Save pages for offline viewing in mobile Chrome

Google launched a new experimental feature in Chrome Dev for Android recently that enables you to save pages to the device to access them at a later point in time without Internet connection requirement.

You may use it to create a personal stash of pages that are accessible while offline which can be mighty useful in situations where you need access to pages and know that Internet reception is not the best or not available at all.

For instance, while on a business trip, you could connect your phone to your hotel's WiFi to save maps, business websites, local traffic information or even the homepage of your hotel locally on your phone to bring these saved pages up whenever the need arises while on the road even if you don't have Internet access at all.

While offline use may be the more important factor here for users speed is definitely another consideration as pages will open faster if they have been saved to the device.

Naturally, this works best for pages that don't change at all or only rarely and not so well for pages that change frequently or are dynamic.

Setting Saved Pages up on Chrome

Please note that the feature is currently only available in Chrome Dev on Android. Since it is an experimental feature, it may be removed at any time or make its way to the stable version of Chrome one day.

saved pages chrome

Here is what you need to do:

  1. Type chrome://flags in the mobile browser's address bar to load the page.
  2. Use Menu > Find in Page to search for Enable Enhanced Bookmarks.
  3. Set the preference to Enabled.
  4. Use Menu > Find in Page to search for Enable offline pages.
  5. Set the preferences to Enabled.
  6. Tap on the relaunch now button.

Once done you have enabled the option to save offline pages using Chrome's new bookmarking system.

To make use of it simply bookmark a page in Chrome. The browser will automatically save the bookmarked page to the saved pages.

page saved offline

Chrome displays a notification at the bottom that the page has been saved for offline use. You may tap on the edit button next to the notification to edit the bookmark's name, folder or url, check the size of the offline data, and remove it again from storage.

All pages that you have saved offline this way are accessible under the new Saved Pages entry in the Chrome menu.

A tap on it displays them all and another tap on one of the saved pages opens it without Internet connection requirement.

view saved page

There are several indicators that you are viewing the local copy of the page. First, you will see the file protocol being used in Chrome's address bar and second, Chrome displays a notification at the bottom of the page informing you that you are viewing an offline copy of the page.

You may tap on reload there to load the latest version of it instead which may be useful if page content changes frequently.

Only text and images are saved while dynamic content such as advertisement are not. The saved Ghacks page included user comments and other textual data which means that all of the page with the exception of script driven contents are loaded in offline mode.

Verdict

The feature works really well and may replace third-party solutions on Chrome mobile for some users. One thing that may keep it from becoming mainstream is that it taps directly in Chrome's bookmarking system which means that all bookmarks will be saved as offline pages automatically from the moment you make the changes.

While it is possible to remove pages again from local storage, it would be quite cumbersome if you save bookmarks regularly that you don't want provided as offline copies. (via Android Police)

Summary
Article Name
Save pages for offline viewing in mobile Chrome
Description
Configure Chrome for Android to save web pages you visit for offline viewing.
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Responses to Save pages for offline viewing in mobile Chrome

  1. dexos October 9, 2015 at 5:25 pm #

    You yhould create an article about the Firefox method.

    Firefox for Android has better way to save pages. You just need to download this addon:

    Save Link Menus
    https://addons.mozilla.org/en-us/android/addon/save-link-menus/

    It works the same way as the desktop Firefox's "File > Save page" menu. It downloads the page in a .html file and a folder with page elements in your download folder. This means that you can backup it and you can open it in other browsers too. So Firefox for Android has the proper method to save pages.

    Oh, and forgot to mention that Firefox for Android has a menu by default which lets you save pages in .PDF file.

  2. DEEPAK DABAS July 22, 2016 at 9:22 am #

    Gajab..
    It worked..
    Thanks alot bro..

  3. Jared B September 8, 2016 at 8:42 pm #

    I got Chrome Dev for android (v54.0.2840.6), went to flags, and there were no flags for "Enable Enhanced Bookmarks" or "Enable Offline Pages" there. There was a flag for "Enable offline bookmarks" so I enabled that. But the Chrome Dev menu doesn't have Saved Pages either, and my bookmark was not available offline after all.

    I guess this falls under the "it may be removed at any time" clause. Bummer! :(

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