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Google services return online after major global outage

·2-min read

Google said it has restored service for the “vast majority of users” after a major outage took the firm’s key apps, including YouTube and Gmail, offline.

Earlier on Monday, the tech firm’s service status website said Google’s entire suite of apps had gone down, leaving users unable to access emails or documents via the company’s software.

However, in an updated statement just over an hour after the first report of the incident, Google said its apps and services had widely come back online.

In an updated message to users, the company said it would “continue to work towards restoring service for the remaining affected users” but that no further updates would be provided via its service status website.

The technology giant did not disclose what had caused the problem.

“Please rest assured that system reliability is a top priority at Google and we are making continuous improvements to make our systems better,” the company added.

The incident had a far-reaching impact, with other Google services such as Google Maps, as well as Calendar and its cloud storage Google Drive app all being listed as affected by the outage.

Some of Google’s services are among the most widely used in the world – YouTube has more than two billion active users, while Gmail is the world’s most popular email platform with more than 1.5 billion users.

Visitors attempting to visit the YouTube website were met with an error message which said: “Something went wrong”.

Service monitoring website Down Detector also reported that users had flagged issues accessing the Google Play Store and the Google Meet and Hangouts communications tools.

Many had taken to social media to share their frustration with the rare outage, with the technology giant quickly trending on Twitter.

However, these services also appear to now be returning to normal.

Adam Leon Smith, chair of the Special Interest Group in Software Testing at BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT, highlighted the issues had by users of Google’s smart home products during the outage and said the incident showed how dependent on technology the world was today.

“People are sat in the dark unable to turn on their lights controlled by Google Home. My last two meetings have been unable to use the planned slides as they are stored in Google Slides,” he said.

“Our dependency on technology has grown so much, but the amount spent on reliability, testing and quality hasn’t grown in parallel. Many companies will be reviewing their SLAs (service-level agreements) with Google today and realising their business is dependent on a stack completely outside of their control.”

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