OpenAI just released its latest flagship model, GPT-4o, which is now powering the beloved chatbot ChatGPT. GPT-4o is an update to the GPT-4 model. While it shares the same levels of intelligence as GPT-4, it is now a natively multimodal model and considerably higher in speed, and efficiency. Because of the latter perhaps, OpenAI is rolling out access to GPT-4o to free users as well!

This means that free ChatGPT users can now experience the intelligence of GPT-4 within ChatGPT for the first time.

Note: Access to GPT-4o is being rolled out gradually, so you might not have it right away, especially if you're a free user.

Free users will have a considerably lower cap than ChatGPT Plus users; ChatGPT Plus users will have a 5x greater limit than free users. While there's no official information on the message limit for GPT-4o for free users, ChatGPT Plus users have a limit of 80 messages every 3 hours.

Another way the free tier GPT-4o access is different for ChatGPT free users is that there's no straightforward way to switch between models. While ChatGPT Plus users can easily switch models from the drop-down menu before starting a new chat, there's no such option for free users.

Options to switch models for ChatGPT Plus Users.

But that doesn't mean that you cannot switch models. However, there's a catch: You can only change the model for a single answer as a free user, that too, after ChatGPT has already answered the query. Essentially, you can regenerate the response using the GPT-3.5 model. It seems the motive is to let users compare the answers from the two models. (And maybe nudge them toward becoming a paying user if they like GPT-4o's answer more?)

Anyway, here's how you can switch models as a free user.

  1. If you have GPT-4o limit still left, by default, the chatbot will use that model to answer your prompt.
  2. Hover over the 'Change model' icon to see the current model beneath the answer. To switch models, click on the option.
  1. Then, switch to the GPT-3.5 model from the options.
  1. ChatGPT will respond to your prompt again with the GPT-3.5 model. You can use the '<'/ '>' arrows to navigate between the two responses.

Free users now have access to the GPT-4o model but it seems that they are not the ones to control when they want to use the new model and when they want to preserve their limit. Along with access to GPT-4o, free users will now also have access to other features that were previously reserved only for paid users, like GPTs and GPT store, access to the web, upload and chat about images, files, documents, and memory.