Google Services like Gmail, Google Drive, and YouTube went down for many users on October 17th. If you were one of them, don't worry! We'll show you how to get around the blackout.
Enable Offline Google Docs Access
It's happened to all of us - Google Services goes down and we can't do anything because we're completely reliant on it. Whether you use Gmail, Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, or Slides, when the Services are down, you're out of luck. However, there is a workaround that allows you to continue working (albeit with some limitations) even when Google is unresponsive. First, open up any of your documents and go to the File menu. Under the menu item Edit with Google Docs, you'll see a submenu that says Offline. Tap on this and you'll be prompted to allow offline usage. Once you've enabled this, you can continue to work on your document as if nothing happened. There is a catch here though - you can only enable Offline usage of Google Docs for a single account per computer. If you have multiple Gmail accounts, then you'll have to enable Offline usage for each one.
Logging out of YouTube
So, Google services are down and you really need to watch that new Taylor Swift video. What can you do? You could try one of the other best TV streaming services like Netflix or Disney Plus, but what if you want to watch YouTube videos? Fear not, because there’s a simple workaround - just logout of your YouTube account. By default, YouTube is intrinsically linked to other Google services, so when one goes down, they all go down. But if you logout of YouTube, you can still watch videos on the platform - you just won’t have access to your recommendations and subscriptions. And if all else fails, you can always just go to the generic YouTube homepage.
Google Docs down? There’s a free version of Microsoft Office
It feels like we’ve come full circle here, considering that Google Docs was largely welcomed by the online community because it was essentially a free version of Microsoft Office. The only drawback was that it was slightly less feature-rich than the desktop version. But all of that has changed now that Google Docs is unavailable. Microsoft Office has long been the go-to software for word processing, spreadsheet creation and presentation design. It's missing a few features from the paid, desktop version of Office, but the online version is largely identical and works seamlessly with OneDrive for cloud storage of your documents. So if you find yourself in a situation where you need to use a word processing program and Google Docs is down, don't panic—Microsoft Office is a solid backup.
Google Drive isn’t the OneDrive to rule them all
Yes, we recognize the irony of recommending you avoid putting all your eggs in one company's giant ecosystem, and then recommending you put them into another company's basket instead. But hear us out: Microsoft's OneDrive is functionally identical to Google Drive in that it lets you store files online via cloud storage, meaning you can access them from any device. So if it's vital that you have access to files at all times, then storing copies on multiple different cloud storage systems is a great way to cover yourself from unexpected outages in service. In addition,Microsoft offers a free tier of storage that's more generous than Google's (15GB vs. 10GB), so it might be worth your while to make the switch.
What do you do when your favorite Google services go down? In the past, you might have been out of luck, but now there are a few workarounds to help you get by. If you need to keep working on a document, for example, you can enable offline access to Google Docs. And if you want to watch a movie or listen to music, you can log out of YouTube and use another streaming service. Plus, Google Drive isn't the only game in town – Microsoft Office has a free version that might be a good alternative for you.
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