Can I get AI in Raycast without paying for Raycast Pro?

No Pro: you can get AI without the Raycast subscription

Raycast is one of my favourite Mac apps. It’s like a supercharged version of Spotlight, with many more features for power users. And it’s free – although last week, the company launched Raycast Pro, an $8 per month version of the software that includes built-in AI tools. However, if you’re not keen on stumping up the thick end of $100 per year (me neither), there is a way to get AI in Raycast without paying for Raycast Pro. 

What do the AI tools in Raycast Pro do?

I was on the beta test for Raycast Pro’s AI tools. It basically integrates a ChatGPT client into the Raycast software, meaning you can summon Raycast (normally with Command + Space Bar) and instantly have an AI assistant at your fingertips. It’s pretty much like having AI built into macOS.

One of the most impressive things about Raycast’s AI implementation was that it was ridiculously quick: far faster at responding than the ChatGPT website itself. Although it has to be said that I was in a limited beta test, and performance might suffer when it reaches a wider audience. 

I found it extremely handy during my short beta test, but not handy enough to warrant splashing out $96 per year. However, there is an easy way to get pretty much the same experience in the free version of the app.

How to run ChatGPT in the free version of Raycast

The free version of Raycast still gives you access to extensions and the Raycast Store, and one of those extensions is OpenAI GPT

To take advantage of this extension, you’ll need to register for access to the GPT-4 API. There’s currently a waitlist, if you don’t already have access. 

Once you’ve got access to the API, you simply open the extension in Raycast, punch in your API key (which you’ll get from the OpenAI website) and off you go. 

When everything is set up, you can open OpenAI extension from within Raycast or create a keyboard shortcut to jump straight to it. It provides a window for you to enter your prompt, and the answers appear in the same window. There’s a range of settings beneath the prompt window – it’s worth reading the OpenAI documentation to find out what these do – but if left on default settings, it will normally be fine. 

OpenAI GPT in Raycast

As you can see above, you need to press Command + J to send your prompt. Once you’ve pressed that, you’ll normally need to wait a few seconds for a response to appear. It’s not as quick as the built-in Raycast Pro tool, but it’s not $96 per year, either.

That said, the OpenAI API isn’t free. But if you’re just using the AI tools for the odd query here and there, you’re going to run up anywhere near that cost. It’s definitely a much cheaper way to operate, unless you’re absolutely hammering the AI. 

In the meantime, I’m off to set up TechVoyage…

OpenAI GPT in Raycast

About the author

Barry Collins

Barry has scribbled about tech for almost 20 years for The Sunday Times, PC Pro, WebUser, Which? and many others. He was once Deputy Editor of Mail Online and remains in therapy to this day. Email Barry at

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