Google Docs is a free online document editing application that allows you to create, edit, store and collaborate on documents, spreadsheets, presentations and more. All files created in Google Docs are stored in Google Drive and accessible from any device.
While Google Docs works best when you have an internet connection, you can also download Google Docs files for offline editing or sharing. Here are the steps to download from Google Docs on both desktop and mobile.
Downloading on Desktop
Downloading Google Docs files on your desktop computer is quick and straightforward. Follow these steps:
1. Open the Google Docs File
Go to docs.google.com and open the Google Docs file you want to download. You can search for the file or navigate to it through Google Drive.
2. Click “File” > “Download”
In the top navigation bar, click File > Download. A drop-down menu will appear with file format options.
3. Select File Format
Choose the file format you want to download the document in. Common options include:
- Microsoft Word (.docx): Works for most purposes
- PDF (.pdf): Retains all formatting
- Plain text (.txt): Removes all formatting
- EPUB (.epub): For ebook readers
4. Save the File
After selecting a file format, the file will automatically download to your computer. Locate it in your downloads folder or prompt location.
Downloading on Mobile
You can also download Google Docs files on your iPhone, iPad or Android device for offline access. Follow these steps in the Google Docs app:
1. Open the Google Doc
In the Google Docs app, locate and open the document you want to save for offline access.
2. Tap the More Options Menu
Tap the three-dot menu (⋮) in the top right corner.
3. Select “Download”
Choose the Download option from the menu.
4. Pick File Format
Select the file format to download the doc in. Microsoft Word (.docx) is recommended.
5. Find the File
The Google Doc will download to your Downloads folder. You can now access it offline.
Making Files Available Offline
In addition to downloading, you can also make Google Docs files available offline directly from Google Drive:
Right-click the file > Make available offline. The file will sync for offline access.
Tap the three-dot menu (⋮) > Make available offline. The file will save locally.
Offline Access Tips
Here are some additional tips for accessing Google Docs offline:
- Turn on offline access in Google Drive settings to enable editing of recent Docs, Sheets and Slides files without an internet connection.
- Use the Google Docs Offline Chrome extension (desktop only) for robust offline functionality.
- Edits made to files offline will sync back to Google Drive once your device reconnects to the internet.
- The offline editing experience is more limited, with some features unavailable.
- Downloaded files or those made available offline can be edited like any normal document while disconnected.
Sharing Downloaded Files
Once downloaded from Google Docs, files can be shared or sent like any traditional document:
- Email as an attachment
- Upload to a cloud storage service like Google Drive or Dropbox
- Transfer via airdrop on mobile devices
- Save to a USB flash drive
- Print as a hard copy
The ability to download Google Docs files makes it easy to access and share your documents both online and offline. Follow the simple steps outlined above to get files from Google Docs onto your desktop or mobile device for offline use and editing.