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April 26, 2007

Homeless Internet Citizens

So you open the door, you step inside and you discover that your house is empty: no furniture, no books, no family, no pets. Your home became empty and nobody bothered to explain why.

That's what happened to Google Personalized Homepage for some users today. Says Michael M.:
Today, I logged on at college and all was fine on my homepage. When I got home, I turned on my laptop and my homepage had reverted to the default, with all of the default gadgets and the default theme. I tried to re-add my gadgets, but it keeps going back to the default style. I've tried clearing my cookies/history and signing in/out.

The personalized homepage is the page I visit most on the internet, it tracks all my news and weather and lets me keep track of my schedule and chat to my friends on Google Talk.

My homepage looks the same, but there's a big thread at Google Groups with people who lost their homepages. Google's answer is so endearing:
We're now in frantic-chase-down-this-bug mode here at the Googleplex, and I hope to have more info for you soon. For now, we're not entirely sure of this, but it's possible that changing your homepage theme might cause the problem. SO, if you still have your homepage intact, please avoid changing your theme until further notice. The big question I know you'll all want answered is whether you'll get your homepage back once we sort things out... and the really honest answer is that I hope so, but I just don't know yet.

Update: A day later, everything was back to normal in the Google land.

{ Thank you, Thomas, Redmar, Yasar, Michael, Joe. }


  1. same here !!! - at least web history has maintained the list of my bookmarks

  2. Sure it isent theme, cos i didnt change that.. it just happend all by it self..

  3. This happened to me. I feel lost and scared. Is there any hope that I can get my personalized page back? It was so well organized and had everything arranged just right.

  4. picassa web albuns is down for days also... what's up? And gmail doens't show preview of images for a long time.. is google forgeting users? it's not working like before, and they don't add many things like before.. please fixe all those things! Google products are not stable!....

  5. I don't have the homeoage problem, and I daringly switched my theme and everything is the same. I even signed in and signed out.

  6. What makes it worse is - if you go to the effort of resuetting everything and adding everything back - even by just leaving the webpage open - it forgets in one of its refreshes !!! annoying or what !!

  7. I was shocked to see my homepage going back to default, with the weather gadget set to Singapore. Why has everything gone back to Default with one gadget having my personal setting?

    Two days ago, including the IG was down for a few minutes.

    Google does need to do something for stability of their products.

  8. Thanks, now I know it was not just me...
    Do I try to build my page again or I wait that will come back?

  9. I'm sure they didn't lose your settings, so the best thing to do is to not try to recreate the homepage. At Google Groups, some people reported that they saw an old version of their homepage from a year ago, so maybe there's an error that makes Google's database return old data.

  10. Yeah, I suspect it's a time issue and may be connected to the themes as it's not a default homepage I'm seeing but one from the distant past. I note that the themes seem to be run using time related functions and maybe this has caused things to go fooey.

    Makes you wonder about the safety of your gmail....

  11. One more victim of time traveling.

  12. Same happened here D:

    Well, i done a little time travelling to just before last summer.
    I remember because i have some college notes i made by creating tabs. (reminded me of something i still never done actually...)

    I also noticed some other things, like sometimes posts not appearing in Google Groups, or being able to edit my profile for Groups.

    I hope its just some stupid database mess-up and not something seriously bad.
    True i remember how to get all my tabs and feeds back and set it up easily, others might not be so lucky...

  13. same to me : I found an 1 year old "ig" but now gmail and calendar homepage widget doesn't show my info.

    And you ?

  14. Still not working... :(
    It isn't related to themes/skins (see group).
    Hope they'll fix it soon.

  15. I lost mine too! :((
    (including the tab option)

  16. Problem solved ! My Google Home Page is back !

  17. The problem was solved. I got my homepage back.

    Thanks God Google didn't lose the data. (Losing data is not Google!!)

  18. Well, well well this is what you get for using FREE services. Thank god I didn't use GoogleApps for business purposes. So you just can't blame Microsoft anymore for beeing an annoying company with buggy software -Huh!!??

  19. Well, well well this is what you get for using FREE services. Thank god I didn't use GoogleApps for business purposes. So you just can't blame Microsoft anymore for beeing an annoying company with buggy software -Huh!!??

  20. My homepage is fixed too.

    Two comments, though :
    - it looks like Googlers look at and the response time is not that bad for FREE services. I know very expensive supports which are very ineffective.
    - During the breakdown, it seems to me that the homepage was an old version. I also tried to set up again my homepage. But at the end, Google gave me back my homepage as it was. It means that they must do backups or maybe snapshots


  21. I would like to be able to control my own snapshots though. I'm sure netvibes got a few new users yesterday.

  22. I had the exact same problem, thought I was going crazy. First I blamed it on myself but after adding and re-adding all my items a dozen times I gave up. Today, my homepage was restored to normal, even though I changed a lot yesterday.
    I hope they fix this soon and there are no more problems cause I use my homepage for navigating everywhere....

  23. Wow. I'm famous! Yes... get your Michael M autographs here, people!

    Well, I'm glad mine's fixed now. :)

  24. My homepage is back too as it was before the ordeal :) Considering it is a free service I must say that Google are efficient. Glitches do happen. Its normal.

    What I suggest is a way to save your homepage feeds and tabs offline so that next time this happens people have the peace of mind that once the service is restored they can reupload their page or something. That really would have saved alot of heartache.

  25. it's not fixed for all users yet... i'm still waiting to get mine fixed... :(

    in the meanwhile, i'm using netvibes.

  26. mine has been working fine, and then it broke this morning :(