Gmail is back up after two-hour outage

After refusing connections all morning, Gmail officially went down for the count this afternoon. For more than an hour the service was completely gone, but Google has returned Gmail's status to a "Service Disruption."

This morning, a notice from Google was sent out to users which said, "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."

However, later in the afternoon, a further message was sent out, saying "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."

But the status definitely changed for the worse. The Google Apps Status Dashboard went from reporting a Gmail "Service Disruption" earlier this afternoon to a complete "Service Outage."

Google's last update said "We are continuing to investigate this issue. We will provide an update by September 1, 2009 6:13:00 PM UTC-4 detailing when we expect to resolve the problem.
Users can access their email via IMAP or POP. You can find instructions for how to do this here.
Also, at this time, Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook (applies only to Google Apps Premier and Edu customers) is not available."

Confused users catapulted "Gmail" to the top trend on Twitter this afternoon, and frustrated users have taken the subject up on Facebook as well. What else are you going to do when you can't email your complaints to anyone?

The trend on Twitter actually grew so quickly that the microblogging service's search function was bouncing queries for the term "Gmail."

Interestingly, this outage comes close to being exactly one year after the last major Gmail service outage, which lasted 15 hours. When this happened last year, Google issued an apology and attributed the downtime to "a temporary outage in our contacts system that was preventing Gmail from loading properly."

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