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Gmail glitch deletes ordinary users' email

Days before a massive Gmail outage, Google's email service was struck with a bug that may have deleted some messages without permission.

The search giant has sent out notices to those who could have been affected, apologising for the inconvenience and assuring users that the issue has been fixed.

"You may have been impacted by a recent issue in Gmail that inadvertently caused some actions (e.g. delete, report spam) taken while viewing a message to be applied to a different message," the memo said, based on the screenshot published by The Verge. "The issue occurred between January 15 and January 22 and is now fixed."

Users are encouraged to check their Trash and Spam folders before 14 February to make sure no items unintentionally landed in the wrong place.

"We don't have much more to share beyond the information in the notice to users," a Google spokeswoman told us,

The company did, however, confirm that the bug appeared in a software update and impacted only a small group of actions in the iOS app, mobile browsers, and the offline version of Gmail; it did not affect all users.

Gmail users at the ITProPortal offices appear to have been unaffected.

The snafu quietly occurred just before Gmail experienced a major service disruption on Friday 24 January.

Ironically, members of Google's Site Reliability Engineering team were conducting a Reddit "Ask Me Anything" session when the email service went down.

Last week Yahoo apologised for Tweeting about the outage on its official Twitter account.