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Yahoo email outage more complex, says apologetic CEO

Yahoo's email outage was more complex than it previously thought, the company's CEO has said in an apologetic blog post.

Joe Svetlik Reporter
Joe has been writing about consumer tech for nearly seven years now, but his liking for all things shiny goes back to the Gameboy he received aged eight (and that he still plays on at family gatherings, much to the annoyance of his parents). His pride and joy is an Infocus projector, whose 80-inch picture elevates movie nights to a whole new level.
Joe Svetlik
2 min read

Yahoo's email outage is more complex than the company previously thought, according to Yahoo's CEO Marissa Meyer. In an apologetic post on Tumblr, Meyer noted that "Unfortunately, the outage was much more complex than it seemed at first, which is why it's taking us several days to resolve the compounding issues."

Access has been restored "to almost everyone" according to Meyer, and most of the backlog of emails have been delivered. So what exactly happened?

On Monday evening (early Tuesday morning UK time), Yahoo suffered a hardware outage in one of its storage systems serving 1 per cent of its users. Its Mail team started work on repairing it, but it turned out to be a particularly rare problem, affecting different users in different ways. Some couldn't access their accounts, and saw a "scheduled maintenance" page, which was incorrect (and has since been corrected and updated, Meyer notes).

Any emails sent to affected accounts weren't delivered, but held in a backlog.

Yahoo worked all week and its Mail service should now be up and running for almost everyone using it, including those who access it through other email programs like Outlook or Apple Mail.

When I asked, Yahoo wouldn't confirm when the issue will be fixed for everyone, but said it will post updates here.

Yahoo already apologised once this week, but losing your email access is pretty major. Meyer noted that it would do all in its power to avoid issues like this again. "Above all else, we're going to be working hard on improvements to prevent issues like this in the future," she wrote. "While our overall uptime is well above 99.9 per cent, even accounting for this incident, we really let you down this week.

"We can, and we will, do better in the future."

Were you one of those affected? Have you got full email access again? How do you think Yahoo handled it? Let me know in the comments, or email me on our Facebook page.