Working Offline

Accessing files from Google Drive on SBPS Chromebooks when no internet is available requires users to enable "Offline" in their settings and allow Google Drive and the Chromebook enough time to sync files.


Enable "Offline"

While connected to WiFi, students should place a check in the box next to the setting "Offline - Sync Google Docs, Sheets, Slides & Drawings to this computer so that you can edit offline."

The following links will take you to step-by-step instructions for setting offline access.

Google Docs Offline Setup (PDF)

Google Docs Offline Setup (Video)

The initial download of files on a Chromebook will take a while, but a typical school day of usage should be enough time. After that, downloading new files should go much faster. Students who know they will need to access a specific file offline may want to open that file while online, before leaving the network.

Start New Work

Students can always generate NEW work while offline by opening the Google Drive app and clicking the NEW button to create a new Doc, Sheet, Slide or Drawing file.

Access Files Offline

When offline, simply open the Files app on the Chromebook and navigate to the Offline folder to view a list of files.

  • If the title is in black text, it is available offline. Click to open the file.
  • If the title is in grey text or does not appear at all, you will not be able to open it offline.

Access Offline

Annotating PDF assignments offline

PDF files will work a bit differently. You will need internet access to initially open your PDF but can work offline if you keep the tab open. Step-by-step instructions are included in the following links for annotating over a PDF using Kami as your tool.

Editing PDF files offline using Kami (PDF)

Editing PDF files using Kami (Video)

ta-uw-rm-heading="level">Syncing Changes

Any work done in a file (new or existing) while offline will automatically sync with the original file as soon as the Chromebook is connected to the Internet and Google Drive is opened. Files with multiple editors are not well suited to offline work, as any work done by Editor A may be overwritten by the work done offline by Editor B when Editor B comes online.


To access Calendars when no internet is available, offline mode must be enabled. Reminders and Tasks are not available offline, and class calendars must be configured by the student to be available offline.

Things You Can't Do Offline

You cannot access web pages while you are offline. Also, some Google Apps features like spell checking, add-ons, sharing files, adding images, and downloading files are unavailable when you are offline. Please keep this in mind when trying to collaborate with others as this could have an adverse affect on files.