You Weren’t Alone – Google Was Down Yesterday

If you were having trouble accessing Google services yesterday (Gmail, YouTube, Google Docs, etc.) you weren’t alone. Google experienced a widespread outage on December 14, 2020. It has since been reported that the issue was related to an authentication problem.

According to Google’s Cloud Status page:

Google Cloud Platform and Google Workspace experienced a global outage affecting all services which require Google account authentication for a duration of 50 minutes. The root cause was an issue in our automated quota management system which reduced capacity for Google’s central identity management system, causing it to return errors globally. As a result, we couldn’t verify that user requests were authenticated and served errors to our users.

I happened to notice the issue when I was getting ready to take my morning shower. I asked my Google Home Mini to play some music for me. “Hmm, something went wrong,” was the response. I immediately began troubleshooting efforts. I rebooted the Home Mini, rebooted my router, and rebooted my internet connection. Nothing worked! So I went on with my morning routine (minus the music).

By the time I got to work, it was apparent something was wrong. I’ve often said it, but the internet is a fragile place.