Google Docs was temporarily inaccessible to a "significant subset of users" on Wednesday, 15 November, locking tens of thousands of people out of their documents and files. While Gmail, Google Drive and other portions of G Suite were still working as usual, many people reported login, access and syncing issues with Google Docs.
The outage began shortly before 4PM EST (10PM BST). Google first confirmed the issue at 3:48PM EST with a post on its G Suite status dashboard.
Users said they were met with an "Error 502" message while attempting to load their documents.
"We're aware of a problem with Google Docs affecting a significant subset of users. The affected users are unable to access Google Docs," Google said.
About an hour later, the company said the Google Docs service had been restored "for some users", adding it expects "a resolution for all users in the near future".
According to Downdetector.com, users in the US were most affected by the downtime, although there were also some reports in Europe, including the UK, parts of Latin America and Asia.
At the time of writing, Google Docs is back up and running as usual.
"The problem with Google Docs should be resolved," the tech giant said. "We apologise for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience and continued support. Please rest assured that system reliability is a top priority at Google, and we are making continuous improvements to make our systems better."
The disruption took place towards the end of the working day in the US, leaving many employees, businesses and students, who rely on the service for its cloud computing functions for critical work, particularly frustrated.
Many took to social media to voice their frustration over the issue, particularly those inching closer to their project deadlines.
Google did not specify what caused the issue or how the issue was resolved.
This isn't the first time Google Docs users have experienced glitches. In October, some users were locked out of their files after Google's system mistakenly tagged the files as "inappropriate" content that violated its terms of service. The company later apologised for the error.