Warning for Millions of Google Gmail Users
Google's bombshell last week gave users a good reason to quit Windows 10. Now, serious new problems mean that millions of Gmail users might want to join them.
Reported to both Windows Latest and MSPowerUser, Gmail users discover that Microsoft's Windows 10 built-in mail client is deleting their emails and/or sending them to spam automatically. One user described their experience: "I've been confronted with a problem with the Windows 10 Mail app linked to a Google Account. I noticed that when I respond to emails, the email I send disappears and can't be found in sent items, outbox, bin, spam, or anywhere. The missing email could not be found on the Gmail web interface either. It appears that it is automatically deleted and deleted from the server.
06/30 Update: following a significant escalation of this problem (it has spread to both Outlook and Windows 10 Mail-see update below), Microsoft has contacted me. The company has confirmed that it recognizes the increase in user reports and that an investigation has now begun. Understandably, Microsoft has not been able to provide a timeline for a fix. Given the findings of user workarounds (Guides below), I would hope that this could be quickly mitigated. The only potential snag is if the cause also stems from Google's behind-the-scenes change, because cross-company collaboration tends to take longer. Whether emails lost to Gmail users can be recovered remains to be seen, but the good news is action is now underway.
06/28 Update: this problem appears to be getting worse with numerous threads now appearing on the Microsoft Communities forum citing Gmail email being lost, deleted or sent automatically to spam by the Windows 10 Mail app (1,2 3, 4 5, 6, 7, 8 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, etc). In addition to this, reports are also growing of similar problems now occurring between Outlook and Gmail - both on Windows and Mac (1, 2. 3, 4 5, 6, 7 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, etc). At this point, it is clear that Microsoft has a significant syncing issuing with Gmail and, while there are temporary workarounds (see above and below), I would avoid using a Microsoft email client to access your Gmail at this time. Microsoft has acknowledged my request for more information about these issues, but it has yet to offer an explanation.
06/27 Update: according to several posters, Google has confirmed this is a Microsoft problem rather than Gmail which means users will have to wait for a Windows 10 update rather than a Googles server-side tweak. In addition to the workarounds detailed below, an additional temporary fix has been found:
Gmail.com > Settings > Filters and blocked addresses > Create a new filter
In 'From' field enter your address
Click 'Create filter'
On the next page, select 'Never send it to Spam'
Click 'Create filter'
This workaround isn't perfect because it creates two sent items in Windows Mail but it does stop Gmail emails being lost or deleted which is the most important thing until Microsoft comes up with a fix.
“The latest version of Windows Mail has broken the settings for Gmail,” confirmed a Windows Insider MVP. Stating that the only workarounds are to either a) remove your Gmail account from the Mail app and weaken the security settings in Gmail by allowing access to less secure apps (guide), or b) remove your account and use Gmail’s manual IMAP settings (guide). If you are lucky, you may be able to recover some of your lost email from spam afterwards.
So what has caused this potentially damaging problem? Most fingers currently point at the troubled Windows 10 May 2020 Update (surprise, surprise), though by no means all. As it stands, Microsoft has not acknowledged the problem and it remains an ongoing cause of concern for all Gmail users who access their email via the Windows 10 Mail app.
I have contacted Microsoft and Google about this and will update the post when I know more.