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How to Use Gmail’s New Offline Mode

Some time ago, Google announced a host of updates and tweaks to Gmail, including a complete redesign of the UI and some new features. One of the new features that slipped under the radar was the ability to read and respond to messages while you’re offline. Most of the newly announced changes were made live then, but offline mode wasn’t quite ready until last week. Last week during Google I/O offline mode was officially available for Gmail users.

Offline mode is only available for people using Chrome, so if that isn’t currently your browser of choice, you’ll need to download it for starters. Also, you’ll need to switch over to the new Gmail UI for offline mode to work. You can enable it by clicking the Settings menu on the top right side of Gmail and then select “Try New Mail” from the drop-down menu.

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Once you’ve enabled the new version of Gmail, tap on that Settings icon again and then select Settings from the drop-down menu. Scroll to the “Offline” menu option from the top toolbar (this is the same place you’ll see General, Labels, and Accounts and Imports options), and then check the box beside “Enable offline mail.”

When you do, you’ll be prompted to select how many days of messages you’d like to sync with your computer. We’d recommend keeping the number on the lower side if you receive a lot of emails. A week is ideal for most folks. Once you’ve made your selections hit “Save Changes” and you’ll be good to go.

For this to work offline you’ll need to have an instance of Gmail open on Chrome before you go offline, so make you’ve got one of those before you’re off to your jungle safari. Now, why would one need access to Gmail when on said safari is something left best unanswered, but still.

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