One of the Chromebook’s most overlooked features will be incredibly useful for remote workers experiencing Wi-Fi issues.

How many Chromebooks have been sold since Google introduced the devices in 2010?

To paraphrase a pro wrestling legend, “Millions…and millions.”

Late 90s wrestling references aside, it is a lot more than that. As of this writing, it is more than just a few million. in fact, according to Statista, between 2019 and 2020, close to 40 million have been shipped worldwide.

That’s a lot of Chromebooks.

Chromebooks have been proven exceptionally popular for a variety of reasons. Thousands of organizations have taken advantage of Chrome OS to fully customize the software to fit teacher’s lesson plans or to keep businesses running. Individuals are also taking note of the machine’s sleek designs and easy-to-use interfaces as well, making them ideal laptops for consumers looking for an inexpensive portable PC.


However, there is one common misconception about these devices. Chromebooks look like they only operate at full capacity when connected online. Each of these devices can be set up to give their users offline access to various apps and services. This is a benefit for those who may lose power, have connectivity issues, or one of many other relatable situations involving Wi-Fi.

It may sound like a too-good-to-be-true scenario, and in some ways it is. One example of this is with streaming video and music. unless songs or videos are downloaded directly onto the device, music, and video cannot be streamed. If you are a remote worker or student who has to have Spotify playing, make sure you have your favorite album or playlist on your Chromebook. There are plenty of third-party apps that will work offline, including a myriad of PDF readers to QR code generators.

Here’s how to turn your Chromebook into an offline machine and keep your work going.

Google Drive to Offline

  1. Before starting, double-check to see if the Chromebook is connected to the Internet. If it is, continue to the next step. If it is not, make sure to have a stable connection.
  2. Download and install the Google Docs Offline extension.
  3. After that is log onto the Google Drive website.
  4. Click on the hamburger menu icon which will open a list of options. Select the Settings option.
  5. A menu will open and a toggle switch will be next to the word Offline. Click on the switch to enable the Chromebook.

If there are specific documents that need to be worked on a commute to work or a park without public Wi-Fi, that can be done as well.

  1. After making Google Drive available offline, click on the Launcher icon and then the up arrow.
  2. Click on either the Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides. This will open up a separate menu with all the files that are saved in its respective format.
  3. On the file you are looking to make available for offline use, click on the More icon.
  4. This brings up a submenu with the option Available offline. Click on that to make it accessible.

Offline Gmail

  1. Open up Chrome and log into your Gmail account.
  2. At the main screen, click on the Gear icon found in the top right corner. This will bring up various settings.
  3. On the top toolbar, click on Offline.
  4. After that menu is brought up, toggle the Enable offline mail checkbox.
  5. Click Save to enable offline email access.

It should be noted that emails can be written, read, and edited. All changes and actions within Gmail will be synced up and it will be updated once Wi-Fi is reconnected. So, those super important emails to your team or professor, they will be sent.

Chrome OS’ Offline Features

Browsing the Internet…without an Internet connection? Okay, it may not be like that per se. But if there are specific webpages or websites that a user needs to keep accessing, a website can be saved as a shelf shortcut. One thing to remember, however; the page may not load if it is typed into Chrome manually.

  1. Open up Chrome and click on the Menu icon on the upper right corner. It is the icon with the three vertical dots.
  2. Select More Tools, and click on the Create Shortcut option.
  3. Give the website a nickname or description and it will appear on the shelf at the bottom of the screen.

Offline Mode: initiated.

While Wi-Fi is becoming more available to homes and public spaces, there is always a chance of it going out due to a myriad of technical issues. So, it is good to know that there are backup plans for those situations, especially for remote workers or students typing away on their Chromebooks.


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