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ChatGPT was down due to major outage — here's what happened

Find out the status of ChatGPT, as the AI tool went down on Monday

ChatGPT app on iPhone
(Image: © Shutterstock)

A little less than two weeks after it went down, ChatGPT was offline for around 2.5 hours on Monday, June 17, along with parent company OpenAI, according to DownDetector. That outage appears to have been resolved.

ChatGPT looks to have gone offline around 2 p.m. EST, and OpenAI started investigating the issue around half-an-hour later. The service was back online just before 5 p.m. EST.

During the outage, attempts to use ChatGPT were met with a non-response, or an error message that something went wrong when generating a response. 

ChatGPT hasn't commented on the outage specifically beyond to say that it is now resolved. Writing on its status page: "ChatGPT experienced an elevated error rate from 11:20am PT to 1:55pm PT. This is now resolved."

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What went wrong?

OpenAI has remained tight lipped about the cause of the latest outage but it is likely a combination of system updates and increasing demand on servers.

This will likely only increase in future as Apple starts to offer users access to ChatGPT from Siri (as an opt-in rather than integrated into the system as some suggested). 

Writing on its ChatGPT status page, OpenAI said: "ChatGPT experienced an elevated error rate from 11:20am PT to 1:55pm PT. This is now resolved." That's it. That is the total extent of the explanation of what triggered the outage.

I subscribe to the ChatGPT status update email list and get 2-3 a day suggesting elevated error rates or faults in the system and as the company scales up, regularly attracting 100s of millions of users while adding new features — outages are likely. 

green light

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

With both Down Detector and OpenAI reporting that ChatGPT is back, it appears today's outage has been resolved. Using OpenAI's estimates, the service looked to be down for around 2 hours and 35 minutes total.

We'll add new updates should the situation change, but if not, consider the ChatGPT situation resolved.

OpenAI logo on phone sitting on top of laptop keyboard

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Tom's Guide Global Editor Mark Spoonauer asked ChatGPT why there was a spike in error rates. Here's what the AI chatbot told him: 

"Today's spike in error rates for ChatGPT was caused by an unexpected surge in traffic and demand, which led to system overloads. OpenAI acknowledged the elevated error rates beginning around 11:20 AM PT and resolved the issue by 1:55 PM PT. This incident predominantly affected ChatGPT's web and mobile applications, causing various error messages and access issues for users across different platforms.OpenAI's status page initially cited internal server errors and high demand as the primary causes of the outage. They have since restored all services to normal operation, though specifics on the root cause of the spike were not detailed beyond the high traffic levels observed during the incident."

An OpenAI logo over some circuits.

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

ChatGPT is back up and appears stable. 

Here's the last update from OpenAI (for now):

Resolved - ChatGPT experienced an elevated error rate from 11:20am PT to 1:55pm PT. This is now resolved.

Screenshot of OpenAI status page showing ChatGPT is back up

(Image credit: Future)

It's looking like ChatGPT is back up. The status page from OpenAI has everything green. 

Down Detector reports have significantly dropped and we're seeing reports of people being able to use ChatGPT over on X and Reddit. 

Here's a random fun fact ChatGPT gave us as we tested it: Honey never spoils. Archaeologists have found pots of honey in ancient Egyptian tombs that are over 3,000 years old and still perfectly edible. Honey's natural acidity, low moisture content, and the presence of hydrogen peroxide all contribute to its remarkably long shelf life.

Screenshot showing ChatGPT's most recent answer to see if the service is down

(Image credit: Future)

ChatGPT might be coming back online. Noticed by Tom's Guide Global Editor Mark Spoonauer, the service says that they are investigating the outage.

It does suggest a "hard refresh" on your browser or Mac App.

Down Detector is still getting reports of ChatGPT being down but we were able to get it to work a little bit. 

Tom's Guide Global Editor in Chief, Mark Spoonauer, caught something pretty amusing over on X.

As we posted earlier in this live blog, people are now flocking to ChatGPT alternatives. It's no surprise that #GoogleGemini is now trending on X. One company's loss is another's gain, I guess!

DownDetector

(Image credit: DownDetector)

A user on DownDetector shares their experience. Though you're able to submit a request on ChatGPT, responses fail to generate. You'll get a pulsing black dot instead of a proper response.

X (formerly Twitter) users are still discussing ChatGPT being down. While some are legitimately frustrated, some (like the user posted above) are trying to make light of the situation.

Still, if you rely on ChatGPT for work, I'm sure you're having a crappy Monday. Hopefully, this recent outage hasn't caused any severe problems for anyone.

ChatGPT down

(Image credit: OpenAI)

As of 4:15 p.m., it's still not working for me, but it looks like it's trying. When I type in a query — in this case, "are you working?" I get a pulsing black dot for a while, before it falls back to an error message. 

Gemini, Claude 3, and Perplexity all seem to be working fine, though.

ChatGPT app on iPhone

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

How to do a hard reset on ChatGPT

Even when ChatGPT's service is restored, it still may be necessary for you to perform a hard reset to get it working properly. Here's what you need to know:

Mac:
On Chrome or Firefox: Press Cmd + Shift + R
On Safari: Press Cmd + Option + R

PC:
Chrome, Firefox, or Microsoft Edge: Press Ctrl + F5

Mobile devices:

Manually clear the cache and reload the page as expected.

ChatGPT down

(Image credit: DownDetector)

Update (4 p.m. ET): ChatGPT is still down. It looked like it was starting to recover a bit, but progress seems to have stalled. The DownDetector comments section is getting a bit spicy now, too.

"How am i going to attempt to use chat gpt to create policy violating stories for me if the Ai is down," wrote ThunderChannel 100. 

"I asked chatgpt when will chatgpt be fixed. Still waiting for an answer," David wrote.

A phone with the ChatGPT logo and a laptop with the OpenAI logo

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

What is ChatGPT? For those of you who have somehow clicked on this story and are wondering what all the fuss is about, ChatGPT is an AI chatbot that can do everything from writing papers to creating images, just based on text prompts you enter. While it launched in 2022, it's gained a lot of popularity as one of the leading AIs in the past year, as companies such as Microsoft, Google, and Apple have rushed to incorporate artificial intelligence into their products. 

ChatGPT down

(Image credit: OpenAI)

Based on the company's own logs, ChatGPT has had at least one significant outage a month dating back to March. Some have been as short as 30 minutes, but others have lasted upwards of eight hours. 

OpenAI down

(Image credit: OpenAI)

Our Global Editor in Chief Mark Spoonauer is really digging the very minimalist interface on ChatGPT right now. No history. No answers to your queries. You can just sit and think about what AI could do for you.

Claude 3 logo on phone

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The last time ChatGPT went down, traffic to a number of the best ChatGPT alternatives shot up, and as a result, those services struggled with the increased load. Claude from Anthropic and Perplexity all had their troubles; we're going to monitor them as well to see if they're affected by this latest ChatGPT outage.

ChatGPT down

(Image credit: Meta)

People have also taken to Threads to complain about ChatGPT's outage. "I think ChatGPT has been playing too much Football Manager," wrote asherwood21.

OpenAI down

(Image credit: DownDetector)

Not surprisingly, many have taken to social media to voice their complaints. 

This one tweet from @Egocrata on X sums up the frustration of many ChatGPT users. "ChatGPT would be MUCH more useful if the damn stupid thing was not down half of the time.You cannot rely on it at all."

The comments on DownDetector paint a pretty bad picture on the latest ChatGPT outage. One user ANA says,  “I just used perplexity its way better then this trash.”

Multiple iphones with different features from iOS 18 Apple Intelligence featured

(Image credit: Future)

Just last week, OpenAI and Apple announced a partnership, whereby ChatGPT would be integrated into Apple's own AI platform, dubbed Apple Intelligence, in iOS 18. In this implementation, much of the processing will be done on-device, before going to Apple's servers.

ChatGPT went offline for around four hours on June 4, until engineers were able to fix the issue, but noted that some users would have to do a "hard refresh" to get the service working again. 

As we wait for it to come back — again — it's worth checking out our guide to ChatGPT alternatives — including Claude 3 and MetaAI.

OpenAI status

(Image credit: OpenAI)

The reports of OpenAI going down seem to have started around 2 p.m. EST, according to DownDetector. 

About 40 minutes later, a status update on OpenAI noted "We are currently investigating elevated error rates impacting ChatGPT."

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