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If ChatGPT’s not working here’s why and what you can do

Possible causes and fixes to ChatGPT errors

Reviewed By: Steve Hook

Last Updated on April 10, 2024
Images shows the ChatGPT logo on a black background below the PC guide logo
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ChatGPT has millions of weekly users, so occasionally the OpenAI website may face some technical difficulties. Assuming you’ve entered the correct login credentials, and your AI chatbot access is still not working as you’d like, there may be an error with the service itself. In this article, we cover potential reasons ChatGPT’s not working, what you can try and, if you’re still stuck, useful courses of action.

✓ Kevin Says

Quick Answer

If you find ChatGPT’s not working it may be that there is a widespread outage, so that’s the first thing to check and you may need to wait it out. If you have a specific error issue check out openAI’s support pages for an answer too. It may be that you have a browser issue, so try clearing your cache – the potential workaround (if there is one) will depend on the potential cause.

See if ChatGPT’s not working for others

There are various reasons why ChatGPT may not be working for you, but it may not be working for a large amount of users, anyone. Your first useful port of call should be to check ChatGPT owner OpenAI’s system status page. This will give you a quick glance at known issues. And you can also cross-reference with an independent ‘outage detector’ like ‘downdetector‘.

Now neither of these will give you a specific reason for potential problems (like an internal server error), but they will tell you about minor or major outages. This will indicate whether issues are widespread and not just affecting you.

chatgpt not working - OpenAI status indicators
OpenAI’s status page has a color coding system. Green is no issues, other color denote severity of the issue.
chatgpt not working - down detector graph
A spike in ChatGPT outage reports at downdetector across 24-hour period. This suggests a major problem.

ChatGPT not working for you – things to try

If you have internet connectivity and it appears there is no widespread issue, then it may be ChatGPT not working is specific to you. If you have a specific error message, check out OpenAI’s support pages for extra information. Here you will find official documents about specific errors for things like the iOS and Android ChatGPT app. These may help you resolve errors that you are seeing.

Screenshot of a user encountering multiple error messages on the chatgpt interface, indicating issues with accessing the service or authentication problems, highlighting why ChatGPT isn't working.
ChatGPT’s support pages can provide information about specific errors.

Common reasons ChatGPT is not working – and potential workarounds

Server load: A common cause stems from a bunch of users trying to use the chatbot at the same time. Usually, this leads to a server overload issue (high traffic), where many people get locked out of the site and are unable to log in. This often results in ChatGPT at capacity errors. The only thing to do here is to wait a little and try again. Users with a ChatGPT Plus subscription may still have access when there is a high server load (they do get priority), but this is not guaranteed if there is a major issue.

Although, this isn’t the only cause. On some occasions, problems can arise from issues on your end. Classic causes are internet issues, corrupt browser cache or cookies, or your geographic location.

Regional access: ChatGPT is available in most developed countries. However, interestingly there are some places in the world where ChatGPT is not available. Countries that seem to ban the use of AI bots are China, Russia, and Egypt among others.

Some suggestions involve the use of a VPN to get around any ChatGPT not working issues. However, this hasn’t been proven as effective in allowing users to gain access. And it won’t allow access when there are widespread server issues since the fix needs to be implemented on OpenAI’s side. In such instances, only OpenAI can fix ChatGPT accessibility.

IP address issue: You may be using what the service considers an unsafe IP address – unless this IP address has worked for you in the past. Even with a safe IP address, the server may be overloaded, or you may be experiencing connectivity issues – both temporary issues that can occur with an otherwise perfectly suitable computer or device. You could try to change your IP address, by using a VPN but again this hasn’t been proven to work.

Incorrect plugin installation: As a heads up, we’ve seen a spike in searches for ‘how to install plugins’ at the same time as ‘ChatGPT not working’ related issues. If you’ve installed a plugin and are having issues, return to the ChatGPT plugin store and uninstall that plugin to see if the issue resolves itself.

Can you use ChatGPT when it’s not working?

Whether you can use ChatGPT while it’s not working depends on the severity of the issue and it can be resolved. If the issue appears to be widespread, then you are unlikely to be able to use the service. You may have to wait it out, or otherwise try ChatGPT alternatives if you want to access an AI-powered chatbot immediately. If the service appears to be operational, you are struggling to connect and OpenAI’s support pages do not resolve the issue, you can try the below options depending on your specific browser.

ChatGPT not working on Google Chrome – suggested solution

If ChatGPT is not working on Google Chrome in that you cannot gain access but can browse the web without issue, try following the official guidelines for clearing your cache:

  • On your computer, open Chrome.
  • At the top right, click More More.
  • Click “More tools” and then “Clear browsing data”.
  • At the top, choose a time range. To delete everything, select “All time”.
  • Next to “Cookies and other site data” and “Cached images and files,” check the boxes.
  • Click “Clear data”.

After that, restart your browser and access the service again. As a result, ChatGPT should be working. If that doesn’t fix it, it’s unlikely to be a browser-specific issue, and you should follow some of the more general advice in our step-by-step guide below.

ChatGPT not working on Mozilla Firefox browser – suggested solution

If ChatGPT is not working on Mozilla Firefox, but you can access other websites, try following the official guidelines for clearing your cache:

  • Click the menu button Fx89menuButton and select Settings.
  • Select the Privacy & Security panel.
  • In the “Cookies and Site Data” section, click “Clear Data”.
  • Remove the checkmark in front of “Cookies and Site Data”
  • With the Cached Web Content check marked, click the “Clear” button.

After that, restart your browser and access the service again. As a result, ChatGPT should be working. If that doesn’t fix it, it’s unlikely to be a browser-specific issue, and you should follow some of the more general advice in our step-by-step guide below.

ChatGPT not working on Microsoft Edge browser – suggested solution

If ChatGPT is not working on Microsoft Edge, try following these official guidelines for clearing your cache:

  • Go to “Settings”
  • Then click “Privacy”
  • Lastly, click “Browser data” and use Ctrl + Shift + Del

Alternatively, you can copy and paste “edge://settings/clearbrowserdata” into the URL bar (only on Edge). After that, restart your browser and access the service again. As a result, ChatGPT should be working.

If that doesn’t fix it, you can try to disable all third-party browser extensions, in case something is interfering with your web browser. If that also doesn’t work, it’s unlikely to be a browser-specific issue and you should follow some of the more general advice in our step-by-step guide below.

Why is ChatGPT not loading?

There can be many reasons for this. If you have ensured your Internet connection is stable, and your browser working normally, it could be that the service is at capacity or that it is experiencing another issue. Waiting it out is usually the best practice when it seems that the issue is widespread. For example, the “ChatGPT failed to get service status” error.

ChatGPT uses an unsupported protocol?

You may have come across an uncommon error message, as follows:

this site can’t provide a secure connectionchat.openai.com uses an unsupported protocol. err_ssl_version_or_cipher_mismatch

ChatGPT error message

This means that your browser won’t let ChatGPT load — but it’s not your browser’s fault! You’d have the same result on any other browser (Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge etc.) because the problem is actually on OpenAI’s end.

As a PC enthusiast, you might know that each website’s domain name starts with “http://”, which stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol. You might also know that reputable and secure websites begin with “https://” where the additional S stands for secure. Never submit payment card details to a website without this! Well, this includes OpenAI’s Chatbot, the unabbreviated URL of which is https://chat.openai.com/

If your browser doesn’t trust the SSL certificate, it’s only trying to protect you. However, you cannot fix someone else’s SSL certification. Simply wait a bit and try again.

Can’t log in to ChatGPT?

A common error message preventing users from logging in reads as follows:

we ran into an issue while signing you in, please take a break and try again soon.

ChatGPT error message

This is the most popular error message of the week. However, you won’t need to change anything! This can be the result of a high server load, or more likely a local internet connectivity issue – either of which tends to go away by themselves. As a result, you may benefit from taking a quick break and attempting to log in again soon.

Fixing ChatGPT not working errors – troubleshooting steps summarised



Is your connection to the Internet stable and without issue? If it’s experiencing instability or other issues it may be that you cannot get a secure connection to ChatGPT.



Check the ChatGPT Server Status

If you are online head to ChatGPT Server Status – checking whether or not the server is down is a great way of understanding why you cannot use ChatGPT. Sometimes this is not the case, but it is a good place to start.



Get support

If it is not obvious why ChatGPT isn’t working, and none of the above resolve the issue, wait al little while and try again.

If the server status seems fine, and there is no issue with your connection, it may be worth contacting ChatGPT support.



Clear your browser cookies and cache

Sometimes browsing history and cookies on your machine may prevent you being able to access ChatGPT.

Remove these and try to access the application again.

Whether you are using Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Firefox or another browser, this is a step worth trying as detailed in this article



Different browser or device

If you are able, try to use a different browser, Chrome, Edge or another.

If you don’t have another browser to use, try accessing the ChatGPT application on another device, a tablet, smartphone or another computer.

Final Thoughts

ChatGPT errors are somewhat common, with many users reporting their experience online. In this guide, we have outlined a few possible causes and fixes so you can start using ChatGPT again. There are also many paid and free ChatGPT alternatives that you may want to consider using too, like Jasper AI, Truth GPT, and more. If you’re still undecided whether or not ChatGPT is for you, you can check out our detailed ChatGPT review, which we have updated for 2024.

Iif you find this guide helpful, check out some of our other coverage on the topic. For example, take a look at our ChatGPT vs Google Bard comparison guide, where we look at the features and performance of each AI chatbot. Additionally, you could have a look at our ChatGPT login or sign-up error fixed guide, where we discuss how to solve account login issues.

Kevin is the Editor of PC Guide. He has a broad interest and enthusiasm for consumer electronics, PCs and all things consumer tech - and more than 15 years experience in tech journalism.