GPT-4o Error: Image URLs in System Messages

Hi everyone,

I’m encountering an error when using GPT-4o that I haven’t run into with GPT-4-turbo. When I switched over, I got this error:

Error code: 400 - {‘error’: {‘message’: “Invalid ‘messages[4]’. Image URLs are only allowed for messages with role ‘user’, but this message with role ‘system’ contains an image URL.”, ‘type’: ‘invalid_request_error’, ‘param’: ‘messages[4]’, ‘code’: ‘invalid_value’}}

Seems like GPT-4o doesn’t allow image URLs in system messages, while GPT-4-turbo doesn’t have a problem with it. Are there any workarounds for this, or plans to update GPT-4o to allow images in system messages?

Thanks for any help or info!


In the API reference, you can see what is allowed to be in a system role:


This is the endpoint validation - content is a string, not an array of things. Keep on expanding “user” and you see the image format you can send.

Thanks for pointing that out!

I’ll review the documentation further to ensure I’m following the correct format.