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How to disable Gmail offline and clear the cache

Gmail offline mode allows you to use the web app in the Chrome browser when you’re not connected to the internet. When you send an email, the message sits in your outbox until you’re back online. The feature is handy when you’re traveling and still need access to your Gmail account.

However, for offline mode to work, Google must store information on your computer in the form of caches. These temporary files can take up a lot of space, especially if your emails contain large attachments.

If you no longer wish to use offline mode, you can switch it off and remove stored information from your computer. Let’s discuss how to disable Gmail offline and clear the relevant cache.

How to disable (or enable) Gmail offline

If you don’t want Gmail storing things on your PC, here’s how to disable Gmail offline mode:

  1. Open Chrome and go to Gmail

  2. Click the Settings icon and then click See all settings

  3. Click the Offline tabgmail settings menu showing offline mode

  4. Untick Enable offline mail to disable and click Save changes. If you want to enable the feature, tick the box insteadgmail offline settings

That covers Gmail offline mode, now let’s move on to clearing your Gmail cache.

How to clear Gmail cache in Chrome

When you disable offline mode, cached information may remain on your computer, and you’ll need to remove it manually.

Additionally, if the Gmail web app is having performance issues, deleting the cache could solve the problem.

Here’s how to clear the Gmail cache in Chrome:

  1. Open Chrome and type or paste chrome://settings/siteData in the address bar and press Enter
google chrome home screen
Image: KnowTechie

2. Type in the search box and click Remove all shown

chrome cookies menu
Image: KnowTechie

And there you have it, you’ve now cleared the cache in Gmail. Next, we’ll show you how to do that in Firefox.

How to clear Gmail cache in Firefox

Although Gmail offline doesn’t work in browsers that aren’t Chrome, you may still need to clear your cache during troubleshooting.

Here’s how to clear the Gmail cache in Firefox:

  1. Launch Firefox and click the More (hamburger) menu icon
firefox home screen
Image: KnowTechie

2. Select Settings

firefox more menu
Image: KnowTechie

3. Click Privacy & Security

firefox general settings
Image: KnowTechie

4. In the Cookies and Site Data section, click Clear Data

firefox privacy and security menu
Image: KnowTechie

5. Tick Cached Web Content and click Clear

firefox clear data
Image: KnowTechie

That’s it. You’ve now cleared Gmail’s cache through Firefox.

Gmail caches don’t often need clearing

If you haven’t used offline mode and the Gmail web app is behaving well, you probably don’t need to clear the cache.

However, cached content can grow quite large over time and take up a lot of space. If your hard drive is running low on storage, removing some temporary files could solve the issue.

Generally, caches are safe to clear. Nevertheless, whenever you delete anything, you should always do it with a purpose in mind. Because deleting random files for no good reason is a great way to break something and ruin your day.

Have any thoughts on this? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Matt is an Australian freelance writer with a degree in creative and critical writing. Prior to commencing his studies, he worked in tech support and gained valuable insights into technology and its users. His true passion is telling stories, and he hopes to one day write a novel worthy of publication.