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Why is ChatGPT showing "internal server error" and how to fix it?
Within just a few months, ChatGPT has become an indispensable tool. But whether you’re trying to use it for research or overcoming writer’s block, you might notice the service doesn’t always work as expected. In particular, ChatGPT may reply with an Internal server error message instead of a response to your prompt. So in this article, let’s break down the causes behind this error message and what you can do to fix it.
If ChatGPT shows an Internal server error message, that usually indicates a service-side problem. You can either try to access ChatGPT at a different time or try one of the fixes below in case the problem lies on your end.
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Why is ChatGPT showing “Internal server error”?
There are a few reasons why ChatGPT might show an internal server error message, starting with a genuine server-side problem. This can happen if the service has temporarily run out of computing capacity.
If you’re wondering why, it’s likely because of how quickly ChatGPT turned into one of the most popular websites on the internet. Scaling up to meet the demands of millions of simultaneous users would be difficult for any company. So while OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT, has worked to handle the increased load, you may still notice the chatbot getting overwhelmed from time to time.
With millions of visitors, ChatGPT can sometimes run out of network or computing capacity.
You can check OpenAI’s status page to see if ChatGPT is currently down or experiencing a slowdown. Alternatively, other users typically report issues on third-party websites like Downdetector. Most outages last a few hours, so simply check back later.
If the status page reads “All systems operational”, the problem does not lie with ChatGPT or OpenAI. So here are a few fixes you can try to resolve the error on your own.
The message indicates that ChatGPT is experiencing high demand at the moment. Either try again later or subscribe to ChatGPT Plus, which grants you priority access to the chatbot.
How to fix the “internal server error” on ChatGPT
There are a few reasons why ChatGPT may show you the Internal server error message, ranging from an expired login to rate limits. Here are a few solutions you can try:
Refresh the page and check your internet connection
To combat large-scale abuse of ChatGPT, OpenAI runs a verification step to ensure you’re a human before you can use the service. However, that validation times out after a while, so you should refresh the page to let it run again. You should see the “Please stand by, we are checking your browser” message appear for a brief moment.
If the page fails to load, that may indicate a problem with your internet connection or misconfigured software. Try to access ChatGPT from a different browser or computer, and use a different Wi-Fi network.
Log into your account again
If simply refreshing the page does not work, you may be dealing with an expired login session. As you may already know, using ChatGPT requires an OpenAI account. If it has been a while since you last logged in, your session may have expired. Simply log out of your account and sign in again.
Check for rate limits
If you use ChatGPT a lot, you may have run into OpenAI’s rate limit. In a nutshell, free accounts can only request a few responses per hour, although daily and monthly limits may apply too. The hourly limit is based on the length of the chatbot’s responses, so you’re more likely to reach it when generating several paragraphs of text.
Once you hit the rate limit, you have no option but to wait until the counter resets. In the meantime, you won’t be able to generate new responses.
You may also find your account rate limited if other computers on your network have used ChatGPT recently. This is unlikely to happen if you’re using your own internet connection. However, shared Wi-Fi networks and VPN connections may trigger rate limits as well so disconnect from the latter if you use one.
Hopefully, one of the above fixes helps you get past ChatGPT’s Internal server error message. If you often find yourself waiting for the chatbot to become available, consider subscribing to ChatGPT Plus. It grants access to the chatbot during periods of high demand and also increases the chatbot’s response speed.
If none of these solutions work for you, consider using one of the many ChatGPT alternatives available right now. Most of them rely on the same GPT-3 language model, so you can expect similar output quality.