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 on Tuesday sent out notices to those who could have been affected, apologizing 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 Feb. 14 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 PCMag.
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 PCMag offices appear to have been unaffected.
The snafu quietly occurred just before Gmail experienced a major service disruption on Friday. Reports of the outage hit Twitter shortly after 2 p.m. ET, and trouble hit other Google services, including Google+ and Google Hangouts. The Gmail problem was fixed by 3:23 p.m., while Google+ and Hangouts returned about 10 minutes later.
Ironically, members of Google’s Site Reliability Engineering team were conducting a Reddit "Ask Me Anything" session when the email service went down.