Google outage: Here's why Google services went down globally for nearly an hour

Google Pixel 4a
Google Pixel 4a (Image credit: Ara Wagoner / Android Central)

Update 1, December 14 (7:45 am ET): Google services are coming back online after going down around the world for nearly an hour.

Update 2, December 14 (10:30 am ET): Google issues a statement clarifying the reason for the global outage.

What you need to know

  • Widespread Google outage is affecting Gmail, YouTube, Google Drive, and other core Google services.
  • Users are unable to log in to their Gmail accounts, YouTube's home page is down, and all Nest devices are affected.
  • Google is aware of the issue, and is investigating the problem right now.

Google is seeing a widespread outage that is affecting most of its key services, including Gmail, YouTube, Drive, and others. So if you're trying to log in to your Gmail inbox or access YouTube's home page and unable to do so, you're not the only one facing issues.

When I try logging in to my Gmail account, I get the following error:

We're sorry, but your account is temporarily unavailable. We apologize for the inconvenience and suggest trying again in a few minutes. You can view the G Suite Status Dashboard for the current status of the service.

The unprecedented issue is affecting all Google services, according to the Workspace Status Dashboard:

Google Services Dashboard

Source: Google (Image credit: Source: Google)

From Google:

We're aware of a problem with Gmail affecting a majority of users. The affected users are unable to access Gmail. We will provide an update by 12/14/20, 5:42 PM detailing when we expect to resolve the problem. Please note that this resolution time is an estimate and may change.

Google Docs, Sheets, Photos, Meet, and every other Google service is inaccessible at the moment, and even Nest devices — including smart speakers and thermostats — are down. Users from all around the world are affected, and it seems to have something to do with Google's authentication system.

Right now, the only Google service that's still working reliably is Google Search. We'll update the post once we know more, but for now, a huge chunk of the internet just went offline.

Update, December 14 (7:45 am ET) — Google services are back online around the world

After a global outage that took down most of its key services, Google has restored access to Gmail, Drive, Meet, YouTube, and others. From Google:

Gmail service has already been restored for some users, and we expect a resolution for all users in the near future. Please note this time frame is an estimate and may change.

I'm able to log in to my Gmail account, access Google Meet, and stream videos on YouTube again. Let us know in the comments if you're still facing issues with any Google service.

Update, December 14 (7:45 am ET) — Google's authentication system was behind the global outage

Google has confirmed that an issue with its authentication system caused its services to be inaccessible for 45 minutes. From a Google spokesperson:

Today, at 3.47AM PT Google experienced an authentication system outage for approximately 45 minutes due to an internal storage quota issue. Services requiring users to log in experienced high error rates during this period.The authentication system issue was resolved at 4:32AM PT. All services are now restored. We apologise to everyone affected, and we will conduct a thorough follow up review to ensure this problem cannot recur in the future.

Harish Jonnalagadda
Senior Editor - Asia

Harish Jonnalagadda is Android Central's Senior Editor of Asia. In his current role, he oversees the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, networking products, and AV gear. He has been testing phones for over a decade, and has extensive experience in mobile hardware and the global semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.