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Enable offline access to Docs, Sheets, and Slides

As a G Suite administrator, you can allow users in your organization to access their Docs, Sheets, and Slides even when they don't have an Internet connection. See Work on Google files offline to learn more. 

By default, all users can sync their Docs, Slides, and Sheets files to their computer.

As a G-Suite administrator, you can also use device policies to control offline access. When this option is selected, users can enable offline sync only if you install a managed policy on their specific device. Note: If you select this option before you set up the managed policy on the device, users will lose offline access if they previously had it.

Option 1: Control offline access using device policies

Offline access can be enabled on specific devices (such as laptops). Once enabled, copies of recent files will only be synced and saved on devices you specify with a managed policy. 

This option requires you to push managed policies to each computer. Offline access is disabled on any device that does not have the managed policy.

Note: This option is not currently available for ChromeOS devices

See the instructions below for each type of device. 

Step 1: Install the device policy on each managed device

To allow Drive files to be stored and accessed offline using a managed device:

  • Download the configuration files for the managed devices.
  • Distribute the files to the Windows®, Mac®, and Linux® operating systems.

See the instructions below for each type of device. 

Note:  This process is not required if Allow all users to enable offline access is selected.

Windows devices (via the Microsoft Group Policy)
  1. Download and unzip these Windows Group Policy template files:
    1. Windows ADMX

    2. Windows ADML

  2. Open the ADMX file using your Group Policy Editor to enable offline access:
    • Select Allowed domains for Google Docs Offline support—Allows users within the specified domains to enable docs offline, but offline editing is disabled by default.
    • (Optional) Select Auto enabled domains for Google Docs Offline support—Auto-enables offline doc access for all users with this policy. Leave this off if users must manually enable offline access.
  3. Update the option values with the desired domains. Separate multiple domains with a comma (for example, domain1.com, domain2.com, and so on).

Related information

macOS devices
  1. Download and edit the policy.
    1. Download the macOS plist file.
    2. Open the file in any text editor.
    3. Edit the file to enable offline access.
      • (Required) To enable offline access for the devices, replace the first instance of "YOUR_DOMAIN_HERE.com" to your domain.
      • (Optional) To auto-enable offline doc access for all users with this policy, replace the second instance of "YOUR_DOMAIN_HERE.com" to your domain. Leave this unchanged if users must manually enable offline access. 

        Offline access policy for MacOS
         
    4. Save the file, if not auto-saved by your editor.
  2. Create a /Computers/local_computer node, if necessary. See Configuring Apps and Extensions by Policy. for instructions.
  3. Run the following command to import the updated plist file, or follow the instructions for your enterprise Mac management system:
     

    $ dscl -u admin_username /Local/Default -mcximport /Computers/local_computer GoogleDocs_MacConfig.plist

  4. Run the following command to propagate these changes immediately:
     

    $ sudo mcxrefresh -n username

Tip: For more information, see Configuring Apps and Extensions by Policy.

Linux devices

  1. Download and edit the policy.
    1. Download the Linux configuration file.
    2. Open the config file in any text editor.
    3. Edit the file to enable offline access.
      • (Required) To enable offline access for the devices, replace the first instance of "YOUR_DOMAIN_HERE.com" to your domain.
      • (Optional) To auto-enable offline doc access for all users with this policy, replace the second instance of "YOUR_DOMAIN_HERE.com" to your domain. Leave this unchanged if users must manually enable offline access. 

        Offline policy for Linux
         
    4. Save the file, if not auto-saved by your editor.
  2. Place the config file in /etc/opt/chrome/policies/managed/.

Step 2: Enable offline access for managed devices

Enable offline access after the policy is installed and configured on each managed client. Offline access is disabled on any device that does not have the managed policy.

  1. ​​
    Sign in to your Google Admin console.

    Sign in using your administrator account (does not end in @gmail.com).

  2. From the Admin console dashboard, go to Appsand thenG Suiteand thenDrive and Docs.
  3. Click Data Access
  4. (Managed devices only) Install the managed device policy on each device.
  5. Select Control offline access using device policies.
    Recent files will be synced and saved on managed devices that have the device policy set up.
  6. Tell your users how to sync files for offline use.

Option 2: Allow users to enable offline access (recommended)

The easiest method to allow offline access is to enable offline access for all users.
  1. Sign in to your Google Admin console.

    Sign in using your administrator account (does not end in @gmail.com).

  2. From the Admin console dashboard, go to Appsand thenG Suiteand thenDrive and Docs.
  3. Click Data Access
  4. Select Allow users to enable offline access (recommended).
    Recent files will be synced and saved on the user's computer and computers they trust.
  5. Tell your users to how to sync files for offline use.

 

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