Set up offline access to Docs, Sheets & Slides

This article is for administrators. To access your own files offline, see Work on Docs, Sheets, & Slides offline.

Supported for all Google Workspace, Cloud Identity, and G Suite editions

As an administrator, you can control whether users in your organization can access their Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides when their computers aren't connected to the internet. By default, offline access is turned on for organizations, and users can turn it on or off for their own accounts.

Notes:

  • This feature is currently supported on Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge browsers.
  • This option does not apply to Google Drive for desktop. For details on how users can access files offline through Drive for desktop, see Keep files and folders offline.

Option 1: Allow users to turn on offline access (recommended)

The easiest method to allow offline access is to allow 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. In the Admin console, go to Menu and then Appsand thenGoogle Workspaceand thenDrive and Docs.
  3. Click Features and Applications.
  4. Next to Offline, 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.

Option 2: Use policies to control offline access from computers

As an administrator, you can use policies to control offline access to Docs, Sheets, and Slides on computers running Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems. This option requires you to push managed policies to each computer. If you select this option before you set up policies, users who had offline access lose it after 24 hours.

Note:

  • This option is not available for ChromeOS devices or mobile devices (phones and tablets).
  • This process is not required if Allow all users to enable offline access is selected.
  • This option also does not apply if you verified by email.

Step 1. Install the policy on each managed computer

To allow Drive files to be stored and accessed offline on managed computers:

  • Download the configuration files to the computers.
  • Distribute the files to computers running Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems.

See the instructions below for each type of computer:

Windows devices (using the Microsoft Group Policy)

Instructions for Chrome browser:

  1. Download and unzip these Windows Group Policy template files for Google Chrome:
    1. Windows ADMX

    2. Windows ADML

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

Note: If you see an error "Encountered an error while parsing", this means that Windows cannot parse the filename and you need to rename it. For example, try removing the underscore from the filename by changing GoogleDocs_WinADMX to GoogleDocsOffline.

Instructions for Microsoft Edge:

  1. Download and unzip the Windows Group Policy template files for Microsoft Edge: Note: If you’re enabling both Chrome and Microsoft Edge, you can skip this step and reuse the files downloaded for Chrome, since you only need to create one of these admx/adml 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 on Edge—Allows users within the specified domains to access docs offline, but offline editing is turned off by default.
    • (Optional) Select Auto enabled domains for Google Docs Offline support on Edge—Auto-enables offline doc access for all users with this policy. Leave this off if users must manually turn on offline access.
  3. Update the option values with the domains to allow. Separate multiple domains with a comma (for example, domain1.com, domain2.com, and so on).

Related information

macOS devices

Instructions for Chrome browser:

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

        Offline access policy for MacOS

    4. Save the file, if not autosaved by your editor.
  2. Convert plist file to a configuration file using your preferred conversion tool, such as mcxToProfile on github.

    For example, to use mcxToProfile to convert your file to a configuration profile, enter:

    mcxToProfile.py --plist
    com.google.Chrome.extensions.ghbmnnjooekpmoecnnnilnnbdlolhkhi.plist
    --identifier com.google.Chrome.extensions.ghbmnnjooekpmoecnnnilnnbdlolhkhi

  3. Install generated

    com.google.Chrome.extensions.ghbmnnjooekpmoecnnnilnnbdlolhkhi.mobileconfig to system. You may need to restart Chrome or macOS to propagate these changes.

Tip: For more information, see Set policies for Chrome.

Instructions for Microsoft Edge:

  1. Download and edit the policy.
    1. Download the macOS plist file for Edge.
    2. Open the file in any text editor.
    3. Edit the file:
      • (Required) To allow 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 turn on offline access.

        Offline access policy for MacOS
    4. Save the file, if not autosaved by your editor.
  2. Convert plist file to a configuration file using your preferred conversion tool, such as mcxToProfile on github.
    For example, to use mcxToProfile to convert your file to a configuration profile, enter

    mcxToProfile.py --plist
    com.microsoft.Edge.extensions.ghbmnnjooekpmoecnnnilnnbdlolhkhi.plist
    --identifier com.microsoft.Edge.extensions.ghbmnnjooekpmoecnnnilnnbdlolhkhi
  3. Install generated
    com.google.Chrome.extensions.ghbmnnjooekpmoecnnnilnnbdlolhkhi.mobileconfig to system. You may need to restart Chrome or macOS to propagate these changes.

Tip: For more information, see Set policies for Chrome.

Linux devices

Instructions for Chrome browser:

  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:
      • (Required) To allow 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 turn on offline access.

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

Instructions for Microsoft Edge:

  1. Download and edit the policy.
    1. Download the Linux configuration file.
      Note: If you’re enabling both Chrome and Microsoft Edge, you only need to create one of these configuration files, and place two copies in different directories.
    2. Open the config file in any text editor.
    3. Edit the file:
      • (Required) To allow 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 turn on offline access.

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

Step 2. Allow offline access for managed computers

Only allow offline access after the policy is installed and configured on each managed computer. Offline access is blocked on any computer that does not have the policy.

  1. Sign in to your Google Admin console.

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

  2. In the Admin console, go to Menu and then Appsand thenGoogle Workspaceand thenDrive and Docs.
  3. Click Features and Applications.
  4. Make sure that you installed the managed device policy on each computer. If not, on this page see Install the managed device policy.
  5. Important: If you continue without installing a policy, users who previously had offline access to files will lose that access after 24 hours.
  6. Next to Offline, select Control offline access using device policies.
    Recent files will be synced and saved on managed computers that have the policy set up.
  7. Tell your users how to sync files for offline use.


Google, Google Workspace, and related marks and logos are trademarks of Google LLC. All other company and product names are trademarks of the companies with which they are associated.

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