Google services including Drive, Gmail and YouTube hit briefly by worldwide outage

Google services including Drive, Gmail and YouTube hit briefly by worldwide outage

YouTube outage
Error message seen when accessing YouTube on Monday, Dec 14, 2020.

SAN FRANCISCO: Many services from Alphabet Inc, including YouTube, Gmail and Google Drive, were down for users across the globe on Monday (Dec 14).

Users attempting to access the services received error messages and all the services on Google's Workspace Status Dashboard were marked in red, indicating disruption.

Google Services Dashboard
Google's Workspace Status Dashboard on Monday, Dec 14, 2020, showing all services down.

Social media sites were awash with hashtags including #googledown and #YouTubeDOWN as hundreds of millions of Internet users tried vainly to connect to the US search engine.

At 7.55pm Singapore time, a message accompanying an error notification on Gmail read: "We're aware of a problem with Gmail affecting a majority of users. The affected users are unable to access Gmail. 

"We will provide an update by 12/14/20, 8.12pm detailing when we expect to resolve the problem. Please note that this resolution time is an estimate and may change."

READ: Google delays return to office to September 2021, eyes 'flexible work week': Report

Similar messages appeared on other Google services like Calendar, Docs, Maps and Sheets.

At about 8.10pm, YouTube put out a tweet saying it was aware that many users were having issues accessing the platform. "Our team is aware and looking into it," it said.

Google services restored
Service outage and restoration details seen on Google's Workspace Status Dashboard on Monday, Dec 14, 2020.

Most services appeared to have been restored by 8.55pm, with the Google Workspace Status Dashboard indicating that there were "no issues" with all services.​​​​​​​

A dashboard message at 8.52pm regarding Gmail read: "The problem with Gmail should be resolved for the vast majority of affected users. We will continue to work towards restoring service for the remaining affected users, but no further updates will be provided on the Google Workspace Status Dashboard. 

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

Similar messages addressed Google's other services.

In a statement sent to CNA on Monday night, Google said it had experienced an "authentication system outage" lasting 45 minutes, which was caused by an "internal storage quota issue".

The outage started at 3.47am Pacific time (7.47pm Singapore time) and was resolved at 4.32am, said Google. 

"Services requiring users to log in experienced high error rates during this period ... All services are now restored. We apologise to everyone affected and we will conduct a thorough follow-up review to ensure this problem cannot recur in the future," a spokesperson said. 

Source: CNA/agencies/kg