How does ChatGPT Plugins actually work?

Here, we will explain how ChatGPT plugins work in a way that everyone can understand.

What are ChatGPT Plugins in a nutshell?

Plugins are features that enable ChatGPT to access third-party applications, allowing us to benefit from these services while it responds to you. If we liken your phone to ChatGPT, we can think of plugins as the apps we install on our phones.

Also Read: How does ChatGPT actually work?

How does ChatGPT Plugins actually work?

Plugins are essentially APIs. An API is a set of rules and protocols that enable different software applications to communicate and interact with each other. Developers create an API according to OpenAI’s defined standards and make it available in the Plugin marketplace.

Users can install these plugins and activate a certain number of them without exceeding a limit.

When plugins are active, ChatGPT decides whether to answer a question on its own. If it’s a request that ChatGPT can handle without plugins, it responds accordingly.

However, if the request requires the use of plugins, ChatGPT sends your question as a request to the APIs of those plugins and relays the response back to you.

Occasionally, ChatGPT can blend both plugin responses and its own responses.

Also Read: How to create your own ChatGPT Plugin?

For Example:

Suppose a user inquires about hotel information in Milan. In this case, a booking plugin, such as Expedia, may be activated. This happens because ChatGPT lacks real-time knowledge of hotel prices in Milan.

Also Read: 10+ ChatGPT Plugins that You Should Be Aware Of

How to use ChatGPT Plugins?

To utilize a plugin in ChatGPT, you must be a ChatGPT Plus subscriber. Once subscribed, switch to the GPT-4 model and proceed to install the desired plugin from the plugin store. After installation, you can begin a new conversation and employ your provided prompt.

How to activate Plugins?

To enable ChatGPT plugins for the first time, follow the steps below after becoming ChatGPT Plus subscriber:

activate chatgpt plugin
  1. In the bottom left corner of the main screen in ChatGPT, click on your account name.
  2. Select “Settings” from the menu.
  3. Within the Settings menu, click on “Beta features.”
  4. Enable “Plugins” button.
  5. ChatGPT plugin mode is now enabled. You will notice a text dropdown indicating the current number of active plugins, which should be none initially.

Once you have activated the Plugins feature in the settings, proceed with the following steps:

how chatgpt plugins work
  1. Click on “No plugins enabled” located below the GPT-4 toggle.
  2. A new window will appear, labeled “Plugin store.”
  3. Browse through the available plugins and select the one you wish to activate. Click on “Install” for each desired plugin. Repeat this process for all the plugins you are interested in.
  4. After installing the plugins, click the “X” button to exit the store.
  5. Return to the “No plugins enabled” section below the GPT-4 toggle. You will now see the plugins you have chosen, along with the number of active plugins.
  6. To enable a plugin, click on the checkmark next to its name. Remember that you can have a maximum of three plugins enabled at any given time.
  7. Icons representing the active plugins will appear below the GPT-4 toggle, indicating their activation.
  8. If you want to deactivate a plugin without uninstalling it, simply uncheck the box next to that particular plugin in the same dropdown menu.

Currently, there are over 1000+ plugins available in the store.

Are ChatGPT Plugins safe?

ChatGPT Plugins are designed with safety as a core principle. To ensure the safety and reliability of ChatGPT plugins, OpenAI has implemented several measures and safeguards.

Remember that when you employ these plugins, the queries you send get communicated to their respective APIs. Consequently, it’s critical never to disclose personal or sensitive information through these prompts.

Learn more: Does OpenAI use your conversations as data?

Additionally, please avoid installing any unnecessary plugins that you don’t plan to use or don’t trust.

For detailed information on the security of ChatGPT plugins, you can refer to our related article.