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Google Docs is back after a major outage

Are you one of the many people who work extensively in Google Docs? You might have found it a little hard to get things done Wednesday.

Google Docs was hit with a widespread outage in North America, leaving some users unable to access their documents stored in the company's cloud service.

Google confirmed the outage on its status dashboard for Google services and gave the all-clear at 5:10 p.m. Eastern time.

The company had first acknowledged the problem a little over an hour earlier, as user reports poured in. "We're aware of a problem with Google Docs affecting a significant subset of users," said a message posted at 3:48 p.m. Eastern time. "The affected users are unable to access Google Docs."

Google did not say how many people had been affected or what caused the outage.

This is the second time Google Docs users have had problems accessing their files in the past couple of months. Late October, many users trying to access their documents saw an error message that said their files had been removed for violating Google's terms of service. In a statement, Google later explained that the issue was due to "a code push that incorrectly flagged a small percentage of Google Docs as abusive, which caused those documents to be automatically blocked," and that access had been restored.

Still, it's not a confidence-builder that some Google Docs users were again unable to access information they are keeping in Google's cloud. The company did not respond to a request for comment on whether the two problems were related.

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