ChatGPT at capacity error – Peak hours and how to fix

Find out what the Chat GPT capacity error means and how to fix it

ChatGPT at capacity error and how to fix OpenAI's AI chatbot

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If you have tried to use ChatGPT lately, especially at peak hours, you may have noticed this error message: “ChatGPT is at capacity right now”. The error, common at peak times for high traffic, is frustrating issue for regular users of OpenAI’s AI chatbot. So, should you resort to a ChatGPT alternative or wait it out? Here’s what to do when you find ChatGPT at capacity.

How to fix the “ChatGPT is at capacity” error

ChatGPT has surged in popularity throughout the year, which is seemingly the reason it’s often at capacity. One of the most common ChatGPT errors, OpenAI’s AI chat service is the most used of its kind worldwide.

While there are some great ChatGPT alternatives that may work better for you, don’t abandon ship just yet, as we’ll show you some ways you can either get around this issue or some potential fixes you can try.

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You have a few quick options when it comes to fixing ChatGPT’s capacity error:

  1. Wait!
  2. Try access in ‘off peak’ times – basically, avoid the peak US usage hours
  3. Refresh the browser
  4. Clear your browser cache and cookies (you will have to re-login)
  5. Use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to access ChatGPT
  6. Use incognito mode in a new window, or with a different browser
  7. Sign up for ChatGPT Plus
  8. Try one of the 17 recommended ChatGPT Alternatives such as Microsoft Bing Chat or Google Bard

For a definitive solution to the ChatGPT at capacity error, follow the steps below to fix ChatGPT:


ChatGPT at capacity – ‘fix’

Initially these are the best steps to take – you may need to wait for a fix from OpenAI




The first and easiest one is to wait. Over time ChatGPT’s traffic could decrease, eventually resulting in enough space for you to join the server. Demand Sage tried this method out and found that after twenty minutes, they could access ChatGPT.




Another option is to refresh your browser. This method involves sending a new request to OpenAI’s server which may increase your chances of being let in.


Chat GPT at capacity workaround

There may be one way that you can get access with this workaround for ChatGPT being at capacity.



Use a VPN

Alternatively, you could try using a VPN. Many users suggest that your current location could be the source of the problem. Simply, activate your VPN before trying to access ChatGPT again, and hopefully, the error message has disappeared.

For a run down read out Best VPN for PC Users

Get guaranteed access with ChatGPT Plus

Finally, should price not be an issue, you may want to consider a ChatGPT Plus or ChatGPT Enterprise account. It’s a $20 monthly subscription, and gives you:

  1. Access even when demand is high – this will allow you in even when the service is at capacity.
  2. Faster response times.
  3. Priority access to new features.

Why is ChatGPT at capacity now?

So what does ChatGPT at capacity even mean? As the error message suggests, ChatGPT at capacity usually means that there are too many users trying to access the service at the same time – more than the servers can handle.

This typically happens when ChatGPT is experiencing a really high volume of traffic or there is a problem with OpenAI’s servers. When you get this error message, it means that ChatGPT is temporarily not accepting any new users and you will not be able to use the AI language model.

There may be a chance that ChatGPT is down, and it is showing the ‘at capacity’ message. The best way to know if it is at capacity or the servers are down altogether is to check the ChatGPT server status.

The ChatGPT at capacity message

When ChatGPT is at capacity, the message you receive is a least a little entertaining. Alongside a notification advising that the service is at capacity, users usually receive an AI-generated poem to explain the situation.

Below we see a message delivered to Team PC Guide with the service at capacity while we were trying to test its features!

Chat GPT at capacity - hero

ChatGPT at capacity for days

This error message could go on for some time. Some users on Reddit have even reported being locked out for days. However, the issue is server-related , so there is not a huge amount you can do. The capacity will ebb and flow throughout the day, and OpenAI will work to maintain access as best it can.

Usually, ChatGPT being at capacity is purely down to the number of people trying to test or use it. However, various methods exist that might increase your chances of being the lucky few that get let in. Otherwise, you may be facing one of its many poems dedicated to your being unable to access the service.

Why is ChatGPT at capacity all the time?

Should you be finding ChatGPT is at capacity all the time, you may be experiencing an error. To ensure it’s nothing on your end that is causing you to not have access, you can clear your browser’s cache.

For Google Chrome, select the three dots in the top right of the Chrome window, select More Tools and then select ‘Clear Browsing Data‘. Once this has been completed, try to access ChatGPT again.

How long is the ChatGPT wait?

From our experience, wait times could be as little as a couple of minutes. However, some Reddit users have reported waiting days. As of late, ChatGPT has seemed to be letting people use the service pretty quickly. So, hopefully, your wait time should not be too painfully long.

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, ChatGPT’s capacity error is purely down to too many people trying to access the service. If you want to avoid this error at all costs, the simplest way is to avoid using the service at peak times.

Alternatively, OpenAI offers the option to get a notification when the service is running again. To signup for this, simply click the “get notified when we’re back” option which appears under the capacity error message.

ChatGPT has become a viral phenomenon – and it is no surprise. The online AI chatbot has blown the minds of the public and it seems that everyone is trying to check it out. As a result, ChatGPT servers have been struggling to handle all their user’s requests. Some people have been temporarily blocked from using the service. To be fair, the issue is not unique to Chat GPT. Any LLM (Large Language Model) and indeed any internet service will suffer from capacity restrictions, because it’s all based on servers which only have the server bandwidth to ‘serve’ so many people at the same time!