Gmail Now Really Down – Can I Get My Email Back Please (Update: Its Back)


We wrote this morning about Gmail suffering some turbulence, but it appears now that it has completely crashed and disappeared. Both Apps For Domain and the usual consumer Gmail service are down completely. Google seem to be going backwards on fixing the problem, this morning they sent out an alert saying:

September 1, 2009 8:18:00 AM PDT
Google Mail service has already been restored for some users, and we expect a resolution for all users in the near future. Please note this time frame is an estimate and may change.

I use Apps For Domain for everything – my contacts, my email, my todo list, my chat, my documents and more recently, my phone. As soon as it went down, I noticed in less than a second. I am now completely stuck, after a few months of being impressed by how I was able to run my entire life on Google.

It is not just the frontend that is down, but also the backend IMAP and POP servers (Update: they are up, but slow). This is a huge fail for Google, considering how admired they are for all the technology they have built internally to scale out their applications.

Update: The Google App Status dashboard says that there is currently a ‘service disruption’ with email.

Update: The outage immediately became a trending topic on Twitter, with thousands of tweets from users noticing and complaining about the outage. The outage that we reported this morning was not as widespread, but could point to a potential originating cause.

Update: Still down. I wonder if the paid Apps for Domain users, who have an SLA, are also down?

Update: New status message:

September 1, 2009 12:53:00 PM PDT
We're aware of a problem with Google Mail affecting a majority of users. The affected users are unable to access Google Mail. We will provide an update by September 1, 2009 1:53:00 PM PDT detailing when we expect to resolve the problem. Please note that this resolution time is an estimate and may change.

They will be back in an hour (the engineers must have been out at lunch).

Update: Apparently IMAP/POP are up for some. Setting up IMAP …

Update: New message from the Google Twitter account:

We’re aware that people are having trouble accessing Gmail. We’re working on fixing it. Apologies for the inconvenience

Update: For those of you who use the web interface who want to also grab their email with IMAP or POP, instructions courtesy or Rajeev. Only works if you had IMAP/POP enabled before this downtime.

(TLS, port 557, enable authentication)

(Enable SSL, port 993)


Update: Downloading my mail now with IMAP. Slow, but sorta working.

Update (2:06PM PST): New update message. Still down, and now no ETA on being back up:

September 1, 2009 1:02:00 PM PDT
We are continuing to investigate this issue. We will provide an update by September 1, 2009 2:16:00 PM PDT detailing when we expect to resolve the problem.

Update: Google has posted to their blog:

We know many of you are having trouble accessing Gmail right now — we are too, and we definitely feel your pain. We don’t usually post about minor issues here (the Apps status dashboard and the Gmail Help Center are usually where this kind of information goes). Because this is impacting so many of you, we wanted to let you know we’re currently looking into the issue and hope to have more info to share here shortly. If you have IMAP or POP set up already, you should be able to access your mail that way in the meantime. We’re terribly sorry for the inconvenience and will get Gmail back up and running as soon as possible.