Chrome for Android gets page download option

Martin Brinkmann
Sep 1, 2016
Google Chrome

Chrome 54 Developer for Android has a new feature that allows you to download web pages for offline viewing.

The new download manager in Google Chrome for Android ships with a new downloads manager. You find it with a tap on the menu icon, and when you open it, get a selection of the latest downloads on the device.

A tap on the menu there displays the Gigabytes downloads use on the device, the amount of free space, and options to filter downloads by type.

Types provided include pages, video, audio, documents, images or other. A tap on any of the filters displays only matching file types on the downloads page.

What is probably more interesting from a user's point of view is the new web page download option. Google integrated the option to download the active web page right into the Chrome menu.

All you need to do is open the page that you want to access while offline, tap on menu, and then on the download icon in the top row.

Chrome downloads the page automatically for offline viewing, and lists it under downloads from where you may open it.

chrome offline pages

Any page that is available as offline is listed as such when opened. This is indicated by the notification"viewing an offline copy of this page" and the offline tag in the address bar.

A reload link is displayed on the page as well to attempt to load a live version of the page.

Please note that you may access downloaded pages only from downloads. If you load a page directly, either by entering its url in the address bar or following a link, a live page is loaded instead.

There is no option currently to change the process. An option to always load the offline copy if available would be useful to some users probably.

chrome downloads pages

You may delete any saved page by long-tapping on it on the downloads page.

A quick test of the download capabilities revealed that it works well on many Internet sites. The new feature did not download all pages correctly though for offline viewing. While the process seemed to work, only a white page with no content was displayed when the offline copy of certain pages was accessed after they have been downloaded.

Google has time to work on the feature, and it seems likely that it will receive some polish before it lands in the stable version of Chrome.

Closing Words

Offline access is a useful feature, especially in situations where a device's Internet connection is not the most reliable one. Also, saving pages for offline use may save bandwidth, and it is usually faster to load an offline copy that is already on the device than to connect to Internet sites to display a copy.

Now You: What's your take on the feature? Useful?

Chrome for Android gets page download option
Article Name
Chrome for Android gets page download option
Google added a new feature to Chrome 54 Developer for Android recently that lets you download web pages for offline viewing.
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  1. Faty said on January 4, 2018 at 4:23 am

    I use it alot. But this is some months that it will auto-delete my downloaded pages itself after sometime!
    Can you help me what should I do to not delete it itself?

  2. Don Gateley said on September 3, 2016 at 6:16 pm

    Very, very useful if I can find the HTML (etc.) source for the downloaded page structure and upload it to my PC for editing and customizing.

  3. California Bob said on September 2, 2016 at 7:46 pm

    I like to strip off everything but the article content using Tranquility addon in Palemoon and then use unMHT addon to save a selected portion into an MHT file. Reduces the size to 10% or so and makes things much faster and easier to read anywhere, since most browsers support opening MHT files.

    Is there an Android browser that supports doing things this way?

    Thanks in advance.

  4. vosie said on September 2, 2016 at 12:23 pm

    You should 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

    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 or Android’s HTML Viewer too, you can use the file manager to do anything with it. 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.

    1. Rotten Scoundrel said on September 2, 2016 at 4:42 pm

      Ummm, really? FFx (and Palemoon of course) have had that for probably 15 years. Look in the menu for “Save Page As”

      That will download to your selected Folder and bring with it all the pics etc needed. Browsing that page offline and clicking a link will follow that and load the page if you have an Internet connection.

      No plug-ins needed.

      Ma, quick, come look at what I have invented, I think I will call it a “wheel.” LOL

      1. Heimen Stoffels said on September 2, 2016 at 5:02 pm

        Read his comment again. He’s talking about Firefox for ANDROID, which is much different from the desktop version.

  5. Heimen Stoffels said on September 2, 2016 at 9:56 am

    Only now? Damn, they’ve fallen behind. The default browser on BB10 on my BB Passport has had this feature for a few years now.

    And indeed, Å ime Vidas, Opera Mini on my ye olde but still backup phone Motorola Razr Maxx V6 SE also has this feature for years now.

  6. Å ime Vidas said on September 1, 2016 at 10:30 pm

    I remember using this feature a *long* time ago in Opera Mini on my old feature phone ;-)

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