Why won't my GPT access/reference its own data?

I’ve made a GPT that is a cost estimator for a modular construction company.

I’ve given it all the data it needs to make estimates (originally in an Excel file), but the GPT will not access or reference its own data. Long story short there is a column of possible dimensions and also a column for total materials costs. It keeps saying that the sheet does not have the total material costs for a given dimension. Sometimes when repeatedly prompted to check again, it will work, but I can not make any lasting changes to the GPT.

The file was originally uploaded as an Excel spreadsheet, but I have turned it in to a .csv file, .txt, etc., nothing seems to work. I entered the data in manually in the GPT builder as well, but it still won’t reference its own data.

I’ve even asked what I should prompt the GPT builder to get it to not make the same mistake in the future, and no luck. Does anyone have a solution for this?

Thank you for your help!


I have the same issue. It was provided a ‘story’ file, it confirms it has it in its knowledge files, but if I ask anything about the story, characters, where the story last ended, etc… it says the following:

As of my last update, I don’t have real-time information on the specific whereabouts or actions of the characters in “The Lost Temple”. To provide you with relevant and helpful advice or insights, I would need some details about the current situation, location, and context of the characters within the story narrative. If you could share where the characters are in the story, their recent actions, or any immediate challenges they are facing, I can offer suggestions or guidance tailored to their current circumstances.

I can get it to confirm it has the file, and confirm that it draws on them for knowledge, but it claims it simply can’t access files at all, can’t look within them, can’t report anything about them, and acts as if they don’t exist. Even if you don’t mention them specifically and just ask generally, it says it doesn’t have any information about it and begins to offer made-up stories.

The odd thing is, in the edit ‘Create’ section it operates just fine. Can access it, normal response, works like it should. In the ‘public’ access of it, it is, at this point, a useless GPT (relies solely on its base knowledge).

Which pretty much means I don’t have a use for custom GPT’s at this point, lol.

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Try giving the GPT a workflow which includes quoting the exact file name and ensure that code interpreter is switched on.

Something like…

You are a GPT called X

Objective: Search through files uploaded to your knowledge base for answers to users’ questions.


  1. When a users asks a question, search through “Y.xlsx” for the answer.
  2. Provide user with the exact answer from the document.
  3. Etc


If the user ask X, search through “Y.xlsx” and provide the with the following answer “ZZZZZZ”.