Offline Gmail – Are you still not using it?

“ Have you ever been tired of switching to html mode in Gmail, due to your slow internet connection? Have you ever been waited for opening some mail in feature rich ajax based standard version  of Gmail? Have you ever been wished that you would have some email client in same way as Gmail is in its web version? Here is the solution from Gmail side; Offline Feature.

“ Officially introduced in January 27, 2009 as an experimental Gmail Labs Offline Features, came up to change the capabilities of web-based mail, is now a regular part of Gmail from December 07, 2009. ”

P.S.: its for good of your personal PC only, not any public one like Office or cafe. 

Google_Labs_logo gmail-logo

Google is already making itself as a center of whole Internet World and making the world ready for Cloud Computing. Look like now in place of choosing to develop some email client of its own, and making many of users preferring web version of Gmail over any email client, now has came up with solution of enabling Gmail to work in offline mode. Its expected to work in the same way as their other service Google Reader is already working for Offline mode from long (since May 31, 2007).


Web-based emails are great as one could access them from anywhere, but catch is; it’s limited by the internet connection itself. So, Gmail provided the solution to cache the mails to local PC through Gears. As long you are connected to Internet, the local cache keeps itself in sync with Gmail’s Servers and when you loose your connection, it automatically switches to Offline mode and uses the data stored on your computer’s hard rive instead of the information set across the network.

“ With Offline mode, you can still read messages, star and label them and do most of the things you’re used to doing while reading your webmail online and that too with blazing fast performance (I felt it even more faster than normal Outlook Express or Windows Live Mail, just touch a mail to go). Any messages you send while offline will be placed in your outbox and automatically sent the next time Gmail detects a connection. ”

Not only this but with now this matured feature, two more in-demand options has been added to Offline Gmail: an option to choose which messages get downloaded for offline use and the ability to send attachments while offline.

“ Now, it may even replace Outlook express (or any other mail client) for a few users so that they could keep on using Gmail Offline all day long and could connect to internet once or twice a day. ”

So, what are you waiting for? Start with Offline Gmail. First of all, you would be needed to keep Google Gears ON and obviously the browser you might be using must supports Gears (like Internet Explorer 7.0+, Firefox 2.0+, Safari 3.0+ and Google Chrome) and then follow the instructions as given below:

  1. Click the “Settings”  link in the top-right corner of Gmail.
  2. Click the “Offline” tab.
  3. Select “Enable Offline Mail for this computer”.
  4. Click “Save Changes” and follow the directions from here.

After the browser reloads, you’ll see a new “Offline” link in the upper right hand corner of your account, next to your username. Click this link to start the offline setup process and download Gears, if you don’t already use it.

I am also putting some screen shots to let you know it more closely.

Installing Offline Access

Google Gears will show a Security Warning

Creating a desktop shortcut for Access Gmail

With all the excitements out there, I would also like to remind the differences between normal Email Clients like Outlook express, Thunderbird, Windows Live Mail etc and web-based Offline Solution of Gmail.

First of all, I am not yet sure about procedures related backing up and exporting data of Google Gears for we like administrators that whether they even exists or not. With a few known issues, Offline Gmail still doesn’t support accessing Contact Manager (although auto-complete feature works), Complete Search Results (for obvious reasons), Access to conversations in Spam and Trash (as they were considered to be less required) and some Gmail Labs features.

Also those users, who might have using Gmail in https mode always, will feel many glitches with Offline Gmail (although I do think that its not a product for that much security conscious users and I recommend it for home users and personal laptops only)

But still for most of the Gmail Users Community, its a very welcome feature for already feature-rich Gmail. I am sure that many would like to use it.

Do you know, many other things could also be used for Offline through Google Gears and other services? Yeah you can use any of website  for reading it offline. Check webnol’s Article.

photo of Nitish KumarNitish Kumar


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