How to Easily Fix ImportError: Cannot Import Name default_ciphers from urllib3.util.ssl_

If you've encountered the dreaded ImportError: Cannot Import Name default_ciphers from urllib3.util.ssl_ error, fear not! In this article, we'll walk you through an easy solution to fix this issue and get your code up and running smoothly again!

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How to Easily Fix ImportError: Cannot Import Name default_ciphers from urllib3.util.ssl_

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When working with OpenAI projects, you may come across the error message:

ImportError: cannot import name 'DEFAULT_CIPHERS' from 'urllib3.util.ssl_'

This issue usually occurs due to breaking changes in the latest version of the requests library. In this blog post, we will explore the cause of this problem and provide easy-to-follow solutions to fix this error. Please note that this tutorial assumes you have a basic understanding of Python and OpenAI.

Article Keypoints

Pinning the Version in requirements.txt:
Add urllib3<2 to your requirements.txt file.
Run pip install -r requirements.txt.

Installing Specific Versions Using Pip:
Uninstall existing versions: pip uninstall requests urllib3
Install compatible versions: pip install requests==2.29 urllib3==1.26
Verify installation: pip freeze

Troubleshooting Tips:
Check for conflicting dependencies: pip list
Verify installation of requests and urllib3: pip show requests urllib3
Seek help from the OpenAI community and support channels.

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Understanding the Problem

To understand the root cause of the ImportError, it's important to know the relationship between OpenAI, requests, and urllib3. OpenAI, an artificial intelligence research laboratory, provides various tools and libraries to support developers in building AI applications. One of the most commonly used libraries is requests, which is used for making HTTP requests.

Requests internally depend on urllib3, a powerful HTTP client for Python. The error occurred because of the breaking changes introduced in the latest version of requests (2.30), which led to compatibility issues with urllib3.

Common Scenarios Where the Error Occurs

The ImportError can occur in various scenarios, including when running OpenAI code locally or deploying it on AWS Lambda. It's important to address this issue regardless of the deployment method or platform you choose.

Solution 1: Pinning the Version in requirements.txt

The first solution involves pinning the version of urllib3 in the requirements.txt file, which is used to manage project dependencies. Here's how you can fix the ImportError by following this approach:

  1. Open the requirements.txt file in your project's root directory.
  2. Add the following line to the file: urllib3<2.
  3. Save and close the requirements.txt file.
  4. Run pip install -r requirements.txt to install the specified version of urllib3.

By pinning the version of urllib3 to a version below 2, you ensure compatibility with the latest version of requests and fix the ImportError.

Solution 2: Installing Specific Versions Using Pip

An alternative solution is to install specific versions of requests and urllib3 using pip. This approach allows you to explicitly specify the versions you want to install. Follow these steps to implement this solution:

  1. Run pip uninstall requests urllib3 to remove the existing installations of requests and urllib3.
  2. Run pip install requests==2.29 urllib3==1.26 to install the specific versions of requests and urllib3 that are known to be compatible.
  3. Verify the installation by running pip freeze and ensuring that the correct versions are listed.

Using this approach, you have finer control over the exact versions of requests and urllib3 that are installed, ensuring compatibility and resolving the ImportError.

Best Practices for Managing Dependencies in OpenAI Projects

It's crucial to adopt best practices for managing dependencies in OpenAI projects to avoid compatibility issues and reduce the likelihood of encountering import errors. Here are some recommended practices:

Keep track of dependencies: Maintain an up-to-date list of all dependencies in your project, including the specific versions being used.

Use virtual environments: Create virtual environments for your OpenAI projects to isolate the dependencies from other Python projects and ensure reproducibility.

Regularly update and test dependencies: Stay informed about new releases and updates for your project dependencies. Test your code frequently with the latest versions to catch any compatibility issues early on.

By following these best practices, you can maintain a stable and robust development environment for your OpenAI projects.

Troubleshooting Tips

Open AI Support

If you still encounter the ImportError after implementing the provided solutions, consider these troubleshooting tips:

Check for conflicting dependencies: Run pip list to see if any conflicting dependencies may be causing issues.

Verify installation of requests and urllib3: Double-check that the correct versions of requests and urllib3 are installed by running pip show requests urllib3.

Seek help from the OpenAI community and support channels: If all else fails, don't hesitate to seek assistance from the OpenAI developer community or reach out to OpenAI support channels for further guidance.

Remember, you're not alone when facing these challenges, and there are resources available to help you overcome them.

Anakin AI


In this blog post, we have addressed the ImportError "cannot import name 'DEFAULT_CIPHERS' from 'urllib3.util.ssl_'" that occurs when working with OpenAI projects. We discussed the causes of this error and provided two easy-to-follow solutions: pinning the version in requirements.txt and installing specific versions using pip. We also highlighted best practices for managing dependencies and provided troubleshooting tips. By following these recommendations, you can ensure a smooth development experience while working with OpenAI projects.


How do I add requirements.txt in AWS Lambda?

You can include the requirements.txt file in your AWS Lambda deployment package by including it in the root directory of your project along with your Lambda function code. When deploying the function, AWS Lambda will automatically install the specified dependencies.

Can I use other deployment methods besides AWS Lambda?

Absolutely! While AWS Lambda is a popular choice for deploying OpenAI projects, you can use any deployment method that suits your needs and infrastructure. Make sure you apply the relevant solutions in this blog post regardless of the deployment method you choose.

What if I still encounter the import error after following the solutions?

If you are still facing the import error after implementing the solutions mentioned in this blog post, consider revisiting the steps and ensuring that you have followed them correctly. Additionally, you can seek assistance from the OpenAI community or support channels for further troubleshooting.

How often should I update my dependencies?

It is recommended to regularly update your dependencies to ensure you benefit from the latest bug fixes, security patches, and improvements. However, thoroughly test your code with the updated dependencies before deploying to production to avoid unexpected issues.

Where can I find additional support for OpenAI-related issues?

The OpenAI Developer Forum and OpenAI support channels are great resources to seek additional support for any OpenAI-related issues you may encounter. The developer community is supportive and knowledgeable, and OpenAI provides official support channels to assist with your inquiries.