Today I attempted to login to ChatGPT and received an error message – and was unable to use the ChatGPT Plus service I’d purchased.
OpenAI (ChatGPT) notice:
“Oops! Our systems are a bit busy at the moment, please take a break and try again soon.”
I figured that the platform was probably down or had some sort of outage, so I checked with OpenAI directly to determine whether any errors were reported – nada.
A different time that ChatGPT stopped working, the platform never even loaded (a loading gear icon just kept spinning – but there was no “Oops! Our systems are busy” message).
Additionally, the previous time that ChatGPT had an error, OpenAI reported an outage on their website that was undergoing investigation (the error ended up resolved within 40 minutes).
This time there is ZERO documented outage on the ChatGPT website… so it’s basically just restricting users (including Plus subscribers) because the total usage is excessive.
- Related: ChatGPT Not Working: At Capacity Error Message
- Related: ChatGPT Message Cap (GPT-4)
- Related: ChatGPT Limits (Words, Characters, Tokens)
Investigating the “Oops!” error message…
Checking with OpenAI: The OpenAI status page: “All Systems Operational” – suggesting that there was zero outage. Later the ChatGPT page would state that ChatGPT is at capacity right now (such that only Plus users would be given access).
Twitter: I searched Twitter for ChatGPT, GPT, and OpenAI to determine whether others were experiencing this error… not much showed up. But a few users reported the same error today (so perhaps I’m not alone).
Google News: Searched Google News for updates & breaking news associated with ChatGPT & OpenAI outages – nada.
Google Search: I copied and pasted the error message into Google search – and searched for the specific message verbatim in quotations. Results? Random Reddit thread and a Chinese TikTok thread (which I couldn’t properly translate).
ChatGPT: I visited the ChatGPT page to determine whether any additional errors popped up. I realized that ChatGPT was at capacity – such that activity was restricted for non-Plus users.
Plus subscriber login: I entered my email for the “Plus subscriber login” link. I received an email for a login link, yet still received the “Oops! Our systems are a bit busy at the moment” message… unable to use.
Testing from different browsers: I tried logging in from a different browser than I typically use and also tried logging in from mobile instead of on a computer… same problem.
Anecdotes of the “Oops! Our systems are a bit busy at the moment” (ChatGPT)
I found 2 Reddit replies (from different users) mentioning that they’ve experienced this specific error & 1 individual on the OpenAI community chat reporting this error.
I also found 3 Tweets posted today with this exact error message (all today – so I guess I’m not alone here).
It does NOT seem to be a common problem (or I suspect it would be more widely reported/documented), however, others have reported it within the past 1-8 days.
Reddit post (Plus problems)
A post on Reddit noted that the user was paying for “Plus” but was still unable to login due to capacity.
The original poster (OP) complained that OpenAI’s status page showed zero problems and that he/she had never experienced this issue before until today – but was upset that access was denied despite paying for the service.
The user updated everyone by stating that apparently it’s an ongoing issue with ChatGPT & OpenAI – and compared the Plus subscription to having a fast-lane pass at an amusement park (still need to wait, but the line is shorter).
Reddit replies (Oops! error)
Someone commented that there is a special form (ChatGPT Plus subscriber login) where you enter your email for a personalized login link.
This person clearly hasn’t experienced the “Oops!” constraint as a Plus subscriber.
However, multiple users stated that logging in this way just takes you to the “Oops! Our systems are a bit busy at the moment” screen – suggesting that it’s still at capacity.
What is causing “Oops! Our systems are a bit busy” on ChatGPT?
There are only a few things I can conclude at the moment, however, I don’t think all Plus subscribers experience this error (many are actively using ChatGPT right now despite the fact that some of are blocked).
ChatGPT at capacity: I checked ChatGPT directly after logging out and the website states that the service is at capacity. Although Plus subscribers are given priority access when the service is at capacity – clearly it cannot handle all of them (such that the “Oops!” error occurs).
Excessive use: Why is ChatGPT at capacity? Users continue increasing. College students are cranking out essays in April (some stated that its dissertation month), more people are buying Plus subscriptions, API access is increasing (and the APIs have priority access), etc. This is why the “systems are a bit busy.”
Unrecognized error: It’s possible that there’s an unreported or unrecognized error within OpenAI’s ChatGPT. Maybe the error hasn’t been adequately identified and/or investigated – such that the OpenAI status page doesn’t report any errors.
Restriction or throttling: Select ChatGPT Plus subscribers end up with restricted access or throttling of their accounts when OpenAI’s systems are overburdened. I’m not sure if this is random or if it’s simply a first-come first-serve basis (e.g. those already using ChatGPT don’t get kicked off but those who aren’t don’t get access until activity lessens).
I don’t think any of the following are reasons for the error – but initially I thought they could be due to the fact that the “ChatGPT is at capacity right now” notice wasn’t issued.
Account compromised: It’s possible that some can’t login to ChatGPT due to a compromised OpenAI account (e.g. it got hacked). Not sure how likely this is… and I doubt it would generate the “Oops!” error message which implies that the systems are busy.
Suspicious activity on account: Perhaps logging in regularly from multiple devices and/or browsers triggered some sort of a suspicious activity alert – such that OpenAI restricts access until activity looks normal again.
Solutions to this problem…
It’s unclear as to whether there are any good solutions to being blocked from accessing ChatGPT Plus due to the service being at capacity.
Patience: Most people are probably going to need to just wait it out. Be patient. Access will probably come back sooner than later. (So far I’ve been blocked from access for about an hour.)
Second account (?): If you’re really impatient, you could try creating a second Plus account. Help a friend or family member sign up and see if they have access. (This might be a waste of time & money if they get the same error though).
API access: The only surefire way to access GPT is by getting API access. You could apply for API access yourself (no guarantee that you’ll get it though) OR just use the services of a company that’s powered by the GPT API. API users are given priority access (almost never an outage).
OpenAI: If OpenAI wanted to fix this problem, they could offer an advanced Plus subscription (e.g. Platinum Plus) for an increased monthly cost – for those who are willing to pay more to be guaranteed zero outages.
How does OpenAI (ChatGPT) determine who experiences the “Oops!” error?
I’m curious as to how OpenAI determines which Plus users end up restricted from accessing ChatGPT when it’s at capacity.
Slots fill up (?): Perhaps the service has a specific number of preexisting slots that fill up – such that once all slots are full, additional users are prevented from accessing the platform, even if they’re Plus subscribers.
Priority to infrequent users (?): Another possibility is that they analyze total usage over a specific timeframe such as the past 24 hours, week, or month – and only restrict access for those who have reached or averaged a certain threshold of queries (e.g. >20 queries daily).
User newness (?): It’s also possible that new Plus users are given priority access when ChatGPT reaches capacity over older Plus users. In other words, if you just signed up for Plus – you move to the front of the line and older users will be blocked out.
Random luck (?): It’s also possible that there’s some sort of random lottery system within ChatGPT that lets select Plus users access the platform at capacity while restricting access for others.
If you know how OpenAI (ChatGPT) determines which Plus subscribers get access during times of capacity – feel free to leave a comment and let me know (I’m curious).
Have you experienced “Oops! Our systems are a bit busy” in ChatGPT?
I’m trying to determine why some of us are experiencing this error but others aren’t – feel free to leave a comment about your experience.
If you’ve experienced this message on OpenAI’s ChatGPT – when did you experience it?
Are you a Plus subscriber? And did you try logging in with your personalized link?
How long have you been a Plus subscriber? Are you a new Plus subscriber or a seasoned veteran?
Are you a ChatGPT power user? Or do you use ChatGPT relatively infrequently?
If you’ve experienced this error in the past – how long did it take to resolve (go away)?