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Mom, Google Ate My GMail!

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Update:If you are ready to give up your desktop clients and are considering switching to all-Google all-the-time, as one of us has done, be warned that the future is not simple and fraught with risk. An increasing number of GMail subscribers are complaining that their emails, accounts and archives are simply vanishing.

For nearly 10 days, a strange sort of bug is simply cleaning out the GMail inboxes. An afflicted soul wrote to us this morning, warning about this bug. Just when we were saying GMail is getting better and better. (If you are you one of the victims, please leave a comment and we will try and get to Google people and see what is going on.) On the GMail thread on (what else) Google Threads, a user writes:

Not only we are surprised that these sorts of issues happens to a company like Google but we are pissed off because e-mail is the core of our internet life.

A Gmail Guide responded to complaints on December 22nd, saying that they were looking into it. As of December 28, people were still waiting for the GSanta to show up. Anyway, hate to say this, Google is the new Microsoft. It is pounding start-ups with its traffic might, and is being afflicted by bugs.

Seriously guys, if you are a GMail user, perhaps it is time to download the GMail via POP3 access. Don’t wait, do it now! And Liz, add reliability and 100% uptime to your GMail wishlist.

Update: Google spokeswoman sent us an email explaining the situation:

Regretfully, a small number of our users — around 60 — lost some or all of their email received prior to December 18th. Once we found out about this issue, we worked day and night to confirm that only a few accounts were affected and to do whatever we could to restore as much of the users’ accounts as we could. We’ve also reached out to the people who were affected to apologize and to work with them to restore the email from any personal backup they might have.

We know how important Gmail is to our users – we use it ourselves for our corporate email. We have extensive safeguards in place to protect email stored with Gmail and we are confident that this is a small and isolated incident.

93 Responses to “Mom, Google Ate My GMail!”

  1. May I thank you for adding that startling info. I have learned a lot from it. Running a home office is very challenging. Since I use Chandler “Running-To-Do-Lists” in my business too, I have the advantage to be more organized in fulfilling my daily errands and thus my day does not feel so stressful and packed. In order to stay organized with my emails too, I use Email Sorter Wizard, a MS Outlook add-in. Using Email Sorter Wizard is like having a personal email assistant that takes care of a cluttered inbox and gets everything organized.

  2. James Yoon

    I literally can’t get on to gmail. It’s not that my emails and stuff are getting erased but I can’t even get on to Gmail. On safari, it just says that an error has occurred because it can’t make a “secure connection” to the website. Anyone know what that really means?


    i think theres somin wrong with my laptop or somin! or its…EVIL GMAIL!!!!

  4. Angelo Lewis

    I have been a gmail user from near the beginning of the service. Yesterday, I logged on to discover that all my email had been deleted, except for new messages. Drafts, filters, inbox, ALLMAIL, everything. I filled out the form on Gmail help about twelve hours ago. Perhaps I’ll hear back, although I am not hopeful. If you use Gmail, get the utility that allows you to back up your mail to your hard drive. Otherwise, you may be out of luck.

    • Ernesto Gongora

      I have also been a GMail user since its Beta days. Never had problems with it until a week and a half ago when suddenly I was not able to login using the password I have used for years. I had to eventually do a password recovery and was asked the private questions tied to my old password to get access. When I got back in, all my emails where gone. I only had 8 emails which had arrived that day. I could not believe that had just happened to me. I never downloaded my emails because I thought they were safer online than in my computer’s hard drive. Now I know better. Something similar happened to me with facebook. I opened an account, invited a bunch of people to be my friends, then I was not able to login to my account and trying to reset my password doesn’t work because I never receive my new password from facebook in my Gmail account. I wonder if my accounts were hacked.

  5. Amanda Valentine

    Yeeeah… I found this by using google to see if this is happening to other people. In the past two weeks this has happened to TWO of my gmail accounts! I tried to log in, the password was “invalid” and I had to jump through a few hoops to finally be able to reset my password. Once I reset it ALL of my contacts were gone, as well as all of my saved e-mails! One account was 4 years old and the other was at least 6 years old! That is A LOT of saved e-mails with other website password’s stored and so on. I am worried it may happen to my business account next.

  6. WHAT the HECK! I open a gmail account for first time over a week ago. I have it accessible on my Blackberry as well. Suddenly, on February 11th after Google made some “new and improved changes”–as they advertised, my desktop google does NOT recognize my username or password. I suddenly do not exist. However, I still receive new emails on my gmail on the Blackberry. I just can’t access all my emails I sent from my old Hotmail on my desktop. It’s ridiculous. Now I may have to notify all my contacts AGAIN this month—- Psych! I will go back to my previous old hotmail account. I am NOT impressed with Google or Gmail at all. How can this be fixed?

  7. oh dear oh dear..

    same problem. Went from working fine in the afternoon too not recognising either my username or password. Which i know is right.

    Very worrying that emails going back to 2004 might very well be lost.

    Does anyone have any good news?

  8. Kaustav

    I had two Google IDs deleted in three weeks.
    The first was an Id that I had used since 2004, with lots of mail in it. In addition, I had an Orkut profile with hundreds of contacts, my blog on blogger, Google Calendar, and an igoogle page. I logged on in the morning to check the calendar, and then logged off. In the evening, the log in screen showed a password – username mismatch. All efforts went in vain. Finally a test mail sent to my gmail account bounced, saying the username did not exist.
    I created another ID and re-created my blog from scratch through backups. I also recreated my Orkut profile. Again, the account was deleted in a few days.
    Of course, email sent to google seems to disappear into a black hole – my emails and support requests on their website have not been answered.


  9. Have been using Gmail without problem for several months, but yesterday no email showed up (except some spam) and I verified with a family member that she had sent me an email during the day. I have no idea how many other messages did not arrive — and it was just after posting an ad on Craig’s List.

  10. I’ve just had a terrible experience with gmail.

    All of a sudden I was locked out of my account and was told my account had been disabled. I have filled in their online form several times and it is now weeks and I still have no access. I’ve been using my account for analytics and web tools as well as docs and spreads. This is a real nightmare.

    I cannot prove to google that I own my account and they can’t be bothered to listen to me. I can’t call them up. I’m stuffed. That’s the end of gmail for me. Google says don’t be evil. But that don’t mean don’t be incompetant!

    Their problem resolution form is pitiful. I cannot answer the questions wihtout logging into my account! I can’t remember the exact date I opened my account or even how!

    I’ve lost emails some of which are very important.

    That’s it with gmail for me and I will never ever recommend it to anyone else.

    For important mail you need a host you can get on the phone to when it goes wrong. Free mail is just not the answer. Read their terms and conditions and you will realise they can do what they want when they want.


    ps: thank god I was using a local client and saved all my mail onto my disk.

  11. Katie Alderman

    Everytime i want to get into gmail via google it gives me an error saying cant open site i must abort…. Frustrating i need to get in there for business,,,, never had this problem before, only started yesterday 2/06/2008. Please can someone sort this out asap…..

  12. kathleen

    I did all the right things, waited 5 days, tried to fill out a support form, but NOTHING will work! The support form won’t even recognize my username as a valid format, although I’ve retyped it about 9 times, and I’m positive its correct!!! I am so frustrated, and have no idea how to get in contact with anyone at gmail to help me fix this…

  13. anjan BHOWMICK

    We were residents of France. About 6 months back we moved to Morocco for good. Thus doing away with the france telecom etc.. having pai up all france telecom bills. Now ‘s the real catch 22 story that starts.

    01) With all france telecom bills paid and the yearly subscription etc brought to a halt: my wanadoo email (france telecom) obviousely was also inactive.

    02) wanadoo telecom was my secondary email id given while getting the gmail adress.

    03) in this move from France to Morocco – i totally forgot my gmail password…….. AND AND AND i am completely stuck unable to retrieve any message from my gmail id!!!!!!!! CAN YOU HELP ? Am writting this after having done a whole lot of,excercises in you gmail website which gives you the feel that whatever comes by YOU WILL BE ASSISTED…..WOW that sounds real good – but in reality there’s NO WAY I GOT ANY ASSISTANCED – and till date all my messages remain in YOUR POSESSION without my being able to access !!!!!!!!!

  14. Ever since we switched to Gmail we often have a problem getting our email messages. It is very unreliable and we are sorry we changed to Gmail. They tell us that our password is incorrect each time we try to get onto our email. We thought Google was the best until this happened. What is the matter with you people? Unfortunately, we are living in a society of mediocrity! The people who work for you just don’t care. We are very disappointed in Google’s Gmail. They don’t recognize our password each time. We are very disgusted with your poor service. What is the matter with your Google system?

  15. FUCK GMAIL. Had my account for only about a month now, and today for the SECOND TIME they are telling me my password is incorrect, which it is not…now I’m fucked for at least five days since google never sends any emails to the secondary email I provided. It makes no sense either that I need to wait an arbitrary number of days before I can again set up my password.
    I’ve never heard of so many unrelated (and repeated!) problems with any other email server. I’m going back to Excite…10 years of email with and never ANY login problems!
    a slow and painful liquidy fart.

  16. Joe, I’m having the same problem. I’m not so sure it has anything to do with your memory. On my PC, the problem happens when using IE, but if I use Safari for Windows on the same machine it doesn’t happen. I found that in IE, I can delete the “#” from the end of the broken url and add “&ui=1” and it links me to my inbox.

  17. As of yesterday, 01/13/08, I can only see the last five emails on my home page. When I try to open the inbox, i see the message that it is done but I only have an empty screen. The same is true when I go to my account and click gmail. This is on my machine that has 512 meg memory.

    However on my other machine with the 2 gigs of memory, I can open the inbox and see all the emails I have.

    Can you help me to retrieve these items on my one computer?

  18. My Gmail is always missing every month or so it all goes down the tubes. I contact support and there no help at all.Does anyone know a phone number for support because online support is non existant

  19. buckpost

    For some strange reason, my Gmail password no longer works. When you try to reset it, they tell you to check your secondary e-mail address that you used when you signed up for the GMail account. Of course, they don’t tell you what the e-mail address is, and if it’s inactive you have to wait FIVE days before you’re allowed to answer a security question!!!

  20. December 1, 2007.

    The problem with Gmail still exists. I lost several emails from my ‘INBOX’ over the last few weeks. I did notice this all these days, but when I went looking for these emails, they have vanished.
    Is anyone else having the similar problems?

  21. Joey Carlton

    I’m a writer, and recently, I had to switch computers, so I sent all of my writings to myself through G-Mail. But somhow–just today–it all got deleted and I have no idea why. I am extremely upset about this because I’m afraid that I’ve just lost more than half of everything I’ve ever written.

    I am desperately hoping that this is just temporary and that I will get everything back in my inbox soon. If I can’t get it back, then I don’t know what I’ll do…