YouTube, Gmail among Google services hit by temporary outage

Google users in Canada, the U.S., Europe, India and other parts of the world were briefly unable to access their Gmail accounts, watch YouTube videos or get to their online documents during an outage Monday.

Tens of thousands of complaints popped up around 7 a.m. ET along the East Coast of the U.S. The vast majority of those people, about 90 per cent, could not log in, according to the site Downdetector.

The inability to sign in prevented users from accessing other platforms through Google, including mobile video games.

“We’re aware of a problem with Gmail affecting a majority of users,” a status update on a Google dashboard said, followed by another message about an hour later that said service has been restored for “the vast majority of affected users.”

A Google spokesperson said in a statement that Google had an “internal storage quota issue” that lasted for about 45 minutes. 

“We apologize to everyone affected, and we will conduct a thorough followup review to ensure this problem cannot recur in the future,” the spokesperson said.

There were similar updates for Google’s many other services, such as Docs, Hangouts and Chat. 

The disruption was an early jolt for parents who were waking children up for school Monday. Millions of students are relying on Google for online instruction during the pandemic, including platforms like Google Docs.

Some of most widely used services worldwide

The company has some of the most widely used services in the world. YouTube records over two billion logged-in users each month, with people watching over a billion hours of video on its platform.

“We’re back up and running!” the video platform said in a tweet. It had earlier tweeted that many users were having issues accessing YouTube.

Outages on select Google apps are not uncommon, but Monday’s outage affected all its popular services, including Google Hangouts, Google Chats and Google Meet, which people have used extensively during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Downdetector, which tracks website outages, reported the problem affected users across the world, but appeared especially widespread in the northeastern U.S., Britain and other parts of Europe. Japan, Malaysia and India also looked to be more affected.

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