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Dear Google, 

Hello, I’m one of your gazillion Gmail users (thanks you very much for this free email service – much appreciated). Being Irish I don’t like to complain unless it’s about the weather, but here goes. I’ve been using email forwarding for donkey’s years, and the feature to send work emails through the Gmail app for four years. These features changed without warning and ended up costing me time and money. 

Sincerely yours . . . 

Nah, I didn’t reckon I’d get an answer either but I might be able to save you some hassle. Links below to the fix if you don’t need the backstory. I’m no expert – just a Gmail-er who lost valuable time doing what I am good at and ended up with a subscription I didn’t want.

Gmail users beware.

Do you remember the launch of Gmail? I’ve used it since its inception without any issues. Until recently. 

I’ve two gmail addresses – one personal, which is forwarded to my household admin email to keep things tidy. I use two work emails, which have their own domain name. As a backup, I enabled my Gmail to use these domains as what’s called ‘aliases’. That enables you to use Gmail to send emails from work accounts.  It’s a layer of assurance for small businesses, say if you lose access to your computer. I set it up years ago and never gave it another thought.

Brain fog seemed responsible when told my email wasn’t received – I assumed I failed to press send. It happened again. A subscription, I cancelled wasn’t cancelled. Annoying but emails go missing in cyber space occasional and  I wasn’t receiving bounced message alerts.

‘You never sent me the itinerary,’ or ‘You didn’t let me know if you are happy to go ahead with that . . .’

There was a pattern emerging. On my end, all the emails looked like they were sent but something was awry. Wondering if forwarding was the issue, I cancelled it. Sure enough, six weeks of bounced email error messages came through. That’s six weeks of emails I’d sent to other Gmail users, I’d no idea they weren’t getting. Emails I’d sent to companies – i.e. their own domain name were going through, with some exceptions, which was why it was hard to spot. I was happy my cousin in Limerick wasn’t ghosting me after all. 

Now that I had error messages, I could fix the issue. It was clear as mud. 

I was brought to videos of how to set up authentication of SPF (which I thought was sunscreen) or DKIM (sounds like it could be an IKEA furniture line). This is required for all new Gmail accounts set up after November 2022. Wait – I’ve been using my email Gmail for nineteen years – why am I suddenly getting an error code – 


                                        “550-5.7.26 This mail is unauthenticated, which poses a security risk to the

                                          550-5.7.26 sender and Gmail users, and has been blocked”

woman with head in hands, looking at her laptop, frustrated

I’m a security risk now?

Thankfully the good people at Blacknight.com were quick to respond and helpful. ‘Had I added my work emails to my Gmail?’ Yes, I had. 

Back to Google.

Links in the error messages proved useless. As a result, I ended up down a rabbit hole of webpages with Google heavily plugging a subscription to Workspace. Or it brought me to How to YouTube videos or community forums. Still, no joy. Eventually, as I subscribe to Google One, I got to web chat with a real human. Dan was great. After a day of frustration, he had it sorted in about thirty minutes. At the end of our chat, he said it could take seven days for my email to be back online. Yes, another seven days.  Thankfully, it was back up within three. 

Why aren’t Google alerting their existing Gmail users to this glitch? 

This isn’t an issue Dan is accountable for. This goes way up the Google ladder. There’s been plenty of emails warning us of the changes to Google Analytics. Is that because we pay for Analytics? 

Google – why no warning for Gmail users?

It’s probably obvious that I’ve limited tech knowledge. Although, I am considered the techie of the family but the bar is pretty low. You can do what on WhatsApp?” or “How do I attach a picture?” wouldn’t be unusual questions from my sisters.

If like me, you think SPF is sunscreen and DKIM is flat packed or a Kim Kardashian diffusion line, give the links below ago.

Got comments or feedback? Get in Touch

Gmail back up for small business email

To remove non-Gmail emails associated with your Gmail myaccount.google.com.

Set up automatic forwarding

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