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16th Dec 2020

Gmail crashed late last night, significant number of accounts bounced emails back

Rory Cashin

Important information if you were expecting an important email last night.

Yesterday (Tuesday, December 15), Gmail and YouTube users worldwide were unable to access their services, as well as Stadia users and other Gmail applications, such as Google Calendar and Google Docs.

The problem appeared to be resolved by the afternoon, until late last night, when Gmail crashed once again.

At 9.29pm, Google stated the following:

“We’re aware of a problem with Gmail affecting a significant subset of users. The affected users are able to access Gmail, but are seeing error messages, high latency, and/or other unexpected behaviour. We will provide an update by 10:30 PM detailing when we expect to resolve the problem. Please note that this resolution time is an estimate and may change.”

The issue was involving a lot of Gmail accounts, and Ireland appeared to be one of the hot spots for the outages. Email accounts temporarily appeared to no longer exist, with emails to those accounts bouncing back to send stating that the email address could not be found.

Additionally, those Gmail accounts could still be accessed, and emails could be written and sent as normal, but those emails would not be delivered to their addresses.

At 11.51pm, Google returned with the following statement:

“The problem with Gmail has been resolved. We apologise for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience and continued support. Please rest assured that system reliability is a top priority at Google, and we are making continuous improvements to make our systems better. If you are still experiencing an issue, please contact us via the Google Help Center.

“Affected users received a bounce notification with the error ‘The email account that you tried to reach does not exist’ after sending an email to addresses ending in”

So if you were sending or expecting an important email last night, it may not have been delivered.

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