If you were unable to access Gmail, Google+, Google Calendar, Google Drive, and other online services from The Big G earlier today, you were not alone. A widespread outage was reported in the late morning/early afternoon US time. Google seems to have cleared up the issue, but just to let everyone know what's up, Google's Vice President of Engineering Ben Treynor took to the company blog for both an explanation and an apology.

Earlier today, most Google users who use logged-in services like Gmail, Google+, Calendar and Documents found they were unable to access those services for approximately 25 minutes. For about 10 percent of users, the problem persisted for as much as 30 minutes longer. Whether the effect was brief or lasted the better part of an hour, please accept our apologies—we strive to make all of Google’s services available and fast for you, all the time, and we missed the mark today.

The issue has been resolved, and we’re now focused on correcting the bug that caused the outage, as well as putting more checks and monitors in place to ensure that this kind of problem doesn’t happen again.

Treynor goes on to explain that one of Google's internal configuration systems sent out an automated update to a variety of services. This update was affected by a software bug, which in turn generated errors for users - some for just a few minutes, some for a few more. Google's engineers were alerted in less than seven minutes, and had repaired the error in less than 20, though some users experienced issues for a little while longer.

Google assures us they've found and fixed the original problem, and that new systems are being put in place to prevent it from happening again. As frustrating as an outage for such a vital company can be, it's as well to remember that they provide service to hundreds of millions of people, and most of them access it for no monetary charge. I think a little human error can be forgiven for reaching only 99.99% uptime.

Source: Official Google Blog

Michael Crider
Michael is a native Texan and a former graphic designer. He's been covering technology in general and Android in particular since 2011. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.

  • https://twitter.com/#!/psychomaniac189 psychomaniac189

    What really happened is somebody pulled the wrong wire in this mess!

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii
      • Darkbotic

        That's sexy!

      • jay555

        If you've ever watched Star Trek, doesn't it look like the inside of a Borg cube? Except brighter and more colorful.

        • Michael Fontenot

          We are Google. Your data and knowledge shall be added to our own. Resistance is futile. Prepare yourself for assimilation.

          • Leonardo Baez

            give me a free google glass and I'm happy to be asimilated.

      • abobobilly

        tech porn

        disco lights are making it very romantic

      • Andrés

        I'm always amazed about these pictures. I've worked for giants in the industry and never, ever seen anything even remotely close to this.

      • j

        simply amazing

    • Majeed Hamid

      haha really

  • Karlo

    Now lets compare to Apples iCloud service how much time it was offline vs Googles.

    • NotTheTodd

      The difference between icloud and Google services is that when icloud goes down, their 5 users are too busy instagramming sepia selfies to notice

  • beano311

    I couldn't access Google Play Music this afternoon at work for about twenty minutes... What am I supposed to do at work without Google services? Work?

  • pHyR3

    20 minutes... damn. not bad

  • TheWholeWorldLiesSun

    I guess the NSA was updating software on their splitters today

  • Matt Sendek

    I know this is beyond not the right place for this question but I don't know where else to post. Help would be much appreciated sorry for the randomness of this comment. I have the SanDisk wireless flash drive. It requires wifi to function which in turn leaves me without data ability. Is there a way I can use wifi and my LTE simultaneously so I can access my wireless flash drive with wifi yet use my data for Facebook or messaging or whatever I may happen to want to do?

    • Serge Cebrian

      I asume that you connect directly to the drive right??

      Well you could use a router with internet accesos so you could access the drive and the net at the same time

      • Matt Sendek

        I have nexus 5 so stock android. And my problem is I want to be able to use my cellular data while I don't have wifi but still have access to the drive

    • exadeci

      Theses drives usually can connect to a wifi network so you could do a wifi tethering on your smartphone but you will need 2 smartphones to configure it.
      Follow theses steps: http://youtu.be/w-bu9adQAJ8?t=1m28s but connect it to the wifi tethering of your main phone

    • wcjeep

      What phone? Stock? My GS3 connects wifi to my Seagate wifi drive and Vzw 4G LTE at the same time. If there are wifi routers around or the Seagate is connected to a wifi router this will turn off the phones 4G LTE connection.

    • Matt Sendek

      I'm using a nexus 5 so running stock. I know I can connect to wifi while using the device but I want to be able to use my phone on the go while still having my wireless drive functionality

  • Roh_Mish

    Was never down for me

  • Chris

    I wish they would address the missed calls issue on the Nexus 5

    • https://plus.google.com/+TroyLeonard Troy Leonard

      What missed calls issue? I have never missed one yet. Are you sure it isn't a service provider issue?

      • Chris

        Positive. Google "Nexus 5 missed calls." When someone is connected to a WiFi network, calls are missed. I seem to have fixed the problem by changing to 2.5ghz WiFi only from auto. I am glad too, because this might be the best smartphone I have ever owned.

  • A.Noid

    No no no... they had to unplug some wires to get the body out!

    • jmxx

      No wonder there is a problem. The google switching system eats the technicians.

  • jeffrey beck

    I demand a refund for my lost time on Gmail, and I will be switching to another email provider like... Uh yahoo? No. Live? No. Umm. NM google, were good. Just don't let it happen again, I was lost for 4 hours without my stream of junkmail notifications on my phone.

  • Stanley Chan

    Would Like to see the google servers for real. Anyone have pics? Didnt
    found any...

    • Seth Daniel

      Did you try Googling it? The picture Artem posted is one.


      • Stanley Chan

        Thanks. Really amazing. Cooler towers wow...

        I Liked the HD destructor machine. Pretty nice.

  • Severo Rivera

    Gmail is currently not working for me right now.

  • Gator352

    This is why the "cloud" and internet only of things should not be fully trusted. It doesn't matter whether it was 1 minute or 30 minutes it still went down and as more people flock to it, it will only get worse.

    • Mike Reid


      • Gator352

        Scary huh? Should be.

    • SSDROiD

      OK. It went down. It didn't go down for even past an hour. While other companies struggle with an entire day of maintenance, Google has been able to have 99% uptime. But you know, since it went down, we should all fuck the system, live in the woods and never trust cloud technology again, right? In all seriousness, compare the downtime to the uptime of Google and I will take those chances any day of the week!

      • Gator352

        Never said it shouldn't be used and live in the "woods". Just that the cloud should be used for convenience only. Not to back up your life.

        • SSDROiD

          Yeah, sorry, I exaggerated a little too much. I do agree with your post.

  • Stanley Chan

    I keep imagin' what whould be worst for the world.

    Explode the Visa and Mastercard center buildings just like Tyler did in Fight Club or explode the Google datacenters...

    • CoolCustomer

      Google data centers destroying visa and mastercard will only force us to use cash for a little while.

  • Fitzelgard Allan Gerard

    Google made my life hell for 20 minutes, my gf however continues to do so. This is why I love Google.

  • jmxx

    This evening 8-10PM Pacific Time 3 emails arrived two hours late. But I had the problem for few days.

  • Adam Truelove

    We apologize for keeping you from using our totally awesome and free services for 20 minutes.

  • Matthew Fry

    This is a good opportunity for everyone to realize what a service Google provides. Yes, they are getting a bit more evil in some ways (*especially* in regards to customer support) but... man. They provide 425 million people email with telecommunications level uptime in exchange for a few side bar text ads and an ad in the promotions tab, clearly marked.

  • Carol Starr

    I am not able to access Gmail for a long time. Google says that it is working, but NOT MINE!! I am sorry I ever signed up for a Gmail account. Google sucks!!!!!