Individual items in the Google Drive app for Android can be viewed offline when your mobile device has no Internet connectivity. Offline editing isn’t currently supported.
Make an item available offline
You can make many file types available offline. This includes Google documents, Google presentations, Google spreadsheets, uploaded images, and files in formats such as .pdf, .doc, .xls and .ppt. Google Sites, Google drawings, Google forms, Fusion Tables and folders can’t be made available offline.
Here are several options for how to make an item available offline on your Android phone or tablet:
- Open an item’s preview pane by clicking the gray arrow next to its name in your Drive list. Then, select the checkbox next to Available offline.
- Or, open an item’s preview pane, click the Menu button in the top right of your screen, and touch Make available offline in the drop-down menu.
- Touch and hold the name of an item for 2-3 seconds. Then, touch Make available offline in the menu that appears.
If you no longer need offline access for a given item, uncheck the box in the item's preview pane or select Remove offline from the same menus.
A notification that indicates if an item is available for offline viewing will appear in the top (phone) or the bottom right (tablet) of your screen. A failure notification may appear if you have intermittent connectivity, or if there isn’t enough space to store the item on your Android device.
Access and manage offline items
When your Android device loses Internet connectivity, you can access your offline items by touching Offline on the landing page of the Google Drive app (phone), or in the left-hand navigation panel (tablet).
The files available for offline viewing will appear in this section of the app, with one of the following designations:
- Up to date: Items that are in sync with their online state. If you’re offline, the latest edits reflected will be those from the last time your device had Internet connectivity.
- Out of date: Items for which online edits have been made since the offline version was updated.
- Not yet available: Some items show state if your device hasn’t downloaded the item yet. For example, this may happen when you have an intermittent Internet connection.
When your device is disconnected, you can still take some actions on your offline files, such as starring or renaming items.
Updating offline items
The Drive app lets you choose how often to update your offline files.
Follow these steps to choose how your offline files are synced depending on your Internet connection:
- Tap the Menu button in the top-right corner of the first screen you see when you launch the Drive app.
- Select Settings.
- Scroll down to Offline Files and tap When to auto-update.
- Select Never if you only want to store your offline files in the state they were in when you first made them available offline.
- If you want your offline files to update automatically when you are using a 3G connection, select Over Wi-Fi or mobile network. Otherwise, select Over Wi-Fi only to avoid syncing offline files via your mobile data plan.
You can always manually prompt the app to update your offline files by following these steps:
- When you have an active connection, press the Update button for specific items in the Offline folder.
- Open the items from Google Drive.
- Click Refresh and respond to the prompt about updating your offline items.