Business News

Google services suffer worldwide outage

14th December 2020

Failure affects Gmail, YouTube, Calendar and more

Most Google services were down this morning for around two hours as the company suffered a rare worldwide outage.

Google’s Workspace Status Dashboard states that the services are now back to normal for the “vast majority” of users, with the company working to restore access for the remaining few.

Beginning at about 12:50pm CET, the outages appeared to have affected the vast majority of Google’s services, apart from search which operated largely unaffected.

Failures were reported across the company’s services, including Gmail, Google Calendar and YouTube.

The company published an update, saying “We’re aware of a problem … affecting a majority of users. The affected users are unable to access [Google services].”

The outage appeared to be related to the company’s authentication tools, which manage how users log in to services run by both Google and third-party developers.

Tools like Gmail and Google Calendar that do not work without logging in were unavailable entirely.

Third-party services using Google’s authentication platform continued to be accessible for users who were already logged in, but failed when users tried to sign in or out of the service.

Services such as YouTube failed entirely for users who are already signed in to a Google account, but could be accessed in a “private browsing” mode in order to view the signed-out version of the site, which continued to work.

Google Suite was affected, severely disrupting services for many workplaces. The service manages email communication as well as intra-office messaging through the Chat and Meet services, and actual work through Google Docs, Sheets and Slides.

Other companies’ services also experienced problems. Slack, for instance – the Salesforce-owned chat app – could only talk to colleagues who were already logged in at the time of the outage.

For those working from home, the outage affected Google’s Smart Home services, including the Google Home smart speakers and the Nest thermostats and smoke alarms. While they operate in a fail-safe mode, users cannot access the services through an app to change their settings.


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Google services suffer worldwide outage