Things happen, and Internet connections can be lost. That being true, having no Internet connection doesn’t mean you can’t check your email, especially if you’re a Gmail user.

With Gmail Offline, an app that has picked up over two million users in the two years since it debuted, you can read, respond to, search and archive Gmail messages in the absence of an Internet connection. The app works by storing email activities in a separate synchronized local cache and officially “completes” your account activity once you’re online.

Things really can’t get any easier than this. Our guide will help you get started with Gmail Offline.

Set up and use Gmail Offline

Install Gmail Offline

To begin using this app, first, visit the download page for Gmail Offline, then click the blue “Add to Chrome” button.


After you click, follow the prompts to install the app, and open it from the App Launcher.


Using Gmail Offline

When you use Google Offline the first time, a new tab will open asking if you want the app to operate in an offline manner. Since the app creates a localized cache on your hard drive, do not use Google Offline if you’re using a public computer. Click “Allow offline mail” and then click “Continue.”


After allowing the app to work, it will open in its full glory in the same tab right away, and you will notice from the get-go that the UI is quite different than how Gmail looks when you’re online.

This UI is modeled after the Gmail app for Chromebook, and it’s sleek and easy to use. Many actually prefer this UI to the online version.


There is a slight learning curve in getting the hang of this interface, but most users should be able to get a hang of it after a few uses. All emails in your inbox are shown in the left column and the larger part of the window is for viewing emails.


To send an email from the app, just click the red icon “Compose” button at the top of the “Inbox” column to create an email as you normally would.


A pop-up window will appear as the compose area. Click “Send” when you’re finished. Gmail Offline will save the email and will send it the moment you get an internet connection.


There are several controls in the app which can be easily accessed under the black arrow icon in the top-right corner of the window. When you click the arrow, a black pop-up menu will appear with seven different options for email activities, such as “Moving” and “Labeling” messages to “Printing” them or “Marking them as spam.” The “Archive” button is also located by the arrow icon for easy access.


One of the cooler features of this app is the search function, which is found at the top of the “Inbox.” Just hover your mouse by “Search” and a cursor will appear.


After you click the field, the search field becomes surrounded in yellow so it’s easier to see, and the app can search through your archive, which only works if you’ve been online since first installing the app.


It’s easy to understand how Gmail Offline has become the darling of the add-on scene. It has a very polished look and provides one of the best ways to stay on top of your email no matter your connection.

If you like using Gmail offline, you should check out how to use Google Docs and Google Calendar offline.

Download Gmail Offline