The ability to browse offline used to be prominent in browsers. For some reason, however, its deeply hidden in the latest versions of Chrome and Firefox. In this guide, we will see how to activate the ability to browse offline the pages we have already visited.
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Table of Contents
How to browse offline with Firefox
On old versions of Firefox, we could browse offline just by clicking File -> Work Offline. In latest Firefox versions, though, the File option is nowhere to be found.
There are two ways to browse offline with the latest Firefox. The first is to right-click on the space next to a tab and select the "Menu Bar" option.
This will bring back the File, Edit, View menu. We will find the Work Offline option in the File menu, as always.
For the second method, we don't need the menu bar. We just click on Firefox's menu, select "Developer"...
...and we will find the Work Offline option there too.
Now, we can browse offline pages we have already visited. Some dynamic elements won't be able to load, and they will show an "Offline mode" message.
If we try to navigate to a page we haven't visited before, we will get a full-tab error message.
It's weird that Firefox has the option to browse offline in two places, and neither is particularly easy to find.
How to browse offline with Chrome
Google Chrome was never really sold on this "browse offline" thing. To access it on the latest Chrome, we need to click on the language bar and type:
This will open the experimental features of Chrome. Using Chrome's search function with Ctrl+F we search for:
Enable Show Saved Copy Button
We set it as "Enable: Primary", and click on the "Relaunch Now" button at the bottom of the screen.
While offline browsing in Firefox is enforced whether there is an Internet connection or not, on Chrome we can browse offline only when there is no internet connection.
We just click on the "Show saved copy", and we will get most of the page's appearance.
Of course, we can only navigate to pages we have seen before. Any new pages will get a plain "This webpage is not available" tab.
Do you find the "browse offline" feature useful?
With an ADSL and a good 3G/4G mobile connection, it's increasingly rare to be completely disconnected from the Internet. This is probably the reason that the "browse offline" feature is buried within the browser - it was more useful when we had dial-up internet.
So, do you find the ability to browse offline useful? Or you wouldn't care even if it was completely removed from the modern browsers? Leave us a comment.
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