How to Use Plugins with ChatGPT

As fun as chatting with an AI chatbot can be (especially when that bot can help you with school or work), it’s always more fun to add some extra features. OpenAI, the team behind ChatGPT, have made that a possibility with the introduction of plugins for the platform.

How to Use Plugins with ChatGPT

Though initially available to a select group of developers and ChatGPT subscribers, these plugins will are now rolled out to all users. Here’s what you need to do to access them right now.

Installing Plugins for ChatGPT

ChatGPT has already allowed several large brands to create plugins for its platform, including the following:

  • Expedia
  • Instacart
  • Slack
  • Shopify
  • Zapier
  • Klarna

You can find an updated list on the ChatGPT plugins page. Once you know which plugin you want to use, and how you’ll use it, follow these steps to install it into ChatGPT:

  1. Enter “” into your browser and sign into your ChatGPT Plus account.
  2. Navigate to the “Model” drop-down at the top of the page and select “Plugins.”
  3. If you’ve already added a plugin, you should be able to select it from the new menu that pops up. Otherwise, click on the “Plugins” drop-down menu to open a link to the “Plugin Store.”
  4. Select the “Plugin Store” link to see a list of available plugins.
  5. Scroll to your plugin of choice and click “Install.” Not that you can install several ChatGPT plugins in a single visit.

After installing a plugin, you should see its logo appear in the “Plugins” drop-down that appears after you’ve selected “Plugins” from the “Model” drop-down.

Using Plugins on ChatGPT

With your plugins installed, you can make queries in ChatGPT referencing the plugin, allowing you to do several things. For example, a query like the one below allows you to use the Instacart plugin to shop for recipe ingredients:

“I want a gluten-free recipe for pizza and need to buy the ingredients in Los Angeles. Could you suggest a simple receipt for gluten-free pizza and order the ingredients on Instacart?”

ChatGPT will create a reply based on your query. In the above example, you should receive a recipe for gluten-free pizza, along with a link to an Instacart shopping list that contains all of the ingredients that ChatGPT lists. Clicking that link takes you to the Instacart page, where you can complete your transaction.

That’s just one example. Depending on the plugins you have installed, there are many ways that you can shape queries to incorporate the new features you have at your disposal. Experiment with different queries. Perhaps try specifying a type of vacation you want to take, using the Expedia plugin to recommend the best ways to make your trip a reality. Alternatively, try using the Zapier plugin to link to your Zapier account so you can create and send Gmail emails via ChatGPT.

Customizing ChatGPT Plugin Settings

As plugins are relatively new to ChatGPT, your ability to play around with their settings is fairly limited. Plus, each plugin is different, so some allow you to customize their operations more than others. Use these steps if you want to play around with a plugin you’ve installed:

  1. Log in to your ChatGPT Plus account and navigate to the “Plugins” page, which you should find on your dashboard.
  2. Select the plugin you wish to customize.
  3. Make adjustments based on the options presented.

The nature of these options varies depending on the plugin. For instance, those using the “Speak” plugin (which translates text into different languages) can choose the language the plugin uses.

Creating a ChatGPT Plugin

ChatGPT states that developers can create third-party plugins by building a “manifest file,” also called an “ai-plugin.json” file. The following is the minimum schema for the file, per ChatGPT:

 "schema_version": "v1",
 "name_for_human": "TODO Plugin",
 "name_for_model": "todo",
 "description_for_human": "Plugin for managing a TODO list. You can add, remove and view your TODOs.",
 "description_for_model": "Plugin for managing a TODO list. You can add, remove and view your TODOs.",
 "auth": {
 "type": "none"
 "api": {
 "type": "openapi",
 "url": "http://localhost:3333/openapi.yaml",
 "is_user_authenticated": false
 "logo_url": "http://localhost:3333/logo.png",
 "contact_email": "[email protected]",
 "legal_info_url": ""

You’ll see that the file contains several fields that define what your plugin does, with sections for its name and description, both for human and the OpenAI model’s use. There are sections to define the API you use, as well as contact details for the plugin creator.

The general steps for developing a ChatGPT plugin, including creating a manifest file, are as follows:

  1. Develop the API you want the OpenAI language model to call. This can be a brand-new API or one that’s already in use and compatible with ChatGPT.
  2. Detail your API using an OpenAI specification document.
  3. Create a manifest file to describe what the plugin does and provide the metadata that ChatGPT needs to see before it can serve the plugin to users.

With the files created, can run your plugin via a remote server or in your local development environment.

If you’re using a remote server, follow this process to activate your plugin:

  1. Navigate to “Develop Your Own Plugin” on your dashboard and follow the instructions to set up the ability to create your own plugins.
  2. Select “Install an Unverified Plugin.”
  3. Add your manifest file to the “” path.

Those who have a local version of their API running in their development environment can point their plugin interface directly to their localhost server:

  1. Go to the “Plugin” store in ChatGPT.
  2. Choose “Develop Your Own Plugin.”
  3. Enter your port number and localhost, while ensuring that the “auth type” is set to “none.”

Note that enabling unverified plugins in your development area only offers you access to the plugins that you create and upload. You can’t access other unverified plugins, and other ChatGPT users won’t be able to install your plugin unless it becomes verified. There is currently no verification process, though this should change as ChatGPT rolls out its plugin feature to a wider audience.

Play Around with Plugins

With ChatGPT plugins being in such an early stage of development, anything you do with them is as much experimentation as it is practical. Still, it’s easy to see how these plugins could transform your experience on the platform, with many popular apps already taking advantage of the feature to integrate ChatGPT into their offering.

Will you be signing up to the waitlist or will you wait for a wide rollout? Do you have any ideas for plugins that you (or other users) might find useful? Tell us in the comments section below.

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