The worst of the outage lasted for approximately 10 minutes, though services remained unstable for about an hour. But it was long enough to send Gmail’s millions of users to Twitter to complain about not being able to check their emails.
Some users on social media networks also reported that they were unable to open their Google+ accounts, even after mail had been restored.
In a statement, Google said that it is “investigating reports of an issue with some Google services” and will be posting updates to its Apps Status Dashboard. All services on the Google Dashboard were working as intended, at about 4 p.m. on Friday afternoon.
The company hasn’t released official usage numbers for Gmail in over a year — the firm last touted 425 million in June 2012 — but companies that partner with Gmail, such as Todoist, have said that Gmail now has over 500 million accounts.
The service has not had a major outage since 2009, when an issue with one of the company’s servers caused communication problems for days. But hiccups with the system are not uncommon. Most recently, Gmail and Google Docs were both hit by a limited outage in April that left some users unable to access their messages, documents or Google chat for the better part of the morning.