Access to the various services offered by IBM Quantum is controlled by the instances (previously called providers) to which you are assigned. An instance is defined by a hierarchical organization of hub, group, and project. A hub is the top level of a given hierarchy (organization) and contains within it one or more groups. These groups are in turn populated with projects. The combination of hub/group/project is called an instance. Users can belong to more than one instance at any given time.


The hub/group/project hierarchy that makes up an IBM Quantum instance.

Users with a public account automatically belong to the ibm-q/open/main open plan. For organizations outside of IBM, designated hub or group administrators assign users to instances. To see the instances to which you have access, look at the bottom of your Account page.


Instances and jobs

When you execute a task using an IBM Quantum service (for example, sending circuits to a quantum system or simulator), a job instance is returned to you. Regardless of which service is being used, a job can track the progress of the submission through IBM Quantum, and retrieve the final result(s) of the computation. Because services are coupled to instances, the jobs created from these services are also tied to the specific instance being used. Therefore, if a user is removed from an instance, their jobs and the associated results are no longer accessible.

Private instances

IBM Quantum Network jobs associated with instances marked as private can only be accessed once, and must be done so within 48 hours of the job completion time. After this time limit, the jobs are permanently deleted from IBM Quantum. IBM Quantum Network members can contact IBM Quantum support to manage private mode.

Open plan

By default, public users who sign up for an IBM Quantum account are assigned to the open plan, ibm-q/open/main. To guarantee that everyone can use the associated IBM Quantum systems in a fair manner, this instance limits the number of jobs that can be executed or queued on a given device at any one time to a maximum of five. Submitting more than five at a time will lead to Quantum Cloud error #3458.

Leaving an instance

To leave an instance, visit the instance list on your Account page. Select the instance you wish to leave, then select the overflow menu and choose Leave instance.