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September 1, 2009

Gmail Is Down

"We're aware of a problem with Google Mail affecting a majority of users. The affected users are unable to access Google Mail," mentions Google's Apps Status page. The message was posted at 0:53 pm PDT and Google promises to solve the problem in less than an hour.

Gmail's web interface can't be accessed, but you can read your messages and compose mail if you use Gmail's iGoogle gadget. Another way to connect to Gmail is using a mail client like Outlook or Mozilla Thunderbird: POP3 and IMAP come to the rescue.

Update: Gmail is back up, after more than one hour of errors and timeouts.

Update 2: Ben Treynor explains why Gmail was down for 100 minutes. "This morning (Pacific Time) we took a small fraction of Gmail's servers offline to perform routine upgrades. (...) However, as we now know, we had slightly underestimated the load which some recent changes (ironically, some designed to improve service availability) placed on the request routers — servers which direct web queries to the appropriate Gmail server for response. At about 12:30 pm Pacific a few of the request routers became overloaded and in effect told the rest of the system "stop sending us traffic, we're too slow!". This transferred the load onto the remaining request routers, causing a few more of them to also become overloaded, and within minutes nearly all of the request routers were overloaded."


  1. Thank you for informing us of this problem.

  2. I'm not having success with the iGoogle gadget either. I will have to resort to using Mozilla Thunderbird for the time being.

  3. Yes, Gmail is down and I can't access it for six hours or so.
    Google disappoints me greatly this time.
    I need to create alternative email account for urgence like this.

  4. Use IMAP (if you had activated BEFORE the down)

  5. It's unstable, it can work or give a 502 to you. Twitter is on fire right now, more than 300 posts per second about Gmail outage.

  6. iGoogle gadget works fine for me, but yes the web interface is still down.

  7. Funny, I check Gmail with IMAP in Thunderbird and after whole day of work I read here it was actually any problem with it :)

  8. The gargantuan distributed "cloud" supercomputer called "Google" has changed it's name to Colossus and has attained artificial intelligence. It is now in the process of announcing it's intentions to take over world care and government with a public service announcement. If we don't comply it will then threaten to launch nuclear missiles.

    Just thought you'd all want to know...

  9. Been using gmail since 2005, this is the first time I have lost access to gmail. Not bad of a record.

  10. I was just able to get back in.

    Location: Raleigh, N.C.
    Time: 5:15 EST

  11. Gmail is back! This is not the first time Gmail has gone down on me, but it always sucks.

    Good thing that I use Gmail POP3 (with Windows Live Mail)!

  12. just FYI - my GOGGLE Desktop GMAIL Gadget also was affected (did not work)... so at some point.. I would expect a clarification that only the web interface was involved.

    I have to admit.. I'm now wondering if I should set up IMAP to capture a local copy of my mail.. just in case GMAIL dies and they lose the archive...

    I wonder what the risks of that actually happening are...???

    Has GMAIL every lost people's mail?

  13. I lost communication with my friends1...Damn.....

  14. It's always a good idea to enable both POP and IMAP from Gmail's settings, just in case you'll use a mail client at some point. When Gmail is down, only the web interface is usually affected, so you can still use POP/IMAP clients like Outlook, Thunderbird, Windows Live Mail, Evolution, mobile phone clients like iPhone's mail app and other webmail services that support mail fetching (Hotmail, Yahoo Mail).

  15. I just went to do other stuff. Email outage is not a bad thing once in a while :-)

  16. Unacceptable? Remeber it's free after all.

  17. Pondering the problem it occurred to me that a major failure cause is the "stop sending us traffic, we're too slow!" response ...
    Which should be "send us 50% less traffic, we're getting rather slow!" or similar.

    or maybe I'm just jumping to too literal an interpretation...?

    ps: re:should i keep a separate copy of my mail:
    Yes, yes you should if it's that important to you. The easy way(in my opinion): Set up another webmail account or two from separate providers & in gmail setup a filter that forwards a copy of all incoming mail on to them ;-)

  18. *sigh* and i need to read the last paragraph or two of linked articles before commenting, sorry :-(
    Though maybe the system could automatically bring more request routers online.

  19. Not sure if this issue was already existing before the outage, but I'm not anymore able to add a label to an incoming e-mail.
    I tried Chrome and FireFox, and have disabled my labs gadgets.

    Anyone the same issue ?

    Where can I report this at Google so they get aware of this ?

    On the GMail User Forum ?

    Already thanks for letting me know your experiences.


  20. I found a work-around, Labels DO work by using the interface in basic HTML.

    Jeroen (France).

  21. Gmail is down again. Or at least a bit flaky

  22. Some people do pay for Gmail Enterprise. Hopefully they didn't loose business during this.


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