Is Gmail shutting down? Google issues five-word statement after millions told email service was closing

gmail logo pictured on-screen on an iphone laying on a keyboard

Google has issued a statement after a viral tweet was seen by millions of people, leading to rumours that Gmail would be closed by the end of the year

Aaron Brown

By Aaron Brown

Published: 26/02/2024

- 09:33

Updated: 26/02/2024

- 09:36

Google has a habit of closing down beloved services and apps ...but that isn't happening this time

  • A spoof post about Gmail shutting in 2024 shared on X was seen 8.6 million times
  • Google was forced to respond to the rumours
  • In a five-word post, Google denied that Gmail was going away
  • Rumour gained traction because the basic HTML view in Gmail will close this year

Google has issued a short statement to reassure millions of users on X, formerly Twitter, who were mistakenly told that its popular Gmail email service would be closed down within the next 10 months.

“Gmail is here to stay,” the official account posted in response. Rumours that Google was planning to sunset ― an industry term for shutting down ― the free service started last week when a tweet with a doctored screenshot of an email from Google went viral on the social network X.

According to statistics publicly available on X, the post from prankster @growing_daniel was viewed over 8.6 million times. It also boasts thousands of retweets and likes from users.

The prank post reads: "We are reaching out to share an important update about Gmail. After years of connecting millions worldwide, enabling seamless communication, and fostering countless connections, the journey of Gmail is coming to a close.

“As of August 1, 2024, Gmail will officially be sunsetted, marking the end of its service. This means that as of this date, Gmail will no longer support sending, receiving, or storing emails.”

"this [sic] is insane. I hate this company," the X user commented above the fake email.

The scam email seen in the screenshot appears to be based on a real message sent out by Google last year. It notified Gmail users that its basic HTML view would be shuttered in 2024.

But there’s a big difference between the end of the rudimentary HTML view ― used when Gmail first launched back in 2004 and still available as a barebones way to check messages on slower internet connections or older hardware ― and the total shutdown of the world’s most popular email service.


Gmail currently boasts some 1.5 billion users across the globe. It's also incredibly popular with enterprise users and in schools and universities. That mind-boggling number of users (in comparison, Microsoft's Outlook service counts a comparatively modest 400 million active users worldwide) explains why the rumour spread like wildfire online.

Unlike some of its biggest competitors, Google does have a habit of closing beloved services, which is also likely to have helped the spoof post appear credible to concerned Gmail users. Frustrated fans have set up an entire site, known as, that meticulously catalogues the apps, services, and hardware binned by the US search giant.

The website counts 293 casualties so far.

Last year alone, Google killed its Stadia game streaming service, a Snapchat-like feature called YouTube Stories, and began the process of wiping old Gmail accounts from its servers.

So far this year, the Californian company has confirmed plans to shelve its Google Podcasts app, though many of the same features now live within YouTube Music, which will remain online.

Misinformation is commonplace across all social networks, but X has been repeatedly singled out for its role in spreading lies. A report published by the European Union last year singled out X as the worst platform for spreading mistruths.

The company, which was bought by Elon Musk in October 2022, has previously committed to "tackling hate speech" on its platform while ensuring that it continues to "protect free speech".

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