Using Pocket Offline

Introduction

One of the most important benefits of using Pocket is the ability to access your content from any device, even when you’re not connected to the internet. We often find time to read when we’re commuting or on a flight, so offline access is a natural fit for Pocket. This article explains how Pocket works to keep everything you save in sync and downloaded so they can be available when you’re offline.

The Basics  

There are two primary background tasks that Pocket performs on a regular basis: Syncing and Downloading.

Syncing and Downloading are two different steps in Pocket. Syncing helps make sure that Pocket is fully up-to-date with the latest changes or additions that you’ve made. Downloading then happens after syncing to store your saved items on your device so you can read them offline.

What is Syncing?

Pocket automatically keeps your items (and any changes you make to these items) in sync across your devices. Syncing ensures that your Pocket information is up-to-date whenever and wherever you view your List. Pocket supports background syncing (without needing to open Pocket), but you can always customize your Syncing options based on your personal preferences.

What is Downloading?

After Pocket is finished syncing, the next step is to download any new items that have arrived in your List.

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. Otherwise, Pocket will download the Web View, which is the same as how it would appear when viewing the page in your browser. Click here to learn more about Article and Web View.

What can be downloaded to Pocket? Articles, news stories, blog posts, and most text-based pages can be downloaded to Pocket, however, there are some exceptions: Pages with dynamic web content, powered by JavaScript or Flash, oftentimes have trouble downloading. In addition, videos cannot be downloaded to Pocket. Most popular videos sites, including YouTube, don’t allow services like Pocket to download videos for offline access. To view videos you must be online.

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

In This Article

Using Pocket Offline on iOS

Syncing

By default, Pocket will always keep your account in sync. We call this Instant Sync. This helpful feature helps make sure that Pocket will always have the most current information, even without opening the app.

If you’d rather not have Pocket sync in the background, you can disable Instant Sync in Settings. To find this option,

  1. Visit the Profile tab
  2. Tap the gear icon at the top right corner.
  3. Scroll down to the List section
  4. Toggle Instant Sync off

In addition to syncing automatically, you can always pull to refresh to perform a manual sync from your List.

Downloading

After syncing your saved items, Pocket will automatically download these items to your device. This will allow you to read items offline on your device.

As mentioned above, Pocket will download the “Best View” by default. To override this decision, you can configure Pocket to always download Article View, Web View, or both.

  1. Visit the Profile tab
  2. Tap the gear icon at the top right corner
  3. In the Offline Downloading section, disable Download Best View. This will reveal additional options to Always Fetch Article and Always Fetch Web View.

If you are concerned about cellular data usage, we recommend turning on Download only on Wi-Fi in Settings to prevent Pocket from downloading items when connected to your cellular network.

Using Pocket Offline on Android

Syncing

By default, Pocket will instantly sync items to your device. This will ensure that Pocket is always up to date. If you’d like customize these options follow the steps below:

To enable Background Sync:

  1. Open Pocket and go to your List
  2. Tap the overflow button, and then tap Settings
  3. In the Syncing section, tap Background Syncing
  4. Select the times you would like to sync

Background Sync can also be disabled, or set to occur at hourly or daily intervals.

Downloading

After syncing your saved items, Pocket will automatically download these items to your device. This will allow you to read items offline on your device.

As mentioned above, Pocket will download the “Best View” by default. To override this decision, you can configure Pocket to always download Article View, Web View, or both.

It’s possible to control whether Pocket downloads Article or Web View:

  1. Open Pocket and go to your List
  2. Tap the overflow button, and then tap Settings
  3. In the Offline Downloading section, turn off Download Best View
  4. Enable Always fetch Article View, Always fetch Web View, or both

If you are concerned about cellular data usage, we recommend turning on  Download only on Wi-Fi in Settings to prevent Pocket from downloading article items when connected to your cellular network.

Offline Storage Limits and Download Priority

In Pocket on 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 a offline storage limit:

  1. Open Pocket and go to your List
  2. Tap the overflow button, and then tap Settings
  3. In the Offline Downloading section, 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

When you’re on your computer, you can access Pocket while offline using one of two apps: Pocket for Mac, and the Pocket Chrome App which is compatible with Windows, Linux and Chrome OS. With these apps, Pocket supports offline downloading of articles so you can access your saved items and read the without an Internet connection.  

Pocket for Mac App

Pocket for Mac is the best way to use Pocket on your Mac. It’s free and easy to install from the Mac App Store. The offline capabilities of Pocket for Mac are very similar to that of Pocket on iOS (see above), and you can customize them by visiting Preferences from the Pocket menu in the menu bar at the top of your screen. 

Pocket for Mac requires that your computer is running macOS 10.8 (Mountain Lion) or later.

Click here to download Pocket for Mac from the App Store

Pocket Chrome App

The Pocket Chrome App runs as a standalone app that will automatically download your saved articles view offline. Even though it’s powered by Chrome, you can easily launch the app from task bar, Start screen, or programs folder.

In order to install the Pocket Chrome App, you must have Google Chrome installed on your computer. Please make sure you have the latest version of Chrome and you’ll be all set!

Click here to download the Pocket Chrome App from the Google Chrome Web Store

Still need help? Contact Pocket Support Contact Pocket Support