Google is improving offline access to Drive files by building support for the feature directly into its web app.
Previously, users that wanted to access Drive files offline had to use the ‘Backup & Sync’ desktop app, which frankly, isn’t great. The first step Google took to remedy this issue was adding a feature so users could mark certain files for offline access. Specifically, this applied to Google Docs, Sheets and Slides files.
Now, Google is expanding the ‘mark for offline’ feature to all files in Drive. Yes, that means you can make PDF, image, Microsoft Office and other non-Google files available offline.
The feature comes as part of a new beta rolling out to G Suite organizations who’ve opted into the File Stream and offline access betas. It should also work for regular Google accounts with offline access enabled — you can find instructions on how to do that here. However, it’s worth noting the rollout of that feature may not yet be complete.
There’s one other caveat with offline access: you need to use Google Chrome. Other browsers like Firefox, as well as Chromium-based browsers like the new Edge and Opera, don’t have access to the feature.
You can learn more about the offline access feature here.