Google Drive, Gmail Experienced Service Disruptions Wednesday

google drive

Many of Google’s most popular and used Apps including Google Drive and Gmail experienced service disruptions on Wednesday morning, causing some panic among faithful users.

According to the Google Apps Status Dashboard, its Mail and Drive services, primarily, began experiencing interruptions just before 9 a.m. EST on Wednesday. However, industry observer Barry Schwartz reported problems with Google Docs and Gmail may have begun around 8 a.m.

Most Google users noticed the lack of service when trying to access files stored on the Drive App. This is a popular App that allows users to store documents, spreadsheets, forms, drawings, and other files in its cloud storage.

Disgruntled Drive users who lost their service temporarily took to Twitter and forums on Google+ to vent their frustrations. The discussion under the Twitter tag #googledown shows many users reporting that their service was down and wondering if any other users had been experiencing the same outages.

One user posted the 502 Error screen he encountered on Wednesday:


Just before 11 a.m., Google reported on the Dashboard that the problem had been resolved and that Mail and Drive were working properly again.

Google said the problem affected just seven one-thousandths of its Mail users, but specified no numbers on the amount of users affected by the outage with Drive. Google has yet to offer any explanation on the outage, either. The Twitter accounts for both @googledrive and @gmail were both silent through the day on Wednesday.

Even though hearing it from Google would probably have been the best way to learn about service disruptions and find out when service has been restored, users were busy during the downtime keeping each other informed, including on Google’s fledgling social network, Google+. Still, if small businesses and others rely on Google Drive and Mail to conduct their daily business, knowing when it may again be available would be helpful. Otherwise, people get other ideas:


This is the first service disruption to Google Drive since March 21, 2013 when users experienced long load times and received “still trying” warnings while attempting to access their files saved in its cloud. Google filed a report (PDF) on that incident one full week after the service disruption.

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Joshua Sophy Joshua Sophy is the Editor for Small Business Trends and the Head of Content Partnerships. A journalist with 20 years of experience in traditional and online media, he is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. He founded his own local newspaper, the Pottsville Free Press, covering his hometown.

3 Reactions
  1. This stuff happens.

    But, when it starts to happen a lot-it’s time to create a backup plan. (No pun intended on the word “backup)

    I’ve had issues with web hosts; some of them just aren’t reliable.

    I changed hosts recently…I was just sick of having my site go down.

    Maybe we should have backup plans for our Google services?

    The Franchise King

  2. Hi Joel,

    A backup plan is right. If you use Google Talk to communicate among your team, and you use Gmail or Google Apps mail, you can’t even communicate among the team through those channels to let them know, “hey email is down and we know it.” And for some of our team the services were down, but it varied depending on where people were located. We resorted to texting each other and using Skype. Makes you realize just how dependent you can get on one service provider, and that’s not good. 🙂