Image: Gmail "status" on Sept. 1
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Google's "Application Status Dashboard" Web page noted the e-mail outage on Tuesday.
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msnbc.com
updated 9/1/2009 6:39:39 PM ET 2009-09-01T22:39:39

Google's e-mail service, Gmail, should be "back up and running as usual," according to the company, after an outage Tuesday that affected a "majority" of its millions of users.

"We've fixed the issue," wrote company engineering director David Bresbris on Google's blog, at around 2:30 p.m. PT Tuesday. "We're still investigating the root cause of this outage, and we'll share more information soon. Thanks for bearing with us.

"We know many of you are having trouble accessing Gmail right now — we are too, and we definitely feel your pain. We don't usually post about minor issues here ... Because this is impacting so many of you, we wanted to let you know we're currently looking into the issue and hope to have more info to share here shortly ...

"We're terribly sorry for the inconvenience and will get Gmail back up and running as soon as possible."

Users of the free, Web-based service were being met with error messages late Tuesday morning and early afternoon PT when they tried to access their accounts, or if they could access them, getting error messages when trying to send an e-mail. Many took to Twitter to share their frustrations, as well as other Web sites.

"I am getting sick of GMail crashing. It is happening more and more all the time. Not good, Google," wrote one frustrated user on the TechCrunch Web site.

Earlier, on its "App Status Dashboard" page, which is separate from Gmail, Google noted: "We're aware of a problem with Google Mail affecting a majority of users. The affected users are unable to access Google Mail," although the source of the outage was not stated.

"Users can access their e-mail via IMAP or POP," the company said on its site. Instructions for doing so are at this link. Also, users who already have a personalized Google home page set up at iGoogle.com may be able to access their e-mail through that site.

Jason Freidenfelds of Google said the outage lasted "approximately one hour and forty-five minutes. During that period, users could continue to send and receive email using POP and IMAP, and access their old mail using Gmail offline."

This is not the first Gmail outage. In May, users were cut off from Google's search engine, e-mail and other online services. The Mountain View,Calif.-based company blamed the trouble on a glitch that routed too much of its traffic through computers in Asia, overwhelming its system so badly that about 14 percent of its users encountered problems with the Internet's most popular search engine. The mistake also affected Google's e-mail and several other services.

In February, a Gmail outage affected users in Europe and Asia, as well as the United States. Google said it would make it up to paying customers by giving 15 days of free service to businesses, government agencies and other subscribers who pay for an expanded version of the product, at a charge of $50 a year per user.

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