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Gmail's disappearing act: Blame the storage software update

Google said Gmail will return for all users in the next few hours and that lost email archives will return.
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Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor on

Google said late Monday that Gmail will return for all users in the next few hours and that lost email archives will return.

Gmail went dark for a small subset of users over the last few hours. In a nutshell, some folks found their Gmail account empty and archives were nuked.

Needless to say, this situation had a few folks reconsidering their cloud computing thoughts. At the very least, backup plans were being concocted. On the Enterprise Irregular list, it was evident that backup plans---and specifically options for Gmail---were sorely lacking.

Related: Google 'does a Hotmail'; reports of deleted emails

Fortunately, Google didn't lose your data. Here's what Google outlined in a blog post.

  • 0.02 percent of Gmail users were affected on Sunday.
  • Google is "very sorry."
  • The data wasn't lost and most of those affected has service restored.
  • Multiple copies of the data was stored, but a software bug deleted some of the mail.
  • Now Google is restoring the data from tape backups.
  • A storage software update introduced the bug and Google stopped the deployment.

What should you do in the future? Your options are to backup your Gmail in an email client, autocopy to another Google account via POP and autocopy to a non-Google account.

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