Google has been on-again, off-again with providing its Gmail users with offline access, but today it announced a new, HTML5-based solution for people who need to manage their inbox off the grid.
After months of testing, Google is rolling out offline access for Docs, Calendar, and Gmail. While Docs and Calendar aren't immediately available, Chrome users can enable Gmail offline right now. Here's how:
Head to the Chrome Web Store and install the new Offline Gmail app. Once installed, open a new tab and launch the app.
You'll be asked to allow offline mail storage. This is important: if you approve, your inbox data will be stored on the computer you're using--do not allow offline mail storage on a public computer. If you allow, Offline Gmail will launch and start backing up your inbox.
When you're offline, simply launch Chrome and head to the Offline Gmail app. You'll be able to write e-mails, respond, read, apply labels and stars, and archive messages. Once you reconnect to the Internet, the messages you composed offline will be sent.
A few things to note:
Depending on how much e-mail you have, Offline Gmail will store three to seven days worth of messages and all starred e-mails. So if you need a specific older e-mail available offline, be sure to star it.
If you'd like to delete your offline inbox from the computer you installed it on, you can. In the Chrome address bar, type chrome://settings/cookies and press Enter. Then, search for "mail.google.com." Hover over all the search results and click the "X" to delete them.
Uninstalling the Chrome app alone will not remove offline data.