One of the top features of Duolingo’s premium subscription used to be the ability to download entire courses to use offline.
This was especially useful for users who would be travelling or who regularly entered data/internet black spots.
Not so long ago, Duolingo made offline use available to all users. Great!
However, not all is as it seems…
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How to use Duolingo offline
Using Duolingo offline is pretty straightforward.
You don’t need to be a Super subscriber — it’s available to free learners as well as paid.
There aren’t any settings you need to turn on either as far as I’m aware. If you’re using an IOS or Android device (which I’m assuming you are) simply set it to airplane mode to deactivate all access to the internet.
Then, hop back into Duolingo. It should tell you that you’re in offline mode, but you should still have access to your lesson path.
If you attempt to jump into the latest lesson on the path, it should still be available.
As far as I’m aware, Duolingo has never been available for offline use on desktop, and it still isn’t.
Can you download entire Duolingo courses?
This is where it gets annoying. For some reason, Duolingo removed the ability to download entire courses for offline use back in 2021.
This used to be a premium feature that was accessed through the settings menu. You could select your course and hit download, allowing you to study your language whether you had internet access or not.
Now, that feature has been removed. Only part of your main course will be downloaded, and it seems it’s only ever the current level you’re on.
In my testing, I wasn’t able to go back to any of the preceding levels in my Italian path. I wasn’t able to access the subsequent ones either. The only level I could do was the one I was on.
So what is available in offline mode?
Honestly, not a lot. Duolingo’s offline mode only seems to offer the level on the path you’re currently on.
It’s basically just a bit of caching. Nothing more.
Other levels, stories, Practice Hub, and timed challenges are only available when you’re online.
Why did Duolingo remove offline lessons?
It’s unclear as to why Duolingo removed offline lessons.
Again, it was one of the main features of the premium subscription, but it hasn’t featured in any of the promotional material for a while.
When asked on Twitter, Duolingo can’t seem to give an explanation. They simply state that the feature was removed, and that’s that.
There is also no trace of anything about using Duolingo offline on the Duolingo Help Center.
Sadly, this isn’t the first feature that Duolingo have axed without any rhyme or reason. Audio Lessons, Mastery Quiz and the different story modes (just to name a few) have been removed without any explanation.
Duolingo sent an email out not so long ago about removing the Mastery Quiz, stating that it was part of them improving the premium membership in the months ahead.
Why Duolingo need to remove features to do this I don’t know. Particularly in the case of offline lessons, this seems pretty counter productive. But no doubt they have their reasons.
Hopefully the removal of offline lessons is temporary and we’ll see them return at some point in the future.
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Thanks for your post and for raising the features that have been removed. Personally I do not like the new version. It is a real pain to go back to early lessons the refresh knowledge. It now seems designed to push you to the end of the course rather than actually teach and reinforce the language.
Is there any point in paying for the premium course any more?
I couldn’t even get current lesson content offline at all. Seems like it’s all gone now. It worked great on our canoe trip last year before I was converted to the new path system. Guess I’ll have to say goodbye to my almost 600 day streak on our next camping trip this summer 🙁