How to fix the error ‘OpenAI is not available in your country’?

Tips & tricks
5 mins
Access OpenAI in your country by breaking through censorship with a VPN.

A lot of people are learning about the artificial intelligence company OpenAI, thanks to its hit chatbot, ChatGPT, which shot to prominence after being released in November 2022. It was praised for its ability to chat in a coherent, human-sounding manner. We tried it too.

But OpenAI’s services, including ChatGPT, are not available in every country around the world. There is an easy solution: A high-quality VPN.

What is OpenAI?

OpenAI is a company focusing on artificial intelligence research and products. It was founded in 2015 as a nonprofit group, with investment by Elon Musk, Peter Thiel, Sam Altman, and other big names in tech. OpenAI became a for-profit company in 2019. 

In 2020, it released GPT-3, which focuses on answering questions using natural language, and in 2021 came DALL-E, which generates images from simple descriptions. After the 2022 release of ChatGPT, Microsoft said it would invest 10 billion USD in OpenAI and integrate ChatGPT into its Bing search engine.

Why is OpenAI not available in my country?

Like many apps and sites, OpenAI is available for use in most but not all countries. This kind of censorship is usually attributable to one of two reasons. The first is the country censoring the service to suppress access to information for its residents. The second is the app maker wanting to avoid issues in regions that have too many legal and political sensitivities surrounding their products.

If you try to use ChatGPT or other OpenAI services in a country where they’re not available, you’re likely to see the message “OpenAI is not available in your country”.

Note that it’s also possible for an online service to be blocked by Wi-Fi networks at schools or in offices, if someone has decided that that service is too much of a distraction or uses too much bandwidth. The method discussed in this article will also unblock OpenAI at school or work.

How to fix the error “OpenAI is not available in your country”?

You can make yourself appear to be in a different country with a VPN. OpenAI also requires you to provide a phone number from the country you’re trying to appear to be in so it can send you a verification code. 

Here’s how to bypass the error:

  1. Sign up for a VPN (like ExpressVPN) and download the app.
  2. Connect to a VPN server location where OpenAI is available.
  3. Visit the OpenAI website to start registering for ChatGPT or another service. Ideally use a new private window in your browser.
  4. You will be prompted to verify your phone number to receive a security code.
  5. Use the security code to complete your registration process.

What is the best VPN for OpenAI?

ExpressVPN is one of many that can change your IP address. But ExpressVPN is a premium service that gives you a better experience by providing:

  • Speeds that are frequently tested to be the fastest
  • Strong encryption to keep your online activity private
  • An innovative server system that ensures security 
  • More locations, in 105 countries
  • Round-the-clock customer support

Which countries is OpenAI available in?

The list of countries where you can access OpenAI are listed on its site here. There are about 30 countries where OpenAI is currently not available.

What AI tools does OpenAI provide?


OpenAI’s indisputable flagship product, ChatGPT is a chatbot that can interact with users through conversations that sound human. It’s free to use, but those who sign up for the premium tier, ChatGPT Plus, enjoy priority access when the service is busy and get to experience new features first.


This AI system creates realistic images and art from a written description. For example, you could enter the phrase “A cat dressed as a professor in the style of Van Gogh.” And you’ll be shown a series of images that were created based on that description. When you sign up to the service, you get some free credits to use, with credits given each month, too. But you can also buy more credits.


This automatic speech recognition system produces transcripts of speech. It’s been trained on different languages and is able to handle different accents, background noise, and technical language. OpenAI is open-sourcing the code to allow others to incorporate it into various applications. 


This AI system translates natural language to code. It is proficient in more than a dozen programming languages and can interpret simple commands and execute them. This means you don’t really need to know how to write software code—you just need to be able to describe what you want that code to do. Codex is available in the OpenAI API, a platform that lets developers create apps that can understand and respond to human language.


In March 2023, OpenAI launched GPT-4, replacing the previous version of its technology GPT-3. It’s part of the OpenAI API and offers wide-ranging abilities. Powered by GPT-4, ChatGPT was designed specifically for conversations, but GPT-4 itself can be used to perform a wider variety of functions surrounding text generation and question answering. It can give medical advice, tell jokes, describe images, answer questions based on an image, summarize large blocks of text, successfully take standardized tests, and much more.

Difference between GPT-4 and GPT-3

OpenAI has been improving its GPT technology for years, with its versions numbered accordingly. When ChatGPT was released to the public in November 2022, it was using GPT-3.5. In March 2023, OpenAI released GPT-4. For now, the free version of ChatGPT is still using GPT-3.5, while the paid version is using GPT-4. So what makes GPT-4 better?

GPT-4 was trained on 170 trillion “parameters”—sets of text data—versus 175 billion for GPT-3. Overall, it’s clear that GPT-4 is bigger and more powerful than GPT-3, but OpenAI does not discuss in much detail how this was achieved, such as the data used or the training methods. 

The differences are mainly what can be observed and tested: significant improvements to the model’s ability to generate coherent and contextually appropriate responses to text prompts, overall language understanding, and natural language processing.

Here are examples of what that means in more practical terms:

  • GPT-4 can pass exams including the LSAT, SAT, Uniform Bar Exam, and GRE with higher scores
  • GPT-4 is 82% less likely to respond when prompts are technically not allowed, and it’s 60% less likely to fabricate facts
  • GPT-4 can keep up with a conversation of up to 64,000 words, whereas GPT-3.5 can keep up for about 8,000 words
  • GPT-4 is more multilingual, with the ability to accurately chat in 26 languages

Another main difference between versions is that GPT-4 can use images as part of prompts. For example, you can show it a picture of refrigerator contents and it can provide recipes using those ingredients. However, ChatGPT does not yet offer this feature.

FAQ: About OpenAI

Can I use OpenAI for free?
Does Elon Musk own OpenAI?
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How much is OpenAI worth?
Which is better, OpenAI or DeepMind?
Is GPT-3 available to the public?
How do you use ChatGPT if it’s not available in your country?
Can I use ChatGPT with VPN?
How to fix “OpenAI’s API is not available in your country”?
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Vanessa is an editor of the blog.