Gmail’s redesign was a big hit with its users, but the features it enables are just as important as the visual aspect. Google is introducing Gmail offline support natively, with support for a number of activities.
Users can choose how many days of messages are stored when they don’t have a connection, with a maximum of 90 days. The result is the ability to search, read, archive and compose messages without a connection.
Unfortunately, there are some restrictions, namely the use of Google’s browser. You must have Chrome 61 or higher to make use of the functionality, with no native support for Firefox, Edge, or Safari.
For now, it’s also opt-in, rather than opt-out. First, you have to opt-in to the Gmail redesign, before heading to the new Offline tab in Gmail. You’re able to choose how many days of messages to save, as well as toggles to delete data after you sign out.
Naturally, this feature will take up space on your PC, so if you have very low storage space it’s worth thinking about carefully. However, the setting uses a maximum of 7GB and you can disable attachment downloads to ensure it doesn’t reach that.
If you have multiple accounts, you’ll have to sign into each individually to enable the feature. Emails will only sync when you log into that account, rather than automatically when you open the browser.
Gmail Offline Plugin
It’s worth noting that this functionality was previously available via Chrome extension, but the native integration should net it a much wider use. Google recommends users uninstall the old plugin, likely to avoid compatibility issues.
The native support also goes further than the plugin. The plugin supports a default of 7 days and a max of 30, whereas 30 is the default in the native feature. Overall, it’s well-worth enabling, even if you have a steady connection.