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How to use ChatGPT on Mac

ChatGPT can live on a Mac

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ChatGPT is a chatbot from OpenAI that has recently taken the world by storm, and there's a new app that lets you access it on a Mac. Here's how to get started.

OpenAI launched ChatGPT in November, built on the company's GPT-3 machine learning models. Companies such as Microsoft have integrated it while others — including Google — fear it.

It has various applications to answer questions and generate text, and a new app has appeared that brings it to the Mac menu bar.

Created by Jordi Bruin, MacGPT is a macOS app available for free, though people can add their own price to help support the developer.

Once a user logs in with their OpenAI credentials, they can click the menu bar icon to start a conversation. It's also possible to assign it a keyboard shortcut to activate MacGPT without needing a mouse or trackpad.

How to use ChatGPT on Mac with MacGPT

MacGPT is available to run on macOS versions of Monterey and Ventura.

  1. Visit Bruin's webpage on Gumroad.
  2. Enter 0 in the price box to download it for free — but we recommend throwing Bruin a few bucks.
  3. Click "I want this!" and the 3.1MB download will start immediately.
  4. Double-click on the zip file in your Downloads folder, then drag the app to the Applications folder.

A Web tab inside the app allows you to log in with OpenAI credentials. Visit the OpenAI website to sign up for a free account. Under the Native tab, accessing ChatGPT via API credentials found in your OpenAI account user settings is possible.

How to use ChatGPT on Mac - Examples of questions and prompts
How to use ChatGPT on Mac - Examples of questions and prompts

The MacGPT app notes that this provides faster responses and a more fluid experience. After logging in, the app shows prompts straight from OpenAI.

These prompts remind users that it's currently a research preview and that some of the information generated might be incorrect, misleading, offensive, or biased.

ChatGPT offers various example prompts with which to get started. For example, type "Explain quantum computing in simple terms" or "Got any creative ideas for a 10-year-old's birthday?"

Once a question or statement is answered, ChatGPT will generate a response. Depending on the query, some results can be longer than others. If it's taking a while, there is a button to stop it from running.

It wasn't that simple
It wasn't that simple

At the bottom of the answer are buttons to like or dislike a response. OpenAI added that option as a way for people to give feedback on ChatGPT's reponses in case it "hallucinates," which means it can provide an answer that is false or not supported by its training data.

Additionally, MacGPT and the ChatGPT website save conversations in a history so users can revisit them. It's also possible to access ChatGPT via OpenAI's website, and it's functionally identical to MacGPT without unique features.