I tweaked 5 Chat GPT settings and turned into an AI power user – here's how.

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It cannot be denied that ChatGPT is a very capable tool that can help you with many different tasks. However, using a chatbot can present challenges, such as requiring extensive signage and raising privacy concerns. Lucky for you, a few quick and easy settings can help combat these issues.

To get the most out of OpenAI's chatbot, you just need to tweak a few settings. Although it only takes a few moments to toggle these settings, your experience will be completely improved. Don't believe me? Try it yourself by customizing the ChatGPT settings below.

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Before we jump in, make sure you either sign in to your existing OpenAI account or create a new one. Although you can access ChatGPT without an account, you must sign in to access settings. Once you correct your settings, they are saved to your account and automatically turned on for your subsequent ChatGPT sessions.

Now for the fun stuff.

1. Custom instructions

Screenshot by Sabrina Ortiz/ZDNET

This setting is probably the biggest time saver. With custom prompts, you can type instructions for ChatGPT to follow each time it generates a response for you, allowing you to include those instructions every time you type a prompt. Can stop doing.

For example, if you're a teacher or parent and want all content created to be age-appropriate, you can use custom guidelines. In this scenario, you might say, “I'm a third-grade teacher and will be using ChatGPT to help me create back-to-school materials. I want you to use third-grade vocabulary and your accents.” Stay engaged and optimistic.” Then, every subsequent response will follow this criteria.

How: Click on your profile picture in the upper right corner and “Customize ChatGPT.” You'll be shown a pop-up window with two text boxes asking, “What would you like ChatGPT to know about you to provide better answers?” and “How would you like to respond to ChatGPT?” As seen in the image above. If you need prompts for instructions, click the text box, and a bulleted “thought starter” will appear.

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After entering your instructions, make sure the toggle next to “Enable for new chats” is turned on so that it's used whenever you type a prompt in the future. You can toggle the setting if you want ChatGPT to ignore instructions for a specific response.

2. Memory

Screenshot by Sabrina Ortiz/ZDNET

Like custom instructions, memory allows users to avoid repeating themselves every time they use a chatbot and go through a more tailored experience. With memory, the chatbot remembers any insights provided by the user that may be useful when crafting subsequent responses.

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For example, if I state in a prompt that I have a Yorkie named Jimmy, with the memory feature turned on, ChatGPT will use that information as context when generating a relevant response in the future. So, if I said, “What should I feed my pets?” In a later hint, it will remember that my pet is a Yorkie and make recommendations accordingly.

How: Click your profile picture in the top right corner > Settings > Personalization > Memory and toggle it on or off. You can also click Manage Settings to delete any memories stored in it that you don't want to use in the future or that you don't want to remember.

3. Temporary chat

Screenshot by Sabrina Ortiz/ZDNET

One of the biggest concerns users have with ChatGPT is whether their data will be kept private and secure. This concern is exacerbated as generative AI models like ChatGPT use user input to further train their models. Temporary Chat offers a quick and easy way to ensure your conversations stay private.

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When temporary chat is turned on, your chats will not be used to create memories, train models, or appear in history. Warning: OpenAI notes that even with temporary chats, it may keep copies of chats for up to 30 days for security purposes.

How: All you have to do is click on the drop down in the top right corner where it reads “ChatGPT” and check the Temporary Chat option.

4. Improve the model for all

Screenshot by Sabrina Ortiz/ZDNET

While on the topic of privacy and security, if you'd feel more comfortable not using any of your chats to further train the model, you can turn off the “Improve model for everyone” setting. are This is especially important since the feature is turned on by default.

How: To turn it off, click your profile picture in the top right corner > Settings > Data Controls > Model Improvement and toggle it on or off.

5. Theme

Screenshot by Sabrina Ortiz/ZDNET

While it may seem trivial to display your ChatGPT interface in a light or dark theme, it can significantly improve your experience. For example, I always gravitate to dark mode on all my devices because it's easier on my eyes. As a result, as seen in my screenshots above, I also chose a dark theme in ChatGPT.

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How: It's easy to personalize this setting because as soon as you go to the settings page, you'll see a “Theme” dropdown at the top of the popup. After clicking the dropdown, you can choose from “System,” “Light” and “Dark.”

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