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Is ChatGPT not working for you? Here's how you can try to fix it

ChatGPT won't load for you? We've got a few fixes for you to try.
By

Published onApril 10, 2024

ChatGPT stock photo 11

ChatGPT has quickly turned into one of the most visited websites on the internet, and it’s not hard to see why. The chatbot can write essays, brainstorm ideas, and even generate code, making it an important resource that many now rely on. But what if it’s not working for you? For those unfortunate times when ChatGPT is down, we’ve compiled a list of potential solutions you can try to get it running again.

Check if ChatGPT is down

The first thing you should do is check if ChatGPT itself is down right now or facing server difficulties. Such disruptions were common in the early days of the service, as the company struggled to meet the ever-increasing user demand.

The easiest way to verify ChatGPT’s status is to visit OpenAI’s status page. If you see a message like “Elevated error rates on all models,” that indicates an ongoing service-side problem. In other words, ChatGPT is down for everyone and not just you. If you can’t get that page to load either, check a third-party service like Down Detector instead.

Give ChatGPT some time to recover

ChatGPT app login screen

If you have no problem loading the initial ChatGPT website, but cannot get the chatbot to respond to your prompts, the service may be down temporarily. Typically, you’d see ChatGPT output an Internal server error message, but this may fail too during periods of high demand.

The best course of action is to wait a couple of hours for ChatGPT to become functional again. Waiting also works if your account has reached the rate limit, which can come into play if you’ve sent too many prompts in a short period of time. If you want to skip the wait, ChatGPT Plus gives you priority access to the chatbot but only you can decide if it’s worth it.

Check your internet connection

Router ports with Ethernet cables plugged in

Another possible reason for ChatGPT not working, or producing a “Network Error” alert, is that your internet connection is down. Try to load other popular websites to check if your connection is affected in any way. If you face similar problems loading other websites, your internet connection is at fault. While there’s no single way to fix this problem, you can start by restarting your router.

If other websites load fine but ChatGPT still doesn’t work, try switching to a different internet connection. On your smartphone, for example, you can try switching from Wi-Fi to mobile data or vice-versa.

Additionally, if you’re currently using a VPN connection, disconnect it before loading ChatGPT. ChatGPT may block common VPN IP addresses to prevent abuse.

Log out and log back in

Did you leave ChatGPT running in the background while you were busy with other tasks? You may need to log into your account again. This is because your login session is only valid for a short period of time. And since you cannot use ChatGPT without an OpenAI account, you must have a valid login session for the chatbot to respond.

To log out of your account, simply look for the “Log out” button located in the bottom left corner of your screen. Finally, enter your credentials to log in again.

If ChatGPT login isn’t working, we have a few solutions for this specific problem at the link.

Try incognito mode or a different browser

Google Chrome Incognito Mode with background

If ChatGPT is not working at all for you, using incognito mode can help you identify a problem with your browser’s settings. Likewise, using a different web browser could help bypass any malicious extensions or blocking scripts that may have infected your primary browser.

To open an incognito window in Chrome, tap the three-dots icon and select “New Incognito tab”. If you’re on an iPhone, you’ll have to tap on the Tabs icon first and then switch to “Private” mode.

Use the ChatGPT smartphone app

ChatGPT stock photo installing app

Historically, the only way to use the world’s most popular chatbot was via a web browser. Over the past few months, however, OpenAI has rolled out an official ChatGPT app to the Android and iOS app stores. This gives you one more way to access the chatbot and potentially fix any of the problems you may be facing with the web version.

Clear your browser’s settings and cache

While unlikely, it’s possible that a corrupt browser cache may prevent ChatGPT from loading in your web browser. You could permanently use ChatGPT from a different browser, of course, but resetting the cache and other settings only takes a minute or two.

Keep in mind that this step will clear your browser data and logged-in sessions. In other words, you’ll have to log into all of your accounts again. That said, you can opt to skip resetting your website history and saved passwords.

How to clear your web browser’s settings and cache

  1. Open your primary web browser.
  2. Look for the menu icon and navigate to Settings. In Chrome and Edge, you’ll need to click the three-dots menu icon first. If you’re on a computer, you can use the Ctrl/Cmd + Shift + Delete keyboard shortcut and skip the next step.
  3. In Chrome’s settings menu on your smartphone, navigate to Privacy and security > Clear browsing data.
  4. Select cache, cookies, and browsing data and tap Clear data.

If you use Safari on an iPhone, iPad, or Macbook, you’ll have to follow a different set of steps. You can check out our guide on how to clear your browser’s cache, which goes into more detail.

Try a ChatGPT alternative

Microsoft Bing Chat listening next to Google Assistant listening

If ChatGPT is still down for you, don’t despair — you can still use a different AI chatbot to accomplish your task. We won’t list all of the ChatGPT alternatives out there, but the biggest names include Microsoft Copilot and ChatSonic. Both of these services also offer a handful of advantages over ChatGPT, including the ability to search the internet for more up-to-date information.

In our comparison between Microsoft Copilot vs ChatGPT, we found that Microsoft’s search engine delivered more accurate responses. ChatGPT only had the upper hand in creative tasks. Another alternative chatbot is YouChat, which uses the older GPT-3 language model. Still, you can use it for free for as long as ChatGPT remains down.

If ChatGPT isn’t processing certain requests, you might be encountering a restriction. You can bypass ChatGPT restrictions in some cases.