ChatGPT is one of my go-to productivity tools — I even have a shortcut to start voice chats with it and use it more than I use Siri, which is saying a lot. Imagine my surprise when I tried to use the Browse with Bing feature yesterday, and it wasn’t there. And I’m not alone.
Several ChatGPT Plus subscribers are reporting the loss of the Browse with Bing feature with no prior warning from OpenAI. A post on Reddit from four days ago has a user explaining they lost the browsing feature, with a couple dozen commenters reporting the same experience.
Also: How (and why) to subscribe to ChatGPT Plus
Web browsing within ChatGPT was originally enabled this past summer but was temporarily disabled only a week later after reports of it being used to bypass paywalls.
In late September, OpenAI announced the reinstatement of the Browse with Bing tool as a beta feature. It has been generally available to ChatGPT Plus subscribers since Oct. 17.
OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT, hasn’t made public announcements that explain why users are again losing the web browsing feature this time around. Since the company did publicly explain its decision in July when this first happened, users are unsure of whether this is an intentional disablement or a simple bug.
Also: 8 ways to reduce ChatGPT hallucinations
Curiously, some Plus users report still having access to Browse with Bing in the ChatGPT mobile app but not on the web version, an issue I also encountered. Browse with Bing is still accessible for me on mobile, in all its glory, though I’ll report if that changes.
According to recent reports, OpenAI appears to be testing some extra features, like Browse with Bing, Advanced Data Analysis, and DALL-E 3, by folding them into GPT-4’s default mode. This means that the model would automatically switch between functions depending on the given prompt, without the users having to select one from the dropdown menu under GPT-4.
But when I tried browsing through GPT-4 in Default mode, it responded that it cannot “access external websites directly or view their content.” This indicates that the Browse with Bing…