Google says Gmail is ‘here to stay’ as users fear it will be deleted

Google has been forced to deny that Gmail is being deleted after a hoax email led to panic among its users.

A post on X, formerly known as Twitter, claimed that the service was being “sunsetted”. The initial post made somewhat clear it was a joke – it claimed that it had happened by accident, because of a mix-up with Google’s Gemini AI service – but included a real-looking message about the service being shut down.

That message was however based on a real email about Google getting rid of a basic HTML view. It was repurposed to suggest that Gmail was being removed entirely.

“We are reaching out to share an important update about Gmail,” the viral post reads.

“After years of connecting millions worldwide, enabling seamless communication, and fostering countless connections, the journey of Gmail is coming to a close.”

The announcement may have appeared real in part because Google has acquired a reputation for shutting down its services, even when they are popular. So many Google products have been removed that they are now tracked on a devoted website, known as “Killed by Google”, which lists 293 apps, services and hardware in all.

The message was however fake. Google does not appear to be getting rid of the email service.

“Gmail is here to stay,” the company wrote on X.

Gmail was launched in 2004, on 1 April, leading many to conclude it was itself a hoax. But it has gone on to gain many more features and users.

Google does not give updates on how many people use the service, but estimates suggest there are about 2 billion active users. That would make it easily the biggest email service in the world.