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Global outage hits Google, users face e-mail, storage, videoconferencing services disruption

07:00 | 21/08/2020

Google faces a global outage affecting many of its services, including e-mail, storage, document and videoconferencing.

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global outage hits google users face e mail storage videoconferencing services disruption
Many users have reported the issue on social media, with the hashtags #Gmail and #Gmaildown trending on Twitter. Photo: REUTERS

Google suffered a seven-hour global outage on Thursday (Aug 20) that affected many of its services, including e-mail, storage, document and videoconferencing, reported Straits Times.

The disruption hit users at a time when they needed the tools most to stay productive amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Many users could not log into their Gmail accounts while some could not send or receive attachments. Others could not create files in their Google Drive, post messages via Google Chat and record Meet videoconferencing sessions.

According to third-party Web monitoring company DownDetector, problems with Google services were first reported at around noon around the world on Thursday. A live outage world map by the same firm showed that issues were mostly reported in Japan, India, parts of the United States, Europe and South-east Asian countries including Singapore.

DownDetector also recorded reports from around 10,000 affected users in Singapore on Thursday. The majority here faced problems with attaching documents, while 21 per cent of users had log-in problems, and 17 per cent had issues with receiving emails.

Google confirmed on its website recently that it was investigating the problems. A few hours later, the tech giant reported that services were restored. Apologising for the inconvenience caused, Google said on its website: "System reliability is a top priority at Google. We are making continuous improvements to make our systems better."

No response to the cause of the disruption and its redundancy plans has available yet.

Mr Loo Wee Teck, global head of consumer electronics at market research firm Euromonitor International, said: "The outage serves as a timely reminder to companies not to rely on one company - even if it saves them money - for their digital services needs, but mitigate their risks by going with a few companies or platforms."

According to CNET, Gmail and Google Drive suffered a global outage in March 2019 that also affected people's ability to send emails.

global outage hits google users face e mail storage videoconferencing services disruption
This is not the first time Gmail services went down for hours for users in the world. Photo: Washington Post
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