The 'Google' logo is seen on a tablet screen on December 4, 2012 in Paris. / LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP/Getty Image

Gmail and other google apps came up with error messages over the weekend over a problem that arose from failing renew a security certificate

Gmail users were faced with errors and safety warnings over the weekend after Google forgot to update an essential part of its messaging software.

Whilst people were still able to access and use Gmail, a “majority of users” were faced with "unexpected behaviour" due to the glitch.

The error messages began to arise early on 4 April. Those affected were trying to send email messages from Gmail and some of the firm’s other messaging applications.

The problems apparently arose because Google had neglected to renew a security certificate for Gmail and its app services.

The certificate helps the software establish a secure connection to a destination, so messages can be sent with little chance of being spied upon.

Authority G2, Google’s own in-house security service, is responsible for security certificates and other secure software systems for the search giant.

Information regarding the problem was posted on status pages Google maintains for information regarding its application and email services.

In the message, Google said that they were “aware of a problem with Gmail affecting a majority of users” and apologised “for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience and continued support.”

The glitch comes soon after Goolge began refusing security certificates issued by the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC).

Google said that a security lapse by the CNNIC meant that the certificates could no longer be trusted.

CNNIC referred to the decision as “unacceptable and unintelligible.”

In February another glitch caused Gmail users to send emails to the wrong recipients leading to comedian Jimmy Fallon starting an #Email Fail section on his show on NBC in which he read out embarrassing that had been sent to the wrong recipient.

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