How To Fix a Network Error in ChatGPT

The perfect idea for an article prompt finally pops into your head, and you rush to ChatGPT to get an outline (or even the whole article) written for you. Unfortunately, something goes wrong, and you get a simple message reading “Network Error.” Either ChatGPT is down, or there’s something wrong on your end, but either way, you need to find a way to get the service running again.

How To Fix a Network Error in ChatGPT

The following methods give you ways to check what’s happening with ChatGPT, with some even having fixes you can apply to get the platform working again.

Method 1 – Check Your Internet Connection

Any app or platform that uses the internet, such as ChatGPT, will serve up network errors if you don’t have a stable internet connection for your device. So, checking your own connection may reveal the problem. Check your router or modem to ensure it’s picking up a connection and broadcasting it. Also, check that you can connect to the internet using other devices.

Assuming your connection is the problem, there are a few things you can try to restore it:

  • Reset your router or modem using the instructions that came with the device.
  • Contact your internet service provider (ISP) to confirm there isn’t an error on their end.
  • Connect the device you’re using to run ChatGPT to your modem or router using an ethernet cable, which gives you access if Wi-Fi issues prevent a wireless connection.
  • Replace your modem or router if a device fault is to blame for your lack of connection.

Method 2 – Check That ChatGPT Is Operational

The creators of ChatGPT took several measures to help people use the platform once it became popular, including offering a service status checker. This checker tells you the uptime percentages for the following aspects of the platform:

  • API
  • Chat
  • Playground
  • Labs

So, if you’re trying to use the ChatGPT platform’s API to run a different app and get a network error, a quick check of the service status screen tells you if there’s a problem. If ChatGPT is down (or has low uptime), then waiting until the issue gets resolved is your only option.

Method 3 – Avoid Long Responses

ChatGPT does a great job of coming up with chunks of text based on prompts, but it’s not at a point where it can handle massive pieces in one go. In other words, if you ask the platform to write something that’s the length of a short novel (or even a long article), it’s liable to throw up a network error because you’re asking too much.

There are a few ways to get around this:

  • Keep your requests concise so ChatGPT can deliver shorter answers.
  • Avoid asking open-ended questions that might cause the platform to go off on too many tangents.
  • Break large requests down into simpler ones, then manually compile the answers ChatGPT provides into a longer piece.

Method 4 – Check Down Detector

ChatGPT’s own service status checker isn’t the only one you can use to see if it has an issue that causes network errors. The platform runs using OpenAI technology, allowing you to use Down Detector to check ChatGPT’s status:

  1. Go to Down Detector and type “OpenAI” into the search box.
  2. Click the magnifying glass icon.
  3. Examine the chart to see if people reported outages for OpenAI during the period when you experienced your network error.

If you see a spike in reporting at the same time you experienced your error, other people were having issues as well, meaning there’s a problem with OpenAI. Waiting for a couple of hours (while keeping an eye on Down Detector’s reporting) should tell you when the problem clears up.

Method 5 – Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN)

A VPN is a service that encrypts your internet connection by making it appear as though you’re connecting from somewhere different than your actual location. Think of it like a virtual suit of armor that goes around your internet connection, preventing hackers and other malicious parties from spying on what you do online.

You won’t need a VPN for protective purposes when using ChatGPT, though you may be able to take advantage of another feature – regional changing.

In some cases, a ChatGPT network error occurs because too many people from the same part of the world are trying to use the platform, which overloads local servers. Using a VPN to change your location allows you to access ChatGPT from a different region and potentially circumvent the overloaded servers that caused the error. Assuming the service isn’t down, trying other locations via a VPN may eventually lead you to an accessible version of ChatGPT, even when it’s displaying a network error for your unencrypted local connection.

Method 6 – Disable Your VPN

As great as a VPN can be for switching your region and potentially helping you to avoid location-specific server overload, it can also be a hindrance. Many VPN services lower your internet speed and overall connectivity, especially if they use virtual servers rather than physical ones. That reduced speed may be enough to trigger a network error in ChatGPT.

Incidentally, ChatGPT also occasionally has issues with VPNs that cause it to raise an “Error 1020” warning, which tells you that the platform detects a security issue and won’t continue working until you turn off your VPN.

Method 7 – Specify Your Coding Language

In addition to being a great writing prompt (and a fun conversationalist), ChatGPT can generate snippets of code based on your requests. However, with so many coding languages available, confusion can arise if you don’t specify which programming language you’d like the platform to use. That confusion can lead to a network error message in a similar way to how you may get the error if you ask ChatGPT to write overly-long articles.

The solution to this issue is simple – be specific with your coding language.

For example, it may not be enough to ask ChatGPT to write in a “C” programming language. You may need to specify between C++, C Sharp, and traditional C, perhaps by telling the platform both what to use and what not to use.

Method 8 – Confront Browser Issues

Sometimes, a problem with your web browser could cause ChatGPT to throw out a network error, especially if your browser is overloaded or not updated.

If you suspect your browser is the problem, try switching to a different one to see if you get the same error. If ChatGPT works on one browser but not the one you prefer using, you can try to fix your favored browser using the following techniques:

  • Check your extensions and disable any that you believe may interfere with ChatGPT or OpenAI.
  • Clear the browser’s cookies, cache, and browsing history to free up some memory for ChatGPT to use.
  • Reset your browser to its default settings, which is often effective if ChatGPT starts giving you a network error after you’ve made a change to your browser.

Get ChatGPT Working Again

Seeing the “network error” message in ChatGPT is a frustrating experience whether you’re using the platform for work or play. Often, the message occurs when there’s an issue with OpenAI or the ChatGPT platform, though the problem may be on your side. Running through the methods in this article helps you identify and potentially fix the problem.

Now, we want to hear about your experiences with ChatGPT. What’s the best interaction you’ve had with the platform? Has a ChatGPT network error ever made you late for a deadline? Tell us about it in the comments section below.

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