members can access their files in Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides using the Chrome browser.
Additionally, they can directly access, edit, save files from their computers using the Google Drive offline application.
Here’s how users can do it:
Sign in to your Google account associated with Google Workspace.
Once the download is complete, run the installer application to set up Google Drive on your computer.
Sign in to your Google account from the Google Drive application by clicking Sign in from browser.
Login using your Google account credentials. Once you’ve successfully signed in and see the confirmation message, close the window.
You’ve successfully set up your Google Drive offline application on your computer and can access it from your Windows taskbar (on the top right of the screen for Mac users)
To enable offline access for files, click on the Google Drive icon in your taskbar.
Click on the folder icon to open the Google Drive folder on your computer.
Right-click on the files or folders that you want to access offline.
Go to Offline Access in the menu and click on Available offline.
You can now access these files or folders without an internet connection as well.
The files or folders you enabled for offline access from your Google Drive account are also visible in the Google Drive desktop app.
Any changes you make to these files will be synced with your Google Drive account once you’re back online.
This wraps up our section about setting up offline access for Docs, Sheets, and Slides. As you can see, once you enable offline access as an admin, the users associated with your G Suite account need to set up offline access for individual files from their personal accounts.
Gmail Offline Access
As a G Suite admin, you can also allow the users associated with your account to access Gmail offline. This feature allows you and your team to access, compose, edit, and label emails using Gmail even when there’s no internet connection.
However, you won’t be able to send or receive emails without an internet connection. When you or your team compose a new email, Gmail offline stores it in the Outbox folder.
Gmail syncs the offline data with your account and sends any emails in the Outbox folder when you’re back online.
Enabling Gmail access as a G Suite admin involves two steps:
- You (the account admin) enable Gmail offline access for your Workspace accounts.
- Every user associated with your Workspace account individually enables offline access from their Gmail accounts.
How to Enable Gmail Offline as a G Suite Admin
It is very straightforward to enable the offline settings for Gmail. Here is how:
- Visit the Google Workspace website.
- Click Admin console on the top right of the screen.
- Sign in to your Google Workspace account using your admin credentials.
- In the Admin console area, go to Apps→ Google Workspace→ Gmail→ User settings.
- Scroll down to Gmail web offline.
- Check the box next to Enable Gmail web offline.
- Click Save.
You have successfully enabled Gmail web offline access for your Google Workspace users. However, these settings can take up to 24 hours to take effect.
How Users Can Enable Gmail Offline Access
Now you need to ask your associated users to enable Gmail offline access from their accounts.
Here’s how they can do it:
Sign in to your Gmail account associated with Google Workspace.
Click on the Settings icon and then click See all settings.
In the Settings area, click the Offline tab.
Check the box next to Enable offline mail.
In Sync settings, select the duration of your email backup.
In Security settings, choose whether to keep the emails on your system or discard them after signing out of your Gmail account.
Click Save Changes to apply the settings.
You can now easily access Gmail offline by visiting mail.google.com in your Chrome browser, even without an internet connection.
Common Problems When Enabling Offline Access as a G Suite Admin
While it’s not complex to set up Google Workspace for offline use, you or your team members might face issues using it because of the following common problems.
Using The Wrong Google Account
When enabling offline access as a G Suite admin, the most common problem is using the wrong Google account. To make any changes to your G Suite admin account, you must sign in using your admin credentials.
Users commonly face problems accessing their Admin console because of mistakenly signing in with their personal Google account.
So make sure you’re using your G Suite admin account when enabling offline access.
Incorrect User Settings
Enabling offline access for G Suite applications involves a couple of steps, as mentioned in this article. Once you allow offline access as a G Suite admin, your associated users must configure their account settings to access their files without an internet connection.
However, users commonly face issues accessing G Suite offline because of incorrect settings in their personal accounts.
To counter this problem, create and share step-by-step guidelines with your team to help them configure their accounts properly.
All G Suite applications require free storage on your computer to function properly when offline. Gmail, Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Drive all consume a significant storage volume on your computer, depending on your data. If your system runs out of space, none of the G Suite offline apps will function properly.
Therefore, ensure that your system has sufficient storage capacity to save your Google Workspace offline data.