What is the OpenAI Account/Model Limited Mode?

by Matt Zimmerman

Updated November 25, 2023

OpenAI has limits and restrictions on their platform.

Most of those restrictions depend on what account usage tier you possess.

You can find your usage tier and limits on this page: https://platform.openai.com/account/limits

You can also general usage tier guidance on this page: https://platform.openai.com/docs/guides/rate-limits

Let’s discuss some of the situations where you might encounter an account or model limitation

New Users (Free Tier)

When you initially register for an OpenAI API account, they often toss in some free credit for you to use and put you on a free tier. But, there’s a catch – this freebie comes with a few constraints. Right now, the one that sticks out is the slow speed and a limited number of requests every 24 hours. OpenAI restricts free tier accounts to 3 requests per minute and a total of 200 requests every 24 hours.

Overcoming these limits is very easy:

  1. Visit platform.openai.com
  2. Add your credit card
  3. Add some credits to your OpenAI account ($50 is recommended)
  4. Generate a new API key
  5. Add the new API key in the options menu in ZimmWriter

Performing these steps will move your account from the free tier into “usage tier 1”. You can review this link to confirm you are now in usage tier 1 and also review the guidance on usage tier 1 limits.

New Users (Usage Tier 1 to Usage Tier 2)

You might experience slowness even if you’ve added your credit card and moved to usage tier 1. In that case try adding $50 in credits to your OpenAI account.

Most users find that moving up to usage tier 2 (which requires at least $50 in credit added to their OpenAI account along with having had their account for 7+ days) dramatically boosts the speed of ZimmWriter. It will also boost your limits.

Model Limitations (Any Usage Tier)

Each OpenAI model (e.g., “gpt-4”, “gpt-3.5-turbo”, etc) has different limits on usage:

  • tokens per minute
  • tokens per day
  • requests per minute
  • requests per day

From a user’s perspective, it’s confusing.

For a developer, like myself, it’s a nightmare.

The long and short of it is that if you reach usage tier 2, but still see an occasional “account/model limited” message in ZimmWriter, just realize that OpenAI has placed limits on the AI model you have chosen based on your account usage tier along with the model itself. So in some situations, you can try switching models to see if a different model is uncapped from a rate limit perspective.

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