How to Access Email During a Gmail Outage

We’re in the midst of the second Gmail outage in as many days. Fortunately you can still access your email using Outlook, Mail or your favorite email application.

Many Gmail users rely solely on the web-browser interface to send, receive and search their emails. These users are currently unable to access any of their messages or send emails.

Update: Google appears to have resolved the 9/1/09 outage.

However, users that have setup IMAP functionality on their phones and notebooks are able to use email as normal.

You can setup IMAP on your favorite email client in order to access your Gmail immediately and to protect against future outages. One Caveat is that users who haven’t enabled IMAP in the past won’t be able to until the outage is resolved.

To get started, you’ll need Outlook, Outlook Express, ThunderBird, or any other IMAP-enabled email client. MacBook users can use Mail.

Setup depends on your email client and Google’s provides full instructions here.


We recommend keeping copies of your emails stored locally to avoid email service disruptions in the future. Business users should consider paying for Google’s premium email service or using professional services to minimize email outages.

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