Using Pocket Offline

Pocket enables you to access your saved content offline on both Mac and Android platforms. Syncing and downloading are two different steps Pocket performs to keep your saved items up-to-date and available offline. Syncing ensures that your Pocket information is always current, while downloading stores your saved items on your device.

Pocket will automatically download the “Best View” for reading. For most articles, this means that Pocket will download Article View, a simplified version of the article that’s designed to make reading pleasant on any screen. When Article View is unavailable, Pocket will download the Web View, which is the same as it would appear when viewing the page in your browser. Click here to learn more about Article and Web View.

In this article, we’ll explain how to customize your syncing and downloading settings in Pocket for Android and Mac. Simply click on the platform of your choice to learn more. 

Turn on sync on Android

Pocket  is a free service that lets you save and read articles from the web later. To sync your content across your devices, you need to enable syncing in Pocket. Here are the steps to do so:

  1. Open Pocket on your device.
  2. Tap Settings in the navigation bar at the bottom.
  3. Scroll down to Syncing.
  4. To sync your content upon opening the app, tap the toggle next to Sync when the app opens. This will ensure that your Pocket library is always up-to-date when you launch the app.
  5. To sync in the background automatically, tap Background Syncing and select a time-frequency (Sync every hour, twice a day, once a day, never). This will allow Pocket to sync your content even when you are not using the app.

Download synced articles to read them offline on Android

Downloading saves a copy of each item on your device so you can read it offline. By default, Pocket downloads the best view for each item based on its format and layout. 

To disable this setting:

  • Open Pocket on your device.
  • Tap Settings in the navigation bar at the bottom.
  • Scroll down to Offline Downloading.
  • Turn off Always fetch article view.

Article View shows a simplified version of each item with only text and images. Original View shows each item as it appears on its original website.

How to save cellular data

If you are concerned about cellular data usage, you can prevent Pocket from downloading items when connected to your cellular network. To do this:

  • Open Pocket on your device.
  • Tap Settings in the navigation bar at the bottom.
  • Scroll down to Offline Downloading.
  • Turn on Download only on Wi-Fi.

Offline Storage Limits and Download Priority

In Pocket o Android, you can control how much storage Pocket is using on your device. If you set a limit, Pocket will download your newest or oldest items until it reaches the limit. Here’s how to set an offline storage limit:

  1. Open Pocket and tap Settings.
  2. Scroll down to the Offline Downloading section.
  3. Tap Set offline storage limits.
  4. Adjust the slider to set a limit.
  5. Optional: Tap Download Priority to determine whether your newest or oldest items are prioritized until Pocket reaches its limit.

Using Pocket Offline on Your Computer

Pocket for Mac

If you use a Mac computer, you can install Pocket for Mac to access your saved items while you're offline. 

How to Sync Pocket for Mac

Pocket for Mac is a desktop application that lets you access your saved articles from the web. To sync Pocket for Mac with your online account, you need to enable the refresh option in the app preferences. These are the steps you need to follow:

  1. Open Pocket on your Mac.
  2. Click Pocket at the top of the menu bar.
  3. Click Preferences.
  4. In the panel that opens next, check the box next to Refresh when opening app. 

Pocket for Mac requires that your computer is running macOS El Capitan (10.11) or later.

Common questions

I use Pocket on a Windows PC – Can I access Pocket while offline?

At the moment, Pocket for Mac is our sole offline option on desktops, available on macOS computers only.

What can be downloaded to Pocket? 

Pocket can download most text-based content, such as articles, news stories, and blog posts. However, dynamic web content powered by JavaScript or Flash may have difficulty downloading. Additionally, videos cannot be downloaded to Pocket due to restrictions by popular video sites like YouTube. To watch videos, you must have an internet connection.

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