The problems struck just before 5pm GMT and appeared to affect Gmail users everywhere.
Google’s apps status dashboard, which tracks the availability of its web services, did not register the outage for half an hour.
Consumer and business visitors to Gmail.com were greeted by an error page. The type of error, with the code 502, indicated that proxy servers, which act as a middleman between web browsers and the Gmail servers, were unable to communicate with the Gmail servers. Access via smarphone apps appeared unaffected.
After about 10 minutes, service was restored, albeit intermittently at first and with some functions, such as Gmail chat, still unavailable.
Gmail also suffered a failure last week, according to the apps status dashboard page.
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“We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience and continued support. Please rest assured that system reliability is a top priority at Google, and we are making continuous improvements to make our systems better,” Google said last week.
Google had not responded to a request for comment on today's problems at time of publication.
Earlier this year Gmail, which is free to consumers but now requires subscription fees from businesses, suffered another major international outage.
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