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2011-06-26

How to use Remember The Milk in offline mode on PC



Remember The Milk is a great online solution for organizing information and to-do lists, and synchronizing this across your computers and mobile phones.

As you might know, Google have disabled Google Gears from v12 of their excellent browser Chrome, and Firefox disabled Gears from v4.

This means that if you're using the latest version of Chrome or Firefox, you can't use Remember The Milk in offline mode, since it uses Google Gears to store its offline data. And if you are running the latest version of Mac OS X, they have disabled Gears system-wide.

If you are on a PC, the solution is to use a browser that can still use Google Gears.

Personally I have installed Firefox Portable v3.6 just for this purpose, but you can also install v11 of Chrome, as described below. You must then block GoogleUpdate.exe from running, so it can't update the browser to the latest version.

Remember The Milk will probably introduce HTML5 support for offline use at some point, but until that happens this is the only way.

This is how you do it:
1) If you are already running Chrome v12 or higher, activate Google Sync in Chrome: Wrench icon - Options - Personal Stuff - Sync. Let it sync. This will backup all your Chrome settings, so you can easily import those to v11.
2) Uninstall Chrome and choose the "delete all personal data" option, don't keep any data.
3) Make sure you are using a firewall program, like ZoneAlarm.
4) If you're using ZoneAlarm, make sure you set SmartDefense Advisor to "manual" or "off", click "advanced" and deselect "Allow Microsoft certified programs to run automatically".
5) Also go into the programs list of your firewall software, and if GoogleUpdate.exe is in the list, make sure it's blocked from accessing the Internet.
6) Now download Google Chrome v11, e.g. from this page at Afterdawn. Install it.
7) If your firewall alerts you that GoogleUpdate.exe is trying to access the net, make sure it's blocked.
8) After installation of Chrome v11, repeat step 1 to sync back your Chrome data.
9) Now go to the Remember The Milk site, log in and allow it to use Google Gears when it asks.
10) Make sure your firewall is always on when connected to the Internet. If you turn it off, GoogleUpdate.exe will immediately update Chrome to the latest version, and you have to repeat step 1-9. :)

This will make it possible to use Remember The Milk offline with Google Chrome, although it's definitely easier to just use Mozilla Firefox v3.6. :) Hope that helped the many people who have been struggling with this.

(By the way, I assume it would be possible to just delete GoogleUpdate.exe also.)

And one of the benefits of offline mode is of course that you can bring your laptop to e.g. a restaurant by the beach, and do your planning and work there. Like this:
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