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Google Docs and Drive are back online after outage — here's what happened

Google Docs outage
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

You can now use Google Docs and other Google Drive services as normal, as the partial outage Google's productivity suite had been suffering is over. 

Earlier today, trying to create a new Google Doc threw up an error message after an unusually long loading time. Google's message advised users to try refreshing and to be patient as it tried to fix the problem. We tried this and it didn't work at the time, but now it appears the Google Docs and other affected services, like Sheets and Slides, are all running fine.

We don't know what exactly caused the issue, but as Google Drive is a cloud-based service it would appear something went wrong on Google's side. 

“On April 12, as of 9:20 Pacific Time, we resolved an issue with creating new and copying existing Google Docs, Slides and Sheets within Google Workspace and Google Workspace for Education accounts. More details can be found on the Workspace Status Dashboard.” a Google spokesperson told us. 

At the time, when trying to create a new Google Doc, within the Google Drive in Chrome or the Docs app in the browser, the page took a long time to load and then serves up an error message. "Google Docs encountered an error,” a message from the Google Docs Team said. “Please try reloading this page, or coming back to it in a few minutes.” 

However, we found you could still write and edit existing documents. But that was hardly ideal for people who rely on Google Docs for their daily work. 

Unfortunately, t the time, the only solution was to wait for Google to fix the problem or use other world processing services or productivity tools. If you’re on Windows 10 then Microsoft Word is available, as is the Office suite. But if you wanted a free service OpenOffice offers a solid word processor. And on macOS there’s the Pages app. 

Google fixed the problem rather quickly. But it’s another good sign that no matter how useful cloud-powered services are, particularly when it comes to saving and sharing files and folders, when they go down, that one major disruption can completely upend workflows.