⁠The Beginner's Guide to Perplexity AI: What It Is and How to Use It

Written by Emilija Anchevska We Tested

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Would you like a concise answer from reliable sources on the internet presented in an easy-to-read format? If so, we have great news for you!

Perplexity AI is a tool that can provide you with all the answers you need within seconds. If you're weary of learning about new AI bots like ChatGPT, rest assured that Perplexity is an AI search engine designed to offer real-time data-based answers.

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What Is Perplexity AI?

perplexity ai

Perplexity AI is a platform that uses artificial intelligence to assist users in quickly finding and receiving information, eliminating the need for tedious hours of googling and browsing the internet.

Unlike popular AI chatbots like ChatGPT, Perplexity functions as a search engine that browses the internet in real time to answer user queries.

According to an article in PC Guide, Perplexity can answer various queries, provide step-by-step instructions, and even check the weather forecast.

The tool was developed by experienced developers who previously worked for companies such as OpenAI, Meta, Quora, and Databric, and it launched in August 2022.

In an interview with Forbes, Aravind Srinivas, the co-founder and CEO of Perplexity AI, stated that their goal is to provide an online space where end-users are the central point rather than advertisers and search-engine-optimized content.

Currently, the AI tool is available via the web and the iPhone mobile app.

Setting Up Perplexity AI

Users can access Perplexity AI through the tool’s web version or the mobile app for iPhone users.

The following sections will explain how to set up Perplexity AI via desktop and mobile apps.


  1. Go to Perplexity's official website.
  2. Click “Sign up.”
  3. Choose a preferred registration method.

iOS app

  1. Download the app from the App Store.
  2. Select a preferred registration method, or tap ‘Skip’ in the top right corner to start a conversation.

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How to use Perplexity AI

The essence of Perplexity AI is providing users with coherent, clear, and true answers quickly and easily. However, the platform offers other options that ease the user experience by making it more organized and neat.

In the following section, we will break down the platform into smaller sections so you can learn how to navigate it easily.

Where knowledge begins

After setting up your profile, you will be directed to a simple page with a search bar labeled "Where knowledge begins" and a text box that reads "Ask anything."

This is where you can utilize the AI-powered search engine to obtain answers to any queries you may have.

By clicking on the search bar, a drop-down list of suggested topics will appear, guiding you on how to structure your question properly. You can select one of the suggested topics or enter your inquiry.

perplexity search

To get your answer using Perplexity, simply type in your question and click on the green arrow.

The tool will then generate a summarized answer from various sources on the Internet. You can easily check the sources by looking at the list at the top of the page and referencing the numbered sentences.

Additionally, at the bottom of the page, you can ask follow-up questions related to the topic and explore related questions in the "related" section for more insight.

perplexity answer

Additional features: Focus, File upload, Copilot

Perplexity AI provides features that enhance the accuracy of generating answers, such as the Focus option.

This option allows users to choose particular sources for the answers. Users have the liberty to select between academically generated answers, answers that do not rely on sources from the internet, videos, and answers from users who posted their opinions on platforms such as Reddit and computational knowledge engines.

File upload is another interesting feature you will encounter once you start using the AI search engine. This feature is currently in beta, and the file's content can be used to respond to users' queries.

Finally, the Copilot option is one of the most helpful features on this platform. Its purpose is to facilitate information gathering and comprehension by furnishing comprehensive responses, references, and integration with third-party tools.

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There's a section in this tool called Discover that provides users with concise answers on trending topics. Currently, Apple just released iOS 17, making it the first topic on Discover. Discover functions similarly to Instagram's Discover section, allowing users to discover more fascinating topics.

perplexity discover


A library is a place in Perplexity where users can store their history of searched answers. Here, users can create collections folders to collect and organize the responses they received from the tool.

library perplexity

AI profile

AI profile is a place where you can customize your experience. To be more precise, here, users can provide information about themselves that can help the AI tool provide answers tailored to their needs.


Perplexity AI has a free and paid version.

For $20 a month or $200 a year, users get 300 copilot uses, access to Cludie-2 and ChatGPT-4, unlimited file uploads, and a private Discord channel.

perplexity price

To sum up

Perplexity AI is a state-of-the-art technology that revolutionizes how people search the Internet. The tool offers a few ways to search for answers, allowing users to select whether they want a summarized response from multiple sources or an answer from a specific source, such as Reddit.

Overall, the tool is intuitive, easy to use, and offers free and paid versions.