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August 18, 2014

Offline? Chrome Will Soon Let You Load Websites from Cache

load local cache copy chrome button

Chrome will soon allow certain webpages to be read offline on desktop and mobile. How? By loading them from cache.

If you try to load a website without an active network connection (or a dodgy one, or when the webpage server is under heavy load, etc.) in Chrome you'll see a cute and informative error page with collapsable details on the issue.

Certainly useful in helping to diagnose errors. But Google thinks it could be more useful.

Designed as a fallback of sorts, future versions of Chrome will present you with the choice of reading an older, cached version of the errant webpage having trouble.

The “Show Saved Copy” button is positioned prominently on the connection error page, regardless of whether the issue is the result of woes at your end or theirs. Clicking on the button will load a cached version of the site taken the last time you opened it.

Now, obviously, the caveat here is that this feature can only work with websites that have a (so-called) ‘stale copy’ present in the browser cache. But while you won’t be able to peruse new sites or read articles you didn't get around to opening prior to any network troubles, you will be able to scroll through and view pages, pictures and parts that have been successfully cached.

For moments of intended or unintended offline woe, this feature will really come in handy.

‘Stale Copy’ loading is already enabled by default in the Canary builds of Chrome on Windows and Mac.

[Source: OMG! Chrome!]