Google deletes more than 100,000 Gmail inboxes

Posted by Emma Woollacott

Google's working to fix a problem which saw thousands of Gmail users log on this weekend to discover that all their emails had vanished.

The company says on its Apps Status dashboard that the problem affects fewer than 0.08 percent of users, and that some have already had service restored.

Nevertheless, that's still well over 100,000 people who'll get into the office today and have to explain that Google ate their homework.

Affected inboxes have been returned to their original settings, which means that not only have all emails vanished, along with attachments, but so have any customized settings, filters and the like. Users simply see the same welcome message as completely new users.

It's a wake-up call for the majority of users, who are perhaps a little too keen to trust their precious correspondence to the cloud. On the company's support forums, many are rushing to lock the stable door and back up any unaffected accounts.

"Dude! Don't scare me, I have four years' worth of email on that!" says one.

"I am already creating new back-up options, but I never ever had a problem with Google and I trust that they have some kind of back-up system that they can help with."

Google's assuring users that it should be able to restore all the lost  data 'in the near future', although it can't promise how long it'll take.

There's a Gmail backup tool here.