If you use Gmail regularly, you have probably seen a notification on your account asking if you’d like to switch to the new Gmail interface.
It offers a whole new feel and appearance for Gmail users. Once you click on it, it will give you the options to choose the layout and you will have a fresher-looking Gmail inbox.
Another feature that Google has introduced along with the new interface is the facility to use Gmail offline. Though the announcement on this had come earlier, it is only now that the users are receiving the upgrade.
Here is how you can avail this facility and enjoy checking your emails and even send replies without being online.
New ‘Offline’ Gmail Available Only on Chrome
Whether you like it or not, Google is making the new “offline” mode available only to users who access Gmail on their Chrome browser.
If you are on any other browser, this would be the first step you will have to take: Download and install the Chrome browser.
1. Once you’re using the Chrome browser, log into your Gmail inbox.
2. You will see the settings icon on the top right. Click on it to get the drop-down menu.
3. Within that, there would be the Settings tab; again, click on it.
4. On this, there will be several options at the top, starting with General to Themes at the far right.
5. The last but one option is “Offline.” Click on it.
6. There will be the option with a box “Enable offline mail.”
7. You will need to tick the box and then and click on Save Changes to ensure the command is accepted.
Make the Proper Selections Before Using the Offline Mode
Once you have clicked on Save Changes, there will be a new dialogue box with some more options:
- Gmail will let you know that it has apportioned a small portion of the storage from the huge capacity the email box has for the offline usage:
- You will then have to choose the period for which you would want the messages from the inbox to be carried in the offline display
- You can do this for a maximum of up to 90 days; but it is preferable to keep this to a week (seven days) or at the most a month (30 days); the decision can vary with the individual’s requirement and usage pattern.
- Another choice relates to the downloading of attachments:
- The default has the box ticked already, which means you will be able to download attachments to emails in the offline mode as well. This is understandable since there may be very few people who would not want to see an attachment to an email if they have chosen the offline mode.
- If you belong to this minority, remove the tick and you can just read the main body of the emails and not open the attachments.
- The last thing you need to do here is to choose one of two options regarding the data remaining on the system when you log off and switch off the system:
- One option is to leave it there. The other is to sync it back with the online resource and get rid of it from the temp folder.
- Google has been prudent enough to warn the users that choosing the second option means the computer will take quite a while to synchronize the data between the offline and online modes, and it claims it may even take “hours.” As such, most people would want to click on the first option which says “keep offline data on my computer.”
Now, if you click the Save Changes button, you are ready to use the offline facility on your Gmail account.
What If You Wish to Opt out of Offline Mode?
That question must be the most relevant one since you may be handing over your computer to somebody or changing it for a new one and you would certainly not want the data to be lying around.
Here is how you can choose to get out of the Offline facility on Gmail:
1. First, you will have to remove the data from the system.
2. On the Chrome browser, select Settings.
3. As you scroll downward, you will find “Advanced.” Click on it to get the Advanced Setting dialogue window.
4. Go to Privacy & Security.
5. Under that, click on “content settings.”
6. You should then choose “Remove all” from the option “All cookies and site data.”
7. One more click is needed to confirm this by hitting “Clear all.”
8. The data from the offline mode of your Gmail stands cleared.
9.Finally, you will have to go back to the Settings within Gmail, as you did for choosing the offline mode, and remove the Enable Offline Mode option.
Some Other Things You Must Know
There are some additional details you should be aware of relating to this new facility in Gmail.
As already pointed out, you need to be running the Chrome browser and access the Gmail account from it.
Secondly, you will have to switch to the new Gmail format for the “Offline” mode option to show up in the Settings tab. It is not feasible to hold on to your existing interface and hope to avail the offline facility.
If you have multiple Gmail accounts, there is no difficulty with choosing the “Offline” mode in all of them, but you will have to log into each account before proceeding to steps 1-7 above to choose the mode.
There are occasions when one moves out of an internet-connected area and wishes they can check if any new emails have arrived. You need not wait until you get back the connectivity with this “Offline” mode. What’s more, you can type in your reply too when offline and press the Send button. As soon as the internet comes on, Gmail will arrange to forward it from the Outbox to the addressee.