How to Enable Work Offline Browsing Mode in Google Chrome

If you thought that the age old Work Offline mode has long disappeared from the Google Chrome browser, then you will be surprised to know that the feature still exists. The option to turn on offline browsing mode in Chrome is not directly available from the settings or the three line menu that you were are to. It is a bit hidden from the normal user. You will have to visit a special page called chrome://flags for this purpose. This feature is available for Android devices as well as for Windows, Mac and Linux.

To Enable Offline Browsing (Work-Offline) mode in Google Chrome:

  1. Type chrome://flags into the address bar of your browser. [chrome://flags/#enable-offline-load-stale-cache for direct link]
  2. Scroll down a bit and find [or CTRL + F] the option that says Enable Offline Load Stale Button.
  3. Change the option from Default to say Enabled.
    Enable Work Offline in Google ChromeYou’ll see a Relaunch Now button after you make the changes.
  4. Click on the Relaunch Now button to restart your browser and the changes will take place immediately. Otherwise, it will take place the next time you start your browser.

This option that you turned on specifies:

Enable Offline Load Stale Button Mac, Windows, Linux, Android
When a page fails to load, if a stale copy of the page exists in the browser, a button will be presented to allow the user to load that stale copy.

It means that if your page fails to load, along with the “This webpage is not available” message, you get a button that says “Show saved copy”. When you click on it, the page will load even if you are not connected to the internet or if the page that you are trying to access is offline. The page that is loaded will be from your browser’s cache. That means, you should have visited the page before.

This webpage is not available message

Also note that when a page is loaded from the browser’s cache, you will get a “stale copy” of the page. It means that the original content might have been updated but you will get an old copy stored by the browser. It is useful only if the information contained in the old page is what you are looking for. Otherwise, if it’s something like your email or a social network that you’re accessing  then you will be better off with the fresh copy.

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