The Fix Is In: Google Debugging Gmail Outlook Syncing Issue

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According to a Google representative, the bug fix was launched on Wednesday afternoon and should be completed over the next few days. Google expects to have the bug completely wiped out by sometime next week, the Google spokesperson said.

"The rollout of the bug fix to our users began this afternoon and should be complete by the middle of next week," wrote a Google employee identified as Advisor Wesley late Wednesday in a blog and message thread discussing the syncing issue. "Beginning next week, Google Apps Sync will automatically download any missing messages. We will keep you updated on our progress."

Google had been scrambling to fix the bug in the Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook tool, a free Outlook plug-in that lets users run Outlook as their front end email interface while using Gmail servers. The plug-in transfers emails from Gmail to Microsoft Outlook. The bug, Google has said, was causing some messages to not download from Gmail to Outlook, forcing some users to have to use Gmail in their browser to check emails.

"We recently discovered a bug in Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook that can cause a small number of e-mail messages to not be downloaded to Outlook," Wesley and the Google Apps Sync Team wrote in a March 12 blog post. "It was introduced on our Gmail servers last week and should be fixed by early next week."

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Google said it would work to fix the server-side problem and release an automatic update to resynchronize mailboxes and ensure mail that wasn't downloaded is downloaded.

Google had hoped to fix the bug by last week, but that fix was delayed, according to a post from Advisor Wesley. Google started rolling out the fix yesterday. Google also noted that the bug only affected a small number of users and a small number of messages, but a Google representative wouldn't provide specific numbers.

While Google Apps Sync has suffered syncing issues in the past, Google said the current issue with Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook is unique and hasn't been encountered before.

Google launched Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook in June 2009. Seen as a threat to Microsoft Exchange, the free plug-in for Google Apps gives users the ability to view Gmail and Calendar applications in their Outlook email clients.

The Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook issues come as Google continues to take on Microsoft Exchange in the email and messaging marketplace. Last week, Google launched a free server-side tool for Google Apps Premier and Education Edition users called Google Apps Migration for Microsoft Exchange, which lets companies move email, calendar and contact data from Exchange to Google Apps. Google said the tool can migrate hundreds of users at once and lets users keep using Exchange during the migration. It supports migrations from Exchange 2003 and 2007 and from on-premise hosted Exchange.