Ever since Google introduced Google Docs in 2007, the included-spreadsheet function Google Sheets has been one of its most popular features. There has been a lot of changes to this spreadsheet feature over the years, but most recently its underwent its biggest change ever, with Google completely redesigning Google Sheets from the ground up.

Google Office Apps are mainly used by people who are always online. For those who can’t always be online – like frequent train riders or those who fly often, will especially love this new change to Google Sheets – the addition of offline functionality. This was an often requested feature for Google Office Apps.In addition to the offline feature other longtime requests have also been added, making this recent version of Google’s spreadsheet app the best yet.

Our guide will outline how to use Google Sheet’s new offline feature and will highlight other features added to this popular app.

Activating the Spreadsheet Upgrade

To use the new Google Sheets, you first need to “opt in” to Google Sheets in your Google profile. To do this, first login to your Google account then click the drop-down menu in the top-right corner of your screen and click “Drive.”


Once you’re in the Drive area of your account, click on the “gear icon” in the top-right corner of the screen. A drop-down menu will appear and select “Settings.”


Next, click the “Editing” tab in the “Settings” area, and select the check box that reads, “Try the new Google Sheets.” Make sure you also click “Save” before exiting this area.


Using Google Sheets Offline

As you begin using Google Sheets, it’s important to note that all new spreadsheets made in Google Sheets can only be opened in the latest version of Google Sheets. Alternately, the same goes for any previous spreadsheets you made in the older versions. Those files will only be able to be opened in the old version of Google Sheets.

As for using Google Sheets offline, and all other Google docs for that matter, doing so is quite easy. However, you’ll first have to give permission to Google so you can access your spreadsheet files offline. Also note, accessing Google Sheets files offline can only be done in the Chrome browser. To enable offline access, make sure you’re in the Chrome browser while in Drive and click the “More” drop-down menu on the left-hand side of your screen.


After clicking “More,” select “Offline.”


When you click “Offline,” the middle part of your screen will change, giving you an overview of the new offline editing option available in Google Sheets. Click “Enable Offline” to complete setting up access.


Next, Google will setup offline access for you. When its completed, at the top of your screen in Drive there will be a message letting you know offline functionality is currently up and running.


Once you’ve enabled offline access, Google will sync your files as you work on them, saving a copy to your hard drive so they’re available offline. Google however only saves up to 4,000 items or up to 5 GB of data.

What’s viewable offline

After you enable offline access for Google Sheets, it’s also important to note that not all features are available offline. On a regular PC with Chrome, you can view and edit your spreadsheet files. However on both the Android and iOS, only viewing spreadsheet files offline is available, with no editing capabilities allowed.


Additional Features Added to Google Sheets

In addition to providing offline access, other exciting features have been added to Google Sheets. Ongoing conversations between document editors can now be conducted within cells, which is another feature users have wanted for a while. There is also no longer any limits on how many cells you can copy and paste.

Advanced conditional formatting improvements, new spreadsheet functions such as SUMIFS and COUNTIFS, advanced filter views, improved formula editing and an overall faster version of Google Sheets have also been added.


For anyone doing a lot of spreadsheet work on the road, the new Google Sheets is dream come true. Just remember offline access can only be setup on a computer-by-computer-basis for security reasons. And if you’re a Chrome iOS user, note that offline access data is setup by default, making enabling offline access unnecessary.

For more information on free spreadsheet software, check out our post – See How Easily You Can Ditch Microsoft Office For OpenOffice

Check out this new feature: Google Sheets Offline