Disappearing Gmail

I’m one of the many Entourage users that have a Gmail account. I’ve been reading the Gmail support forums and have run across some troubling news about disappearing emails. Not just a few emails, but ALL emails. With any free service, it’s hard to really complain but user expectations and reality don’t necessarily match.
The problem is not happening within Entourage but with Gmail’s service.

The problem seems to be tied to internal problems with Gmail’s servers and to disabled accounts.
All of the free services like Yahoo Mail and Windows Live Hotmail have incidences of lost or disappearing messages, but from reports Gmail seems to expericence higher numbers of lost messages. Read more about this on InfoWorld’s Disappearing Gmail messages baffle users

Gmail will disable your account for abnormal usage. Abnormal includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Receiving, deleting, or popping out large amounts of mail (via POP) 
in a 
short period of time
  2. Sending a large number of undeliverable messages (messages that 
bounce 
back
  3. Using third party file-sharing or storing software, or software that 
automatically logs in to your account and that is not supported by 
Gmail
  4. Multiple instances of your Gmail account opened
  5. Browser-related issues. Please note that if you find your browser 
continually reloading while attempting to access your inbox, it is 
likely 
a browser issue, and it may be necessary to clear your browser’s cache 
and 
cookies.

OK, some of this sounds like a spammer, so you’re asking “How does this affect me?” One user reports that he lost his emails in Thunderbird, so he had to restore all of his emails in addition to the forwarded POP mail from other sources. This isn’t an unusual situation for many users. This was seen by Gmail as abnormal usage and his account was disabled. Many disabled users are reporting long delays in getting their account restored.

Using Gmail Safely

Even if you are using Gmail’s IMAP account, you can still loose mail. Don’t rely on Gmail or any of the free services to store your email safely. Download or copy your messages to Entourage for backup. Next, be sure Entourage is included in your backup strategy.

If you use Gmail for your business be sure you understand all of Gmail’s shortcomings and how Gmail spam filters your mail. You get what you pay for and if your business relies on a free service it tells me something about your business that you might not like.

In conclusion, I like Gmail and so far I’ve experienced no problems. However, I don’t have my head stuck in the sand thinking that Gmail will protect my mail without me having to do anything else. BACKUP, Backup, backup! “Save early, save often” “Better to be safe than sorry.”

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5 comments to Disappearing Gmail

  • mike sanders

    good article, i use gmail exclusively for non critical things such as newsletter subscriptions etc and to give to people/organisations who are also non critical. so far excellent service but i download everyday to entourage and mac mail

  • Ryan McKenzie

    i am using Entourage 2004 on a Mac Book Pro running Leopard. Entourage was reinstalled after the upgrade from Tiger. The email, address book, and tasks work fine and synchronize with the exchange server. When I select the calander in Entourage it immediately freezes and stops operating. i must force quit the program and reboot the machine before Entourage will operate
    again any suggestions? n

  • dianer

    Hi Ryan,
    Create a new Identity in Entourage (Under Entourage in the menu bar select Switch Identity and click on New). Does the calendar open in the new blank Identity? If yes, then you could try rebuilding your database to see if that clears up the problem.
    It’s best to get help on the newsgroup where others can contribute and learn from the questions.
    How to subscribe to the Microsoft Entourage newsgroup
    http://www.entourage.mvps.org/support_options/subnews.html

  • leon marquez

    i cannot load gmail account

  • Hi Leon!
    Have a look at this earlier post of mine, which gives instructions for connecting Entourage to Gmail. If this doesn’t help, please provide details of what’s not working and what you’ve tried.
    http://blog.entourage.mvps.org/2007/11/connect_entourage_2004_to_gmails_imap_service.html