Run circuits and view results

Follow the steps below to learn how to run circuits on IBM Quantum backends (either simulators or real quantum hardware) and view the results.

  1. If you wish to add a description to your circuit, select the Settings tab (the gear icon) along the left side of Circuit Composer. Then, click under the word Description, enter your description, and save it by selecting the checkmark to the right of the description box, or select the x to the right of the description box to discard changes.

  2. To save your circuit, select the Unsaved changes button, which is to the left of the Run button in the upper right corner. Alternatively, you can select Save from the File menu in the upper left corner.

  3. Select the Run button in the upper right corner.

  4. In the window that opens, select an available backend. Note some backends are simulators (the backend name will contain the word ‘simulator’); the other backends will send the circuit to real quantum hardware. In this window you can also change the number of shots (executions) to send to the device.

    If you have an open access account, you will see the remaining number of jobs that you can have in the queue at any one time, out of a limit of five. This will not apply if you have a premium access account through the IBM Q Network. Once a job has finished, the job limit will replenish. See more information in the Open provider section.

    When you finish making changes, select the Run option.

    Window displaying backend choices and number of shots.


    The default backend is the OpenQASM simulator. If you run the same circuit again, the backend selection window will default to your previous choice.

  5. Once the experiment has progressed from Pending to Completed, a hyperlink to the results will appear under Circuit Composer. The results page displays run details, diagrams of the original and the transpiled circuit, an OpenQASM tab to view both original and transpiled circuits in OpenQASM, and a histogram of the results.

    You can download the circuits and the histogram by selecting the three vertical lines in the upper right corner of each diagram, then selecting a format for the download (PNG or SVG; additionally, you can export the histogram as a CSV file).

    You can also download a .json file of the entire results page, by selecting the Download button in the upper right corner of the page.