Twitter’s all buzzing with the news that Gmail and Google-hosted mail through Google Apps has gone down. The Google Apps status page also confirms it. The thing is, it’s not down if you use an email client that pulls information in via POP or IMAP protocols. I’m happily still getting my mail — and you can too. Tips below.
Personally, I use Outlook 2007 to download my email from a Google Apps account. This allows me to have full, dependable offline access. It allows me to periodically backup and archive my mail, protection against the rare case where Google might somehow delete my mail on their servers. It allows me to have easy access to search mail back for half a decade. To understand more, I recommend these posts I’ve written:
- Moving From SpamCop To Gmail & Loving POP Download With Archiving
- 8 Tips For Dealing With Email Overload
At the moment, Gmail has gone down for those trying to reach it via the web. But anyone trying to get their email through a client — a software program that automatically talks to the Gmail servers — seems to be fine. I’ve had people on Twitter report getting access through their iPhones, BlackBerries, instant messaging and even Google’s iGoogle personalized home page. So you can, too!
Gmail provides full instructions on how to configure a number of email clients here. Some of these programs are completely free to use. You can also try Yahoo’s Zimbra Desktop, which can handle multiple email accounts. Even though that’s not listed with explicit instructions from Google, use the “Other” option for advice on how to configure it. The same is true for any email client that’s not listed. Pegasus Mail, anyone?
Downloading a client too much work? I liked Josh Finkelstein’s suggestion that if you have an iGoogle page, you can get your mail that way. You’ll find the Gmail gadget to that here. With one click, I had access to my Gmail account. However, this won’t give access to those who use Gmail through Google Apps (I have both, a Gmail account from before Google Apps accounts were offered. Merging Gmail & Google Apps Mail Accounts explains this more).
Remember, some free web-based email systems like Yahoo’s can import from other web programs (though you might have to pay for this). That’s also an option. Still, it’s why I ideally would like Google to offer its own lightweight email client, as I covered in my Google Needs To Learn Browser Isn’t Best post. Sometimes the web goes down, but the web is only part of the internet. A client provides a nice backup.
Got your own tips? Please add them below!
Postscript: Google’s just blogged about the issue — and look there, advice that POP/IMAP access works just fine!
We know many of you are having trouble accessing Gmail right now — we are too, and we definitely feel your pain. We don’t usually post about minor issues here (the Apps status dashboard and the Gmail Help Center are usually where this kind of information goes). Because this is impacting so many of you, we wanted to let you know we’re currently looking into the issue and hope to have more info to share here shortly. If you have IMAP or POP set up already, you should be able to access your mail that way in the meantime. We’re terribly sorry for the inconvenience and will get Gmail back up and running as soon as possible.
Also see related discussion on Techmeme.