Gmail error wipes accounts of up to 150,000 users

An estimated 150,000 Gmail users are being greeted with the joy of an empty inbox and an equally empty contact list as an error wiped their accounts.

There's a ghost in the Gmail machine today, following reports from users on Google's forums and on Twitter of loss of inbox emails, contacts and years of archived messages.

We haven't had the misfortune of a wiped account at Crave Towers (well, they wouldn't dare, would they?), but service information on Google's Apps Status Dashboard estimates the number affected at 0.08 per cent of users, which is more than a handful at around 150,000 people.

Users who have been affected report seeing welcome messages when logging in, indicating that their accounts have been totally reset, and are recognising them as new users.

A report from the Big G at 3:40am stated that service has been resumed for some users and that a resolution for the others will be "in the near future", which is the type of vague ambiguity everyone enjoys on a wet and miserable Monday morning.

We don't know if affected users are having archived emails and contact books returned to them like a lost puppy, licking them happily and leaving little puddles in their excited wake, but there's likely to be some kind of riot if not -- especially following the outage of Google's Calendar last week, which saw many users' diaries wiped.

At the time of writing, Google's Gmail status reports that its team is continuing to investigate the issue and that affected users may be unable to sign in while maintenance takes place.

We sympathise with those who've lost their emails -- when Crave moved to Gmail from Outlook last year, we lost months of chain emails from our mothers written in Comic Sans. A terrible, inexplicable loss. We hope Google brings a full and fruitful service back to its faithful customers very soon. In the meantime, let us know if you've been affected.

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