Allowing ChatGPT 3.5 to access my Google Sheet - it seems confused

I was trying to access my google sheets from a ChatGPT conversation. (I’m not using an API, just chat). I thought I was doing so successfully, but now I’m very confused.

Here is the conversation:

ME> How can I give you sample data in a google sheet?

To share a Google Sheet with me, please follow these steps:

Open the Google Sheet that you want to share.
Click on the “Share” button in the top-right corner of the screen.
In the “Share with people and groups” window that appears, click on the “Advanced” link in the bottom-right corner.
In the “Share settings” window that appears, click on the “Change” link next to “Private - Only you can access”.
Select “On - Anyone with the link” from the drop-down menu.
Click on “Save”.
Copy the link that appears in the “Link to share” box at the top of the window.
Paste the link into the chat here.
Please make sure that the link has “view” permission so that I can access the sheet.

[I did this]

ME > ok, do you see it now?

I’m sorry, but I don’t have access to any links or files unless you provide them to me. Please share the link with me again so that I can access the sheet

ME > The link URL

Thank you for sharing the link to your Google Sheet.

Based on the data in your sheet, here’s an updated formula that should work to calculate the “ValidMatch” column based on your criteria: … etc etc… etc…

At first I thought questions I asked were being answered properly. But along the line, something seemed off, like it had the wrong rows. I then asked it directly, what is the name of this spreadsheet? It then responded with something like “test sheet” which was incorrect.

I then informed it, the name of my sheet is “XXXXX”. It responded I was correct, but did not seem to make a difference. I think there was some real confusion.

I tried prompts like “lets start over”, and I re-informed it of the link.

So short question, is was the whole sheet access a delusion, because before I tried “sharing” the I was first describing questions as if I was explaining the sheet previously? And does it maintain my entire history, even when starting a new chat, and it won’t forget?

See what I mean. Try creating a google sheet, and tell it the sheet link. Can you ask it questions, like what is in cell a2?


ChatGPT has no internet access, it only has information about some data before September 2021. All new data, including your new made google sheets are not available in ChatGPT

Interesting. I did later get responses indicating it had no ability to do what was asked. But i wonder how/why at first it offered the opposite?

Conversations about how to share Google sheets, probably exist by the thousands in the training data; now we know, if we ever need to generate instructions on how to share, GPT 3.5 knows just what to say.

i wonder how/why at first it offered the opposite

Well, if its job is to generate believable text, and you believed it…

It is just a coincidence. You can check it by as follows:

  • find old github repo and ask about it contents – mostly chatgpt will know about it
  • create any gist in github and ask about it contents – chatgpt will answer with some random content