Google probing lost Gmail messages, contacts

The Internet heavyweight begins investigating issues after users complain of old messages, folders, and contacts suddenly vanishing.

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Gmail users complained today of suddenly and mysteriously having lost old e-mail, folders, and contacts, and Google said it was looking into the issue but that the problem did not appear to be widespread.

At 12:09 p.m. PT, Google said on its Apps status dashboard that it was aware of the issue and was investigating. At 5:02 p.m., the company said it was "continuing to investigate this issue. Google engineers are working to restore full access. Affected users may be temporarily unable to sign in while we repair their accounts." Less than 0.08 percent of the Gmail user base is affected, Google said.

The issue came to Google's attention when users started lighting up the company's support forums with complaints of lost e-mails. "I have lost ALL on my emails/folders etc. from gmail. Why would this happen? How can I restore everything?" wrote user bkishan wrote in the forum.

"This morning when I woke up I only saw two mails in my gmal box that were sent last night. All mail was gone," user Wienke wrote to the forum. "I also got some notifications which you will get when you have a new account. Seems somehting must have been reset."

Google representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.