The Chromebook is one of the cheapest computers on the market. But price is not everything. As we know, these machines have very little memory space and rely exclusively on the Cloud (network storage). Can you really use a Chromebook offline (without Wi-Fi)? You’ll be surprised at what you can do with Chrome OS without an internet connection.

Can you work without a network connection on a Chromebook?

Like everyone else, you’ve probably heard of Chromebook. The laptop running Chrome OS (Google’s operating system launched in 2011) is a new market segment in itself.

But among techies, these computers have bad press. Chromebook detractors blame it for its lack of features and its entry-level processors. Add to that a ridiculously low storage space that forces users to constantly use the cloud.

Without an internet connection, it’s impossible to access Google’s online services, especially office applications such as Google Docs. And yet, as you will see in the rest of this article, you can do all sorts of tasks with Chrome OS even offline. Indeed, the Google platform has several applications installed by default that are perfectly usable wherever you are.

Configure the offline mode of the Chromebook

I might as well tell you right now. The vast majority of applications in the Chrome Store do not offer offline mode. If you travel a lot abroad or if your mobile plan does not offer a large data envelope, this may cause you some problems.

Fortunately, Google applications work equally well with or without an Internet connection. No need to look for a free wireless access to open your documents or view your photos. But beware, these services require some configuration before being fully functional offline. We explain how to set up your Google applications.

Activate the offline mode of Gmail

It can always be useful to read an email or prepare a letter on the plane. Obviously without Wi-Fi access, the Gmail application will have a lot of trouble launching. We will see that it is still possible to access your email without a network connection

  • Open the Chrome browser on your computer
  • Go to the Gmail website accessible at this address: https://www.google.com/intl/en/gmail/about/
  • Click on the white Log in button
  • Enter your Google account credentials (email address and password)
  • Once logged in, click on the cogwheel icon
  • Select the Settings section and then the View all settings section
  • At the top of the window you will see a series of tabs (General, Inbox, Filters and blocked addresses etc..)
  • Click on the Offline tab
  • Check the box Enable offline mailAccéder à sa messagerie quel que soit l’endroit où vous vous trouvez

From now on, you will be able to read, search and even write mails even without an internet connection. These will be automatically placed in the Outbox and forwarded to the recipients once the network connection is re-established.

Access Google Docs 24 hours a day

Despite limited power, the Chromebook can handle most office tasks perfectly. Google Docs (word processing), Sheets or Slides (alternative to Power Point) allow you to transform your Chromebook into a workstation.

  • Open the Google Drive service on your computer
  • Click on the Settings button
  • Look in the various sections for the line entitled Offline
  • Check the box for Create, open or edit your recent Google Docs, Sheets and Slides filesActiver le mode hors-connexion de Google Drive

Google’s office suite is now available offline. Changes made to documents will then be sent to the Cloud as soon as you are online. Don’t forget to create a shortcut to open Drive when your computer is not connected.

Beware that the offline system of Drive will only allow you to access recent files. To make sure that an important document remains accessible 24 hours a day, you will have to do an additional manipulation.