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Gmail messages vanish for about 150,000

SMH | March 2, 2011
Google has restored email service and messages to some of the users who had found their old emails deleted.

SYDNEY, 2 MARCH 2011 - Google has restored email service and messages to some of the users who had found their old emails deleted.

Google first posted a notice about the problem Sunday afternoon, US time, on a site where it informs users of service problems on applications such as email. The company says the problem affected about 0.02 per cent of Gmail users, or two of every 10,000. That's down from its earlier estimate that 0.29 per cent, or 29 of every 10,000.

Google did not say how many users this translates to, only that its Gmail service has "hundreds of millions" of users around the world. That would mean that tens of thousands - 20,000 out of every 100 million - users were affected. Reports have said that about 150,000 accounts were affected.

The company said Monday afternoon, US time, it has restored access to a third of the users affected and is working on resolving it for the remainder by the end of the day. Although the message losses were only temporary, the problem illustrates just how dependent people are on free email services such as Gmail.

It's possible to backup Gmail messages. One way is to go to Gmail's settings, choose the "Forwarding and POP/IMAP" tab and check "Enable POP for all mail". Then follow the configuration instructions. You can then download a copy of all messages using email software such as Mozilla's Thunderbird.

 

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