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Quick Tips: Use Gmail without Internet access
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Quick Tips: Use Gmail without Internet access

1:45 /

With Gmail offline you can use the Web-based e-mail service even when you don't have a Net connection.

[ Music ] >> Tom Merritt: If you use GMail, you may know you can use another piece of software, say Thunderbird, to look at your mail even when you're offline. That's nice and all. I love Thunderbird. The e-mail client, not the wine, but if you prefer the GMail interface, here's a quick tip for accessing GMail in your web browser even when you're offline. First, install Google Gears by going to gears.google.com. I'm using Firefox so it installs as a Firefox add-on. When Firefox restarts, go to your GMail. Click "settings" in the upper right. Then choose the labs tab, select "enable", and then press "save changes". You'll see offline in the upper right now. Click on that to install offline access for GMail. Check that you trust GMail, if you do, to use Gears and press "allow". If you want a desktop icon for GMail, press "OK". Then the installation will begin. While the installation is going on, you can go ahead and surf the web, use GMail as you normally would, and you'll see a progress bar indicating how many messages have been archived for offline access. It will also tell you how far back in time the archive goes and give you the option to pause the sync. Last thing I want to point out is the flaking connection mode. If you're on sort of a crappy WiFi connection, you can use this mode to let GMail flip seamlessly back and forth between online and offline modes. My sync happened pretty fast, and I've been using GMail since 2004. Now I can search GMail and compose e-mail even when I have no net connection like on a plane or halfway across the Bay Bridge here in San Francisco. That's it for this quick tip. I'm Tom Merritt, CNET.com. [ Music ]

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