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Custom instructions for ChatGPT
Custom instructions for ChatGPT

FAQ about Custom Instructions for ChatGPT

Johanna C. avatar
Written by Johanna C.
Updated over a week ago


  • Custom instructions let you share anything you'd like ChatGPT to consider in its response.

  • Your instructions will be added to new conversations going forward.


  • All plans

  • Web, iOS, and Android

How your data is used

  • You can edit or delete custom instructions at any time for future conversations.

  • Your instructions won’t be shared with shared link viewers.

  • If you use third party plug-ins, then the model may provide plug-in developers with relevant information from your instructions. Only use plug-ins that you trust, and don’t share any information you don’t want to give to third party plug-in developers.

  • Important: Information from your use of custom instructions will also be used to improve model performance – like teaching the model how to adapt its responses to your instructions without overdoing it.

  • Learn more about how we use your data and how you can opt out of your content being used to improve model performance.


Custom instructions settings are applied to all new chats. Start a new chat to see the change.

iOS & Android

Settings -> Account -> Custom Instructions -> toggle ON


  1. Click on your name then Custom Instructions

  2. Enter your instructions into both fields

  3. Click on Show tips for some examples of what sort of things to write then click Save


iOS & Android

Settings -> Account -> Custom Instructions -> toggle OFF


On the web at disable chat preferences by removing your text from both fields in the chat preferences configuration and save.


Here are some questions to answer for some example custom instructions:

  • How formal or casual should ChatGPT be?

  • How long or short should responses generally be?

  • How do you want to be addressed?

  • Should ChatGPT have opinions on topics or remain neutral?

Frequently asked questions

Benefits of using custom instructions

This feature allows customization of ChatGPT's responses based on your preferences, and can be modified or removed anytime for future conversations.

Character limit

There are two questions, and each response has a 1500 character limit.

Are custom instructions included in my ChatGPT data export?


Is my custom instructions data deleted when I delete my OpenAI account?

When you delete your OpenAI account, custom instructions that are tied to your account will also be deleted within 30 days as part of that process. If you haven't opted out of having your content used to improve our services, then we may have chat records that are de-identified and disassociated from your account.

If I change my custom instructions in the middle of my conversation with ChatGPT do I need to start a new chat to see changes reflected?


If I update or remove my custom instructions, will previous versions of my instructions continue to appear in my chat history?

Yes, updates to your instructions are reflected only in future conversations. To remove custom instructions from previous conversations, you can clear those conversations from your chat history. Learn more about clearing conversations in this Help Center article.

Do custom instructions influence the output from plugins or only the core ChatGPT generations?

Yes, it should influence the output from plugins.

Chat Completions API system message vs Custom Instructions in UI

There will be no API for custom instructions as in the Chat Completions API system messages should be used for similar effect. Learn more.

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