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Qiskit provider for accessing the quantum devices and simulators at IBMQ

Project description

Qiskit IBMQ Provider

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Qiskit is an open-source framework for working with noisy intermediate-scale quantum computers (NISQ) at the level of pulses, circuits, and algorithms.

This module contains a provider that allows accessing the IBM Q quantum devices and simulators.


We encourage installing Qiskit via the PIP tool (a python package manager), which installs all Qiskit elements and components, including this one.

pip install qiskit

PIP will handle all dependencies automatically for us and you will always install the latest (and well-tested) version.

To install from source, follow the instructions in the contribution guidelines.

Setting up the IBMQ provider

Once the package is installed, you can access the provider from Qiskit.

Note: Since July 2019 (and with version 0.3 of this qiskit-ibmq-provider package / version 0.11 of the qiskit package), using the new IBM Q Experience (v2) is the default behavior. If you have been using an account for the legacy Quantum Experience or QConsole (v1), please check the update instructions.

Configure your IBMQ credentials

  1. Create an IBM Q account or log in to your existing account by visiting the IBM Q Experience login page.

  2. Copy (and/or optionally regenerate) your API token from your IBM Q Experience account page.

  3. Take your token from step 2, here called MY_API_TOKEN, and run:

    from qiskit import IBMQ

Accessing your IBMQ backends

After calling IBMQ.save_account(), your credentials will be stored on disk. Once they are stored, at any point in the future you can load and use them in your program simply via:

from qiskit import IBMQ

provider = IBMQ.load_account()

Alternatively, if you do not want to save your credentials to disk and only intend to use them during the current session, you can use:

from qiskit import IBMQ

provider = IBMQ.enable_account('MY_API_TOKEN')

By default, all IBM Q accounts have access to the same, open project (hub: ibm-q, group: open, project: main). For convenience, the IBMQ.load_account() and IBMQ.enable_account() methods will return a provider for that project. If you have access to other projects, you can use:

provider_2 = IBMQ.get_provider(hub='MY_HUB', group='MY_GROUP', project='MY_PROJECT')

Updating to the new IBM Q Experience

Since July 2019 (and with version 0.3 of this qiskit-ibmq-provider package), the IBMQProvider defaults to using the new IBM Q Experience, which supersedes the legacy Quantum Experience and Qconsole. The new IBM Q Experience is also referred as v2, whereas the legacy one and Qconsole as v1.

This section includes instructions for updating your accounts and programs. Please note that:

  • the IBM Q Experience v1 credentials and the programs written for pre-0.3 versions will still be working during the 0.3.x series. It is not mandatory to update your accounts and programs, but recommended in order to take advantage of the new features.
  • updating your credentials to the IBM Q Experience v2 implies that you will need to update your programs. The sections below contain instructions on how to perform the transition.

Updating your IBM Q Experience credentials

If you have credentials for the legacy Quantum Experience or Qconsole stored in disk, you can make use of IBMQ.update_account() helper. This helper will read your current credentials stored in disk and attempt to convert them:

from qiskit import IBMQ

Found 2 credentials.
The credentials stored will be replaced with a single entry with token "MYTOKEN"
and the new IBM Q Experience v2 URL (

In order to access the provider, please use the new "IBMQ.get_provider()" methods:

  provider0 = IBMQ.load_account()
  provider1 = IBMQ.get_provider(hub='A', group='B', project='C')

Note you need to update your programs in order to retrieve backends from a
specific provider directly:

  backends = provider0.backends()
  backend = provider0.get_backend('ibmq_qasm_simulator')

Update the credentials? [y/N]

Upon confirmation, your credentials will be overwritten with a valid IBM Q Experience v2 set of credentials. For more complex cases, consider deleting your previous credentials via IBMQ.delete_accounts() and follow the instructions in the IBM Q Experience account page.

Updating your programs

With the introduction of support for the new IBM Q Experience support, a more structured approach for accessing backends has been introduced. Previously, access to all backends was centralized through:


In version 0.3 onwards, the preferred way to access the backends is via a Provider for one of your projects instead of via the global IBMQ instance directly, allowing for more granular control over the project you are using:

my_provider = IBMQ.get_provider()

In a similar spirit, you can check the providers that you have access to via:


In addition, since the new IBM Q Experience provides only one set of credentials, the account management methods in IBMQ are now in singular form. For example, you should use IBMQ.load_account() instead of IBMQ.load_accounts(). An IBMQAccountError exception is raised if you attempt to use the legacy methods with an IBM Q Experience v2 account.

The following tables contains a quick reference for the differences between the two versions. Please refer to the documentation of each method for more in depth details:

Account management

<0.3 / v1 credentials >=0.3 and v2 credentials
N/A IBMQ.update_account()
IBMQ.save_account(token, url) IBMQ.save_account(token)
IBMQ.load_accounts() provider = IBMQ.load_account()
IBMQ.enable_account() provider = IBMQ.enable_account()
IBMQ.disable_accounts() IBMQ.disable_account()
IBMQ.active_accounts() IBMQ.active_account()
IBMQ.stored_accounts() IBMQ.stored_account()
IBMQ.delete_accounts() IBMQ.delete_account()

Using backends

<0.3 / v1 credentials >=0.3 and v2 credentials
N/A providers = IBMQ.providers()
backend = IBMQ.get_backend(name, hub='HUB') provider = IBMQ.get_provider(hub='HUB')
backend = provider.get_backend(name)
backends = IBMQ.backends(hub='HUB') provider = IBMQ.get_provider(hub='HUB')
backends = provider.backends()

Contribution Guidelines

If you'd like to contribute to IBM Q provider, please take a look at our contribution guidelines. This project adheres to Qiskit's code of conduct. By participating, you are expect to uphold to this code.

We use GitHub issues for tracking requests and bugs. Please use our slack for discussion and simple questions. To join our Slack community use the invite link at For questions that are more suited for a forum we use the Qiskit tag in Stack Exchange.

Next Steps

Now you're set up and ready to check out some of the other examples from our Qiskit Tutorial repository.

Authors and Citation

The Qiskit IBM Q provider is the work of many people who contribute to the project at different levels. If you use Qiskit, please cite as per the included BibTeX file.


Apache License 2.0.

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