As much as I long to achieve “inbox zero,” waking up to find my email wiped clean actually sounds pretty nightmarish. But that’s what happened to many Gmail users this morning, who logged into their accounts to find they’ve been wiped clean. No email in. No history of what’s been sent. No folders. Nothing. Just a standard “Welcome to Gmail” announcement as though they were using the service for the very first time.
Users took to the Google forums and to Twitter to express their concerns. Google has responded there, saying it’s aware of the problem and is working on a solution. We’ve contacted Google for more details and will update the story as we know more.
UPDATED: According to a Google spokesperson, “Today a very small number users are having difficulty accessing their Gmail accounts, and in some cases once they’re in, trouble viewing emails. This is affecting less than .08% of our Gmail user base, and we’ve already fixed the problem for some individuals. Our engineers are working as quickly as possible and we hope to have everything back to normal soon. We’re very sorry for the inconvenience to our customers.”
Google has also updated its App Status Dashboard to acknowledge the problems, noting that only .08% of Gmail users are impacted by the problems.
Despite that small number, losing all your emails – over six years of email history according to one person who contacted me – can be devastating. Hopefully Google can restore these messages. And if nothing else, today’s problems are a good reminder to back up your content.