Have you ever experienced working from a location where an Internet connection is not available? It may not happen all the time, but when it does, a lot of work gets put on hold, especially email. If you use Gmail, a good backup plan for this unavoidable situation is Gmail Offline, a Chrome app. This app allows you to access your Gmail without an Internet connection.
Access Gmail Without an Internet Connection
1. Log in to your Gmail account.
2. Install Gmail Offline from the Chrome Web Store.
3. Open a new tab in your browser. You should see a new icon (a blue envelope). Click on this to start using Gmail Offline.
4. On the next page, click the radio button for “Allow offline mail”. This option will allow Gmail Offline to save the latest email data to your computer. Note that this option is not advisable when using a public or shared computer. Click “Continue” to proceed to the next page.
5. You will now see your inbox in a slightly different interface from the actual Gmail app. Click on the gear icon on the top right corner of the screen to open the Settings page.
6. Beside “Download mail from past”, choose how emails you want downloaded onto your computer. This will be measured in time increments. For this review I selected two weeks, but you can go as far back as a month. Click Apply to save the change.
There are more features that are available to you in this page, including an auto-responder for automatically sending replies to all emails, such as letting your email contacts know that you may not be able to respond to emails at the moment. You can choose to send the automated reply to your email contacts, or your contacts within a certain domain.
7. Once you are offline, you should see your saved emails in your Gmail Offline inbox. You can view, reply, or delete emails – but these actions are not immediately executed until you are connected to the Internet again.
Replies and new messages made when offline will be sent to your Outbox, and this will be indicated by a pop-up on the bottom left portion of the screen. You can also check the Outbox folder to see if there are any pending items left. If there are, this means you are not online and the emails remain unsent.
8. When you have Internet connection back, Gmail Offline will sync the changes made within the app. If you want to do so manually, you can click on the Sync button on the top left corner of the screen, right above the inbox pane.
Email is undeniably a very important part of communicating with both personal and professional contacts, so it is truly hard to keep it on hold even for a day. Gmail Offline is not a complete solution in itself, but it does allow you access to Gmail without an Internet connection. In addition to letting you draft replies or compose new messages, it gives you a record of past email messages, so it’s easy for you to retrieve important information that you might not have access to otherwise. Gmail Offline is a great contingency plan, especially when you often find yourself without a network connection.
Do you have another method of accessing Gmail without an Internet connection? Let hear about it below in the comments.