More than 5 millions of Google mail users across the globe could not access their emails yesterday after a widespread outage of the webmail service.
Google reported that less than 2% of their customers were affected by the service shut down which translates to approximately 5.25 million people.
Google has not explained why the service was disrupted for over an hour yesterday.
Some customers were unable to read, send or receive emails between 12:42 p.m. and 1:46 p.m. EST on Tuesday.
After signing into a Gmail account, users were seeing an error message that read: “Temporary Error 500.”
Google said on its Twitter feed: “Thanks everyone for the reports of 500 errors, we’re working on it.”
And later said: “Gmail should be back for some of you already, and will be back for everyone soon. Thanks for your patience.”
By this stage Gmail going down had become a trending topic on Twitter.
Thousands of Gmail users from countries including the U.S., France, Canada, Spain, and the U.K. took to Facebook and Twitter to vent their fury at the inconvenience.
Even pop sensation Justin Bieber was put out by Gmail’s outage, as he tweeted: “#CantSayNo to fans”, “I #makeapromise to talk to them and my #Gmail is down so add me on Facebook.”
The glitch appeared to be fixed shortly after an hour after it went down.
“The problem with Google Mail should be resolved. We apologize 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,” Google said in a statement.
While some customers were irate others saw a funnier side to the web giant’s embarrassment – @theonion joked: “Google Shuts Down Gmail For Two Hours To Show Its Immense Power”.
Prior to yesterday’s crash Gmail has only been down seven times since it launched in 2007 and only once in the last three years. Google reported that Gmail was available 99.984% of the time in 2010, and 99.99% in 2011.
The problems came after Google chief executive Larry Page’s recent announcement that the company signs up more than 5,000 new businesses and educational organizations each day for business email accounts.
And last month Google unveiled a new “Account Activity” page which sums up who users have emailed, what devices they have used to access Google and even where they’ve been.