Offline Browsing in Google Chrome?

tipsAre you already sick of the storms and outages brought by the beginning of summer? So are we.

You might have experienced the frustration of reading an article online and having the Internet connection cut out on you. This is one of the most common problems while working with a shoddy WiFi connection (or when your power comes back, but your Internet connection is slow to return). If this happens to you, you can view your browser’s cached pages in order to finish up what you were reading, as long as you’re not trying to view pages like Facebook, which update periodically throughout the day.

Here’s how you can view Google Chrome’s cached pages, even while offline. But first…

What Exactly is Caching?
You might have heard the term in passing, but do you understand how the cache works? It’s basically a component that stores data when you visit a website. This allows that data to be loaded faster the next time you visit the page. The idea is to reduce the bandwidth and processing power required to view the material.

How to Load Cached Chrome Pages
By taking advantage of the cache, you can read web content that you’ve previously accessed, even while offline. Chrome doesn’t automatically enable this feature, but there is an experimental add-on that you can use from the mad scientists at Google. Type chrome://flags into the search bar.

After reading Google’s disclaimer, locate the feature called Show Saved Copy Button. If you aren’t using the latest version of Chrome, try looking for Enable Offline Load Stale Button.

Select Enable from the dropdown menu, which will prompt you to restart Chrome. After that, the setting will be saved.

When you next visit an offline web page, you’ll see a button that says Show Saved Copy. If you’ve previously visited the page, you’ll be able to load the cached copy of the website’s content.

Keep in mind that due to the nature of website caching, you won’t be able to see any updates made to the page since you last visited it. This is the one true downfall of offline viewing. However, this is useful if you’re trying to finish reading an article when you don’t have Internet access.

(Image Source: iCLIPART)