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Good riddance, clunky Google Chrome extension! You can now make use of Gmail even if you are not connected to the internet. Let me show you how.

Gmail users, good news for you all, you do not have to be online anymore to be able to read, compose and reply messages. At last week’s Google I/O conference (where Android P was also made available to beta testers), the switch was finally flipped by Google to enable offline mail.

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Once you've switched over to the new Gmail, tick this box to enable offline Gmail
Once you’ve switched over to the new Gmail, tick this box to enable offline Gmail

Are you ready to try it out? Well, first of all, you need to know that this feature is only available to Chrome users only. Secondly, you will need to switch to the new Gmail, which Google has given to most accounts, especially new ones, but has not yet made the default. If you try enabling offline mode in the old Gmail, you will end up getting the old Chrome extension that is limited.

Once you have made the switch, click on the Settings icon (which still looks like a gear), then the Settings menu option.

Next step is to click Offline, then the box close to Enable offline mail.

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Now you will be face with three things to decide upon:

  1. How many days’ worth of messages would you want to store on your laptop? Gmail gives you the choice of 7, 30 and 90. Unless you are really strapped for storage, I would recommend that you go for 90 days — because why limit your backlog? If you want to retrieve older messages while you are offline, you should be able to do so.
  2. Download attachments? Unless you have an issue with storage is an issue, why not, definitely yes. It does not really make sense to make mails available offline if the attachments are not available as too.
  3. What will happen to your data when you are logged out of your Google account? Most users will probably prefer the “Keep offline data” option, because deleting it will most likely result in a potentially time staking resync the next time you log in.

After setting these options, click Save Changes and you’re done!

 

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