Assistant Config (Files for Retrieval): files added thru UI disappear randomly

In a newley created assistant config ( ) I have activated Retrieval and added some files (<20, all markdown formal [.md], <100kB each).
The upload got confirmed, files showed up in “Files” area. Assistant changes were saved.
Checking back a day later: none of the files were shown in “Files” area.

When testing the assistant in run-time (playground):

  • only one of the files was listed in the Files area (left to Thread area) , but no others
  • asking the assistant about other (all) files the assitant has access to, all files were displayed (with file_id) as per below prompt (table)

To OpenAI:

  • how to manage files per assistant, if the files loose their link to the assistant config?
  • other assistants seem to keep the link to the files they got added

What is wrong?

provide as table: complete listing of all files that you have been provided with, including the followfing columns - per each file (row):

  • file_id
  • name
  • type ( provided as per the files browser for Retrieval / provided as per an assistant session by user upload / provided as any other means but accessible to you)
  • content excerpt from the middle of the file (to demonstrate your working access)
  • short Accessibility status: Yes, No
1 Like

Check all of your assistants that currently have files uploaded to them.

I have found through my testing that the stated file limitation rules are correct and apply as expected, but one rule was not noted.

Between all of your assistants you can only have a maximum of 25 files uploaded to your assistants at once. Once the 26th is added it removes the 25th and so on.

My solution is to load the files to the given assistant when the assistant is called into a thread. This way it is unlikely to exceed the 25 file limit.

I do not believe that the issue is with a maximum of files:

  • there is a max of 20 files “per” assistant
  • not a max of files “across” all assistants
  • without exceeding file size / max token limit - files should not randomly “disappear”

You can attach a maximum of 20 files per Assistant, and they can be at most 512 MB each. The size of all the files uploaded by your organization should not exceed 100 GB. You can request an increase in this storage limit using our help center. In addition to the 512 MB file size limit, each file can only contain 2,000,000 tokens. Assistant or Message creation will fail if any attached files exceed the token limit.

@dirk.s Yeah, he is saying that it is an undocumented rule. But I agree that would still be a weird limitation considering you can have 20 files on 1 assistant. Have you confirmed that the issue is only for files uploaded via the UI (as opposed to both the UI and API)?

As @solo said it is an unwritten rule that seems to apply at least to my account. I would love to hear if other people are able to keep more than 25 files loaded to any number of assistants at one time. Throughout all my testing in UI and API I can never get more than 25 loaded across any number of assistants without the 16th removing the 25th.


I have tried it both ways. Bot using the UI and API and it currently is still an issue for me. I have built around it in my application for now by assigning and removing files to each assistant via the API before and after use. It adds ~2 second or so to the processing time which would be nice to eliminate.