Google announced on Wednesday that it’s shutting down its Gmail Offline Chrome app; it will be removed from the Chrome Web Store after Dec. 3. Those who are fond of using this service will have to find another way to access their email offline.
The Gmail Offline Chrome app was launched in 2011. The extension allows Gmail users to access their email offline and even write a response to an that would then be sent when the device returns to a stable internet connection.
Google announced a major update for offline message access in the main Gmail app earlier this year. In that announcement, the internet giant also said the Gmail Offline Chrome app would stop working at some point and recommended that users remove it and install the new offline functionality for the Gmail app instead.
“This native capability is easier to use and performs better than the Gmail Offline Chrome app, so we’re removing it from the Chrome Web Store after December 3rd, 2018,” the company wrote in a blog post.
In 2016 Google revealed plans to remove its Chrome apps for desktop platforms like Windows, Mac and Linux in early 2018. However, this deadline has apparently been extended, given that the offline Gmail extension for Chrome can still be installed right now.
Users who want to continue reading and composing their emails in offline mode will need to activate the “Enable offline mail” setting in Gmail. G Suite users must also ensure that the company which their G Suite email address is tied to has enabled this feature through the Admin Console.
It’s still not clear why Google is removing the Gmail Offline Chrome app from the web browser. It’s also unclear if users who have already installed it before its removal from the Web Store will be able to use it.
This news came shortly after the revelation that Google is removing its Inbox Gmail App, which it used to test new features for early adopters of its products. Google also said in the blog post that it will focus on the native Gmail app. The company also left a transition guide to help users switch to the native Gmail app.
“We know change is hard, so we’ve created a transition guide to help you switch from Inbox to the new Gmail with ease. All your conversations are already waiting for you in Gmail. See you there,” says the blog post.
It’s also worth noting that Gmail’s native offline functionality works only if you’re a Google Chrome user. If you use Firefox, Edge or another browser, you won’t be able to get the best of Google’s native offline Gmail feature.