Use knowledge sources with a chatbot


Zapier Chatbots is a beta product. It’s available for use, but still in active development and may change.

You can connect Zapier Chatbots to your knowledge sources to ensure responses are focused on your business or project. The chatbot can use files or tables as its exclusive source of information for answers, and you can also set a custom response for when information cannot be found in the file.



This feature is exclusive to paid Zapier Chatbots plans. Learn more on the pricing page.


  • Maximum file size: 1MB.
  • Accepted file formats: .txt, .csv, .json, .pdf, .doc, .docx
  • Maximum number of files: one for the Premium plan, and three for Advanced. Learn more about Chatbots plans.
  • Maximum rows for Zapier Tables: first 1,000 rows.


Add knowledge sources

Knowledge sources can be either files or a table using Zapier Tables

Add files Add from Zapier Tables

Add files

  1. In your Chatbots dashboard, click the name of the chatbot.
  2. Click the Instructions tab.
  3. Click + Add source.
  4. The Type section will have File selected by default. Click Browse files.
  5. Find and select the source file you want to use. 
  6. In the Description field, give some context of what the file contains.
  7. Click Add source. It may take a moment to process, depending on the file size.


Re-sync your Zapier table

If you use Zapier Tables as a knowledge source, it will be synced to the chatbot once you add it. You can re-sync manually if you make changes to the table.

  1. In your Chatbots dashboard, click the name of the chatbot.
  2. Click the Instructions tab.
  3. Click Sync, beside the name of the table.

You can also see the contents of the table by clicking its name.


Delete custom knowledge

To delete a knowledge source:

  1. In the Instructions tab of your chatbot, click the Delete knowledge source icon , which will appear in the same field as the file name.
  2. Click Delete to confirm you want to remove the data source. It might take a moment to remove it.


Structure your knowledge source

When you use a knowledge source, Zapier Chatbots will break that information into smaller chunks, so the chatbot can efficiently use the most relevant pieces of information during a conversation. Because of this, the most effective way to structure your knowledge source is to group related information together. See below how the chatbot will use information in different knowledge source types:

  • Structured data (such as CSV, JSON and Zapier Tables): the chatbot assumes information in the same row is related (this includes multiple columns). So information in cells A1, B1, and C1 would be grouped as a related chunk of knowledge for the chatbot.

  • Unstructured file (such as PDF, DOC and TXT): the chatbot looks for a double return space to indicate separate pieces of information. Placing related information within a paragraph together with the header can help improve answer accuracy.


Adjust chatbot behavior for missing answers

If the chatbot uses custom knowledge, you can define how it will respond when the file has no results that match a specific question. 

To change the missing answer behavior:

  1. In the Instructions tab of your chatbot, click the When results are not found from the knowledge sources dropdown menu.
  2. Select an option from the dropdown menu:
    • Generate an AI response without knowledge source (default): the chatbot will generate a response using the connected OpenAI model. It will not use any additional context provided by any connected knowledge sources. 
    • Show a custom message: write a message that will be displayed if the chatbot cannot find an answer within any connected knowledge sources. 

You can use a custom message to send users to other sources of help, such as your contact form. 

Data retention

Zapier's Data Retention, deletion, and export practices vary depending on the product. Learn more about the specific guidelines for the product you're using.

Provide feedback and get help

Submit a feature request, provide feedback on existing features, or get help from the Zapier Chatbots team.

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