Disappearing Gmail messages baffle users

When Jeneane Sessum logged into her Gmail account on the afternoon of Oct. 27, she was greeted with a horrifying sight: an empty inbox. A Gmail user since 2004, Sessum, a social media consultant and writer in Atlanta, had thousands of messages there, enough to use up almost 30 percent of her allotted storage space. Because Gmail is her primary work and personal e-mail service, Sessum lost many important messages, including some she needed at that moment for a project. Days earlier in Chicago, Jessica Squazzo, a writer and editor, accessed Gmail and stared at her computer screen in disbelief: All messages from 2007 had disappeared from her inbox.

Sessum and Squazzo are just two of a small but steady stream of Gmail users who regularly report losing some, many, or all of their messages without a clue as to why. It seems that hardly a week goes by without at least several users reporting this problem on discussion boards, such as the official Gmail Help forum. Asked to comment about multiple lost-message reports in 11 different threads created in September and October in the Gmail Help forum, a Google spokesman declined to address any of the specific situations, citing privacy reasons. However, he did emphasize that, as far as Google is concerned, "most issues like this are a result of phishing attacks or compromised passwords -- or sometimes simply messages mistakenly deleted or marked as spam -- not a data corruption issue."

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20 Comments

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So... Was their accounts compromised or not? I mean, it's not like we can rule out the possibility from these reports?

Especially since, despite a few reports, the problem does not sound widespread.

I'd wait before flaming Google for this.

There's more to a webmail service's features than the storage capacity. :-p Especially once it starts going above a few gigs. May I assume you're the kind of people that stare yourself blind on the Megapixel or Megahertz counts?

I didn't know Gmail had POP like others are saying, but if I was using an email account primarily for a job, or it had very important messages on it, I would use POP instead (I would even pay if I had to if it was for work or something just as important).
Still sucks that's happening tho.

I got gmail back when it was invite only, just cause I wanted to have it..now I barely use it. I use it for a few things, nothing much though

NPGMBR said,
Same here. I check mine about every two months or so just to clean out the spam.

You get spam? I sure don't! One of the best features IMO.

i use it as primary email. so far i haven;t had any issues. but all mail since september 2005 is backed up using pop server. hope i don;t lose my mails though. and if i do. i hope google can put them back.

otherwise it sux.

And this is why using webmails as your pirmary mail is bad.

They are hackeable, some woudl say easily so. My uncle had his gmail hacked(thoguh with an easy pw) and days later he had his new one with an entirely new unique and secure pw hacked again. And he's fairly knowlegeable about computers, and knows enough about security and when and where to store his pw, so it should be known. Frankly I don't really trust gmail to be secure, I dont' trust any webmail to be secure.

What's worse is peopel use gmails as their primary account mails on any number of sites and such, and they keep all the original password and user ID mails stored on their gmail. Wich is pretty much like begging peopel to hack their gmail and grab their usernames and passwords to other places, wich may be far more secure, or shoudl have been if they users didn't store all the access information in an insecure place.


heck ask the emplyee of that Anti-p2p company how smart using gmail was

You can also leave a copy on Gmail and download it to POP email client as a backup.

GMail has been the best free email provider I have used over the years, by far.

There are two things you can do to so if this should happen, you don't lose your mail..

1) Forward the mail to another account. It's useless for all your old mail that's arrived, but for new mail that comes in from when you set it, it's on another email server.

2) Enable POP and download all your mail.

It is sad and I feel for the users. It's never happened to me, but if it should happen, I am prepared to take it on.

Guess they can use the "We're still in BETA!" crap on us

Here's a tip:

Set your account to POP3 real quick, download everything, then turn POP3 back off.

Whatever you downloaded, back it up.