Security issues aside, one of the worst things that can happen to someone’s email account is for all the important messages, contacts and folders to simply disappear. Unfortunately, this is exactly what has happened to a relatively small number of Google Mail users, reports the Huffington Post.
On Sunday, a significant number of Gmail users took to the Gmail forums complaining that their accounts had been gutted of some of its most important bits.
“I have lost ALL on my emails/folders etc. from gmail,” wrote one user. “Why would that happen? How can I restore everything?”
“I was on my eMail normal and when I refreshed all my account settings, eMail, labels, contacts etc has just disappeared,” wrote another. “I was running at 80% capacity is that anything to do with it? Is there a way that one can restore all of that?”
Google responded to the issue, first posting on its Apps Status Dashboard that they are “investigating reports of an issue with Google Mail,” and “will provide more information shortly.” Subsequent posts to the Apps Status Dashboard indicate that Google engineers are “continuing to investigate the issue.”
While Google initially said that the problem “affects less than .29% of the Google Mail userbase,” the company later reduced that number, telling the Huffington Post in a statement that the “very small number” of users affected is actually “less than .08%,” and that they have “already fixed the problem for some users.”
Google has more than 150 million users, putting the number of accounts affected by the problem at around 120,000.
As of 8am EST Monday morning, users affected by the issue reported that their accounts had been entirely disabled, with access to Google Calendar, Reader and Documents cut off. Emails to affected accounts reportedly bounce back.