WASHINGTON – Google apologized Thursday for a Gmail outage which left some users of the free Web-based email service cut off for the second time in a month.
The Internet giant announced at 10:29 am (1429 GMT) that an unspecified problem was preventing a "small subset of users" from accessing their Gmail accounts.
About an hour later, the Internet giant said service had been restored for some users and at 12:58 pm (1658 GMT) it said the problem had been resolved.
"We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience and continued support," Google said in a message on its App Status Dashboard, a site which monitors the performance of its online services.
The disruption came just over three weeks after an outage which left millions of users without Gmail for more than an hour and a half.
Google blamed server maintenance for the September 1 Gmail outage and apologized for the disruption, which it called a "Big Deal."
Google also suffered technical problems in May, leaving millions of people unable to use popular services such as its main search page, as well as Gmail and Google News.
Google also experienced a breakdown of Gmail, which has tens of millions of users, in February which lasted a few hours.
The failures, while rare, are seen by some industry analysts as a setback to the Mountain View, California-based Google's efforts to promote Gmail and other Web-based services to businesses.