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How To Get Openai ChatGPT API Key

The ChatGPT API key was first launched by OpenAI in November 2022 for limited beta access. This coincided with the public release of ChatGPT, OpenAI’s revolutionary conversational AI chatbot. While ChatGPT itself is free to use through the website interface, the API provides programmatic access for developers and businesses to integrate ChatGPT into their own applications and products.

Access to the ChatGPT API was initially restricted during the private beta testing phase. OpenAI has been selectively onboarding developers, researchers, and partners to test the API capabilities. In January 2023, OpenAI opened access to the ChatGPT API more broadly through a public beta program while continuing to expand availability.

Does ChatGPT Have an API?

Yes, ChatGPT does have an official API that provides access to its underlying conversational AI model. The ChatGPT API allows developers to build chatbot, natural language processing, and text generation applications using ChatGPT capabilities.

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With the ChatGPT API, you can send text prompts and receive text completions generated by the AI assistant. It opens up possibilities like building Q&A chatbots, content generation tools, text summarization services, and more using ChatGPT’s advanced natural language skills.

The key features offered through the ChatGPT API include:

  • Text completion endpoint to get AI-generated text for prompts
  • Ability to fine-tune prompts and system messages
  • Customizable response parameters like length, presence of stop sequences, etc.
  • Streaming of output text in real-time as it is generated
  • Ability to queue up requests and responses asynchronously

Overall, the ChatGPT API makes the underlying conversational model highly customizable for developers’ needs. It provides advanced controls compared to the chat interface available publicly.

How To Get Openai ChatGPT API Key

How to Get a ChatGPT API Key

Creating an OpenAI Account

The first step is to head over to the OpenAI website and create an account. This simply involves providing your email address and creating a password.

Once your account is activated, you’ll gain access to the OpenAI dashboard. This is where you’ll be able to generate API keys.

Generating Your ChatGPT API Key

With your account set up, generating your API key is straightforward:

  1. Log into the OpenAI dashboard.
  2. Click on “Create new secret key“.
  3. Copy the generated API key – this is your ChatGPT API key. Treat it like a password and keep it private.

And that’s it! With API key in hand, you’re ready to start integrating the remarkable capabilities of ChatGPT into your applications.

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How to Use Your ChatGPT API Key

Once approved, you will receive an API key that can be used to make requests to the ChatGPT API from your application. Here is an overview of how to integrate your ChatGPT API key:

Here’s a high-level overview of how to use it:

  • Choose a programming language like Python, Node.js, etc.
  • Install the OpenAI library for your chosen language using a package manager like pip or npm.
  • Write code to initialize the OpenAI API client, passing your API key.
  • Make API calls to generate responses from ChatGPT models.
  • Process the text responses within your app as needed.

OpenAI provides code examples and documentation to help you get up and running quickly.

You can customize parameters like maximum tokens, presence of stop sequences, temperature, etc. based on the response needs.

The API can be integrated into any language/framework (Python, JavaScript, Java, etc). OpenAI provides code snippets and documentation to get started across various platforms.

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With your API key, you are ready to build amazing applications leveraging conversational AI!

ChatGPT documentation

Is ChatGPT API Key Free to Use?

ChatGPT API Key Pricing and Free Tier Limits

The ChatGPT API is not completely free to use. Like most commercial APIs, OpenAI has instituted a pricing model based on usage. However, some free tier limits are available for low-volume usage.

The current OpenAI ChatGPT API pricing structure is as follows:

  • Free Tier: Includes 18 million free tokens monthly. 1 token = ~4 characters so this allows ~72 million characters free.
  • Paid Plans: Range from $0.002/1K tokens up to volume discounts of $0.0004/1K tokens at the highest tiers.

So developers get substantial free monthly tokens for low to moderate usage under the free tier. But beyond 18 million free tokens, API usage is metered and billed.

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Volume discounts kick in at higher tiers – so costs per 1K tokens reduce as usage increases.

There are also minimum monthly commitments once on paid plans, starting at $20/month. Multiple APIs like ChatGPT, Dall-E 2, Codex all share the same usage limits.

Overall, OpenAI offers a generous free tier for small scale exploration. For commercial systems at scale, metered plans with volume discounts apply.

How Much Does a ChatGPT API Key Cost?

Since the ChatGPT API follows a usage-based model, the cost of a ChatGPT API key itself is zero. OpenAI does not charge for the API keys used to access the service.

The costs arise from actual API usage beyond the free tier limits. The pricing model is based on the number of tokens used per month across OpenAI models.

Some approximate costs examples at current published rates:

  • 1 million tokens = $20 (within free tier)
  • 10 million tokens = $200
  • 50 million tokens = $800
  • 100 million tokens = $1,600
  • 500 million tokens = $10,000
  • 1 billion+ tokens = Custom pricing

So, costs scale with usage – the more tokens you require, the higher the monthly costs. For really high-volume commercial applications generating billions of tokens, custom pricing plans are available.

It’s a “pay as you go” usage model. But prudent use of free tiers and optimizing prompts can keep costs under control.

Troubleshooting chatgpt api key

Troubleshooting: ChatGPT API Key Not Working?

In case you are facing issues with your ChatGPT API key not working as expected, here are some troubleshooting tips:

  • Make sure your API key is valid – regenerate if needed
  • Check for API rate limits or usage quotas exceeded
  • Ensure your API key has ChatGPT access enabled
  • Verify API endpoint, parameters, headers are correct
  • Check for network issues or server outages
  • Ensure your prompts are clear and well-formed
  • Try with simpler test prompts like “Hello
  • Check for HTTP error status codes and messages
  • Ensure your code is handling errors appropriately
  • Consult OpenAI documentation and community forums
  • Double check geography/usage restrictions for your key
  • Contact OpenAI support if issues persist after troubleshooting

Careful validation of API keys, quotas, endpoints, and prompts generally resolves most integration issues. For complex troubles, OpenAI’s documentation and developer community provide helpful resources.

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The release of the ChatGPT API opens up exciting possibilities to integrate advanced conversational AI into new applications. While access is limited initially, obtaining an API key unlocks this potential for your projects. With responsible usage within free tier limits, both testing and launching production applications using ChatGPT is viable. As a cutting-edge AI system, ChatGPT delivers human-like language capabilities not seen before in a programmatic API. By combining imagination with technical execution, the possibilities are endless on what can be built on top of it.


Is the ChatGPT API free?

The ChatGPT API offers a generous free tier but is not entirely free. Usage beyond free monthly limits is charged based on a per-token pricing model.

Can I use ChatGPT API commercially?

Yes, the ChatGPT API can be used for commercial applications and products by integrating it into your backend systems. Usage charges would apply beyond the free tier.

What are the alternatives to ChatGPT API?

Some alternatives include tools like Anthropic, Cohere, Character.ai, ShortlyAI, etc. But none offer the advanced capabilities of OpenAI’s GPT models at this time.

Is there a waitlist for ChatGPT API access?

Given high demand, some wait listing is occurring. OpenAI is ramping up availability, so try requesting access periodically if initially waitlisted.

Can I use ChatGPT API without coding?

The ChatGPT API is designed for integration into software applications and requires coding skills. Non-developers can leverage readymade ChatGPT apps and services built by others.

Is there a time limit on API key validity?

No, API keys do not expire and can be used indefinitely.

Can I use one API key across multiple applications?

Yes, a single API key can be used across all your applications and services.

Is there a way to reset my API key?

You can delete your existing key and generate a new one at any time in the dashboard.

What happens if my API key gets compromised?

Contact OpenAI immediately to revoke the key. You can create a new one after. Enable MFA for additional security.

Can I share my API key with others?

No, API keys are meant for the individual developer or organization. Do not share them.

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Last modified: September 17, 2023

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