How to Provide Custom Instructions to ChatGPT

While it might seem unfair to complain about ChatGPT, given its core capabilities, providing the pre-requisite information for every task might get tiring. OpenAI recognized this problem and added the feature of custom instructions for ChatGPT.

Custom Instructions on ChatGPT

In this article, we’ll explain how the custom instructions feature on ChatGPT will significantly improve the speed of your workflow on ChatGPT. We’ll also show you some of the best ways in which you can use these custom instructions. Let’s begin.

What Are Custom Instructions on ChatGPT

If you actively use ChatGPT and some details in your prompts remain constant, you do not always have to enter these details. Custom instructions on ChatGPT provide pre-requisite information that the tool needs to consider while responding to prompts.

For example, if I actively use ChatGPT to write code, I can set custom instructions to provide the code in Python only, along with what each line of code means. Therefore, I do not need to add “give me the code in Python, with the meaning of each line in the code” in every prompt. I can proceed to enter my problem statement.


There are two types of custom instructions that you can feed to ChatGPT beforehand. The first one includes relevant information about yourself and all the basic details you want ChatGPT to know. The second type involves you instructing ChatGPT on how to respond.

You can customize the nature of the response based on your needs. We’ll elaborate on these in the next section of the article.

How to Add Custom Instructions on ChatGPT

The custom instructions feature was earlier only available to ChatGPT Plus subscribers. Thankfully, OpenAI has extended the feature for free users as well. Here’s how you can add custom instructions to ChatGPT.

Turn on Custom Instructions on ChatGPT Web

Step 1: Open ChatGPT and sign in using your OpenAI account.

Step 2: Click on the three dots icon in the bottom right corner.

Click on three dots icon 1

Step 3: Click on Custom instructions.

Click on Custom Instructions

Step 4: Provide all the custom instructions and click on Save. Ensure to turn on the toggle for ‘Enable for new chats’ to activate the custom instructions.

As mentioned earlier, you can let ChatGPT know more about yourself to provide tailored responses and provide instructions on how you want the format of the responses to be.

Save Instructions

Step 5: If you want to disable custom instructions, turn off the toggle for ‘Enable for new chats’ and click on Save.

Disable for New Chats

Add Custom Instructions on iOS and Android App

Step 1: Open the ChatGPT app on your device.

Step 2: Tap on the hamburger icon in the top right corner.

Step 3: Tap on Settings.

Step 4: Tap on Custom Instructions.

Step 5: Enable the toggle for custom instructions. Enter the custom instructions.

You can let ChatGPT know more about yourself to provide tailored responses and instructions on how you want the format of the responses to be.

Next, let us take a look at how to make the best use of these custom instructions.

Tips to Use Custom Instructions on ChatGPT

Here are some tips to make the best use of custom instructions on ChatGPT.

  • If you are using ChatGPT at work, define your occupation and what you do to get the responses tailored to your needs.
  • If you want your responses in a list, table, points, etc. a format, add these choices under custom instructions.
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  • If you are using ChatGPT for a project, or a task, you can add all the details under “What would you like ChatGPT to know about you…” for better results. For example, if you are using ChatGPT for cooking, and it involves the same number of people you have to cook for, enter the number. ChatGPT will provide the right quantity of ingredients and other suggestions.
  • A downside of the free version of ChatGPT is it is trained on information available till September 2021. If you want ChatGPT to include updated information in the responses, feed all the necessary data into the custom instructions.

FAQs on ChatGPT Custom Instructions

1. What is the word count for custom instructions for ChatGPT?

You can add instructions up to 1500 words for both questions in the custom instructions section.

2. What is the price of ChatGPT Plus?

The ChatGPT Plus subscription costs $20 per month.

3. Is data entered on ChatGPT safe?

Yes. However, OpenAI says these custom instructions will be collected to further train the model.

4. Can you use custom instructions even after deleting conversations?

Yes, you can use custom instructions even after deleting conversations on ChatGPT.

Make ChatGPT Your Assistant

You can now instruct ChatGPT on how it can assist you better. We did not imagine writing an article on how to instruct AI tools; all it requires is enabling a toggle. OpenAI has certainly fast-tracked the future!

Last updated on 17 August, 2023

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