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How to Fix reCAPTCHA Not Working in WordPress

How to Fix reCAPTCHA Not Working in WordPress (10 Easy Tips)

Written By: author image Stacey Corrin
author image Stacey Corrin
Stacey has been writing about WordPress and digital marketing for over 10 years and on other topics for much longer. Alongside this, she's fascinated with web design, user experience, and SEO.
     Reviewed By: John Turner
reviewer image John Turner
John Turner is the co-founder of RafflePress. He has over 20+ years of business and development experience and his plugins have been downloaded over 25 million times.

Want to know how to fix reCAPTCHA not working in WordPress? There’s nothing quite as frustrating as seeing a reCAPTCHA error or never having the ‘I’m not a robot’ box appear on your WordPress forms.

For website visitors, it’s a discouraging barrier. But don’t worry – you’re not alone on this.

Many users encounter this issue, and the good news is it’s easily solvable. In this guide, we’ll explore why reCAPTCHA might not be working and, more importantly, how to fix it.

Table of Contents

Why Is reCAPTCHA Not Working?

reCAPTCHA may not be working on your WordPress or WooCommerce site for several reasons. For instance, there might be an issue with the API keys you’ve entered in your settings.

Perhaps you’ve entered an incorrect site key type or secret key. Or it could be that your domain is not correctly added to the Google reCAPTCHA admin console.

On the other hand, if you’re using multiple plugins that use reCAPTCHA, they can sometimes run into conflicts, which could stop them from working correctly. These conflicts are often a result of overlapping features or settings.

Moreover, browser cache and JavaScript settings can also cause reCAPTCHA issues. You might also be using outdated versions of your plugin or WordPress, or there might be a conflict with your theme.

Whatever the cause, there’s almost always a way to fix the problem without too much work.

How to Fix reCAPTCHA Not Working in WordPress 

Now that we’ve identified some potential causes, let’s look at how to fix reCAPTCHA not working in WordPress. Rest assured, we’ve got some easy and effective solutions.

1. Enable reCAPTCHA in Your WordPress Plugins

Often, you may find that reCAPTCHA is not working because it isn’t enabled in your WordPress plugins. This is a fairly common mistake and is remarkably easy to resolve.

You simply need to visit your plugin settings page and ensure that reCAPTCHA is activated. 

If you’re having trouble finding the reCAPTCHA settings, don’t worry. Most plugins have a clearly labeled option for it.

In RafflePress, for example, just edit any giveaway and click on the Settings tab. Once there, click the ‘Recaptcha’ heading and click the toggle to enable Invisible Recaptcha.

Enable Recaptcha in RafflePress WordPress giveaway plugin

Similarly, popular WordPress form builders, like WPForms, have different reCAPTCHA versions in the settings for each form. So whether you’re creating a registration form or contact form, you can quickly enable it with a few clicks.

DIfferent types of reCAPTCHA versions in WPForms

If you can’t find the option in your plugin, try checking its documentation or help guide for extra assistance. After enabling reCAPTCHA, save the changes to ensure your work isn’t lost.

After you’ve made sure that reCAPTCHA works across your WordPress plugins, it’s a good idea to head over to your website and test to see if everything functions correctly.

2. Verify Your reCAPTCHA Keys

Perhaps you’ve tripped over a common stumbling block – mistyping your reCAPTCHA keys. It’s easy to key in the wrong characters or reverse your site and secret keys.

Be sure that your site key and secret key in your WordPress plugin settings align exactly with what your Google reCAPTCHA account displays.

If this doesn’t work, you can generate new keys from the Google reCAPTCHA admin console.

Verify reCAPTCHA keys to fix reCAPTCHA not working in WordPress

Then, you can update your plugin settings with a fresh set of keys, removing the chance of a key mismatch being your problem.

3. Check Your reCAPTCHA Domain Registration

Google’s reCAPTCHA tool won’t function correctly unless you’ve registered your domain on its reCAPTCHA admin console. You may even see an error like “invalid domain for site key.”

To fix this, you’ll need to add or edit your domain under the “Domains” section in the admin console. This confirms the connection between your WordPress site and Google’s reCAPTCHA service. 

Follow the steps below to verify your domain registration: 

Verify your site's domain name in Google reCAPTCHA
  • Log in to your reCAPTCHA admin panel on Google’s site.
  • Find your site on the admin panel and click on the settings gear icon.
  • Under the “Domains” section, check if your site’s domain is listed. If it’s not (or if it’s incorrectly entered), you’ll want to add or edit the domain.
  • Make sure to click on “Save” after making any changes.

Once you’re done, Google can verify that reCAPTCHA is working on your website.

4. Resolve Plugin Conflicts

If you have multiple plugins on your site with reCAPTCHA features, it could potentially lead to plugin conflicts. For example, you may have reCAPTCHA enabled in RafflePress for giveaways and in WPForms to combat form spam.

In this situation, it’s a good idea to temporarily disable these plugins to see if there’s a conflict triggering the problem

how to fix recaptcha not working by deactivating WordPress plugins

Remember to look for specific reCAPTCHA settings within the plugins. Sometimes disabling those options can fix the issue.

Once you’ve found the problem plugin, you can either decide to keep it deactivated or look for an alternative that fulfills the same role without causing any issues.

5. Check for Conflicting Themes

Themes can sometimes interfere with reCAPTCHA not working in WordPress. Therefore, you should rule this out when troubleshooting.

Note: It’s best to try this fix in a staging environment to avoid user experience problems for your visitors.

To begin, activate a default WordPress theme like Twenty Twenty-Four. Switching to a different theme can reset some WordPress settings, possibly fixing your reCAPTCHA problem.

Install a default WordPress theme to fix recaptcha not working

With the default theme active, test the reCAPTCHA again. If it’s working this time, your original theme might be the culprit. 

Reach out to the theme developer about the issue. In many cases, they can offer a solution or patch to resolve the conflict. For more control, consider creating your own custom WordPress theme.

If reCAPTCHA is still not working, then it’s safe to switch back to your original theme. The issue likely isn’t theme-related, meaning you should return to the list of solutions and continue testing.

6. Update Plugins and WordPress

Another potential cause for reCAPTCHA not working, could be down to an outdated version of WordPress and plugins that need updating. Outdated software can often cause problems that are easy to fix by updating.

To update your WordPress plugins, navigate to Plugins » All Plugins from your WordPress dashboard. Here, you can update each plugin individually or select each checkbox and choose the bulk ‘update all’ option.

Update your WordPress plugins

Remember, it’s crucial to back up your WordPress site before updating – just in case something goes wrong. 

Updating to the latest version of WordPress is just as easy. Just go to the ‘Updates’ section of your WordPress dashboard, and if an update’s available, you’ll see a notification to do so.

Update WordPress version to solve recaptcha not working

Simply click the ‘Update Now’ button, and your WordPress version will refresh. After updating WordPress and your plugins, verify if the reCAPTCHA works properly.

If reCAPTCHA still doesn’t work, the issue might lie elsewhere. If that’s the case, move on to the next potential solution.

7. Test with Different Browsers

One troubleshooting tip is to test reCAPTCHA on different browsers. Browsers interpret your site’s code differently, so if you’re experiencing issues, it could be related to the browser you’re using.

To rule out browser-specific issues, we recommend trying different options, such as Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. Ensure you’re using the latest edition of these web browsers to keep compatibility and performance in check.

Try a different web browser like Chrome

When using reCAPTCHA with a different browser, watch closely for differences or improvements. 

If reCAPTCHA works well on one browser but not on another, you can focus your troubleshooting efforts on that particular one. For instance, you can see if enabling or disabling add-ons makes a difference or if adjusting browser settings resolves the issue.

8. Clear Your Cache and Disable Optimization

Another way to fix reCAPTCHA not working is to look at your browser cache.

The browser cache is essentially stored data from web pages you’ve visited before. Its main purpose is to make reloading pages faster by keeping copies of site files locally. However, stored files can sometimes cause problems, particularly with things like reCAPTCHA. 

To resolve this, you’ll need to clear your browser cache. Different browsers have different methods for doing this.

Depending on the browser you’re using, you might find this option in the settings, privacy, or history menu.

Clear your web browser cache to fix recaptcha issues

By carrying out this step, you’ll ensure that your browser loads the most recent version of the webpage, including any updates or changes made to reCAPTCHA.

The same goes for any caching plugins you’re using. From your WordPress dashboard, find your caching plugin and clear it.

Delete your WordPress cache

Beyond that, enabling JavaScript optimization or minification features in your plugins or theme could also meddle with reCAPTCHA.

If you’re using any plugins or themes with these features, consider deactivating them for a while to see if reCAPTCHA starts working.

Once you’ve carried out these fixes, reload your site and see if reCAPTCHA works again. If not, there’s still more troubleshooting you can do, which we’ll dive into next.

9. Whitelist reCAPTCHA in Security Plugins

If you’re still having trouble with ReCAPTCHA not working, the next tip is to look at your security and firewall plugins. They’re designed to protect your site but are sometimes overzealous and block things they shouldn’t – like reCAPTCHA.

To fix this, you can whitelist reCAPTCHA URLs in your plugin settings. Look for an option that allows you to create exceptions or to whitelist specific scripts and add Google’s reCAPTCHA to this whitelist.

Remember: you’re not compromising your security by doing this. You’re simply telling your security system to treat reCAPTCHA as a friend, not a threat.

10. Address JavaScript Errors

If you’ve taken the previous steps and reCAPTCHA is still not working, you might be encountering JavaScript errors. For diagnostic purposes, your browser has a developer console that you can access.

In Chrome for Windows, press Ctrl + Shift + J or Ctrl + Shift + I. Or on Mac, type Cmd + Opt + J or Cmd + Opt + I to open the console.

You can use this feature to find any JavaScript-related hitches that might compromise reCAPTCHA not working on your website. 

When using the developer console, look for any error message that refers to “reCAPTCHA.” These will usually highlight a code line or script causing the issue. 

Identify Javascript errors to fix recapcha not working in WordPress

If you do find issues, the next step is to understand what the error means. This may be something that only a web developer can tackle, or it may simply involve adjusting a setting in your WordPress backend or reCAPTCHA plugin.

In any case, consult your reCAPTCHA plugin’s documentation or tech support team if you’re uncertain about how to fix the problem.

FAQs on How to Fix reCAPTCHA Not Working

Here are some common questions and answers that our users ask on how to fix reCAPTCHA not working in WordPress.

Do I need a CAPTCHA on my website?

Yes, using CAPTCHA or reCAPTCHA can enhance your site’s security. It stops bots from bombarding your site with spam or fraudulent registrations, which can damage your site.

What’s the difference between CAPTCHA and reCAPTCHA?

Google CAPTCHA and reCAPTCHA serve the same purpose – differentiating humans from bots, but they function differently.

CAPTCHA requires users to pass a test, often typing distorted characters from an image.

Google’s reCAPTCHA uses machine learning and risk analysis for more user-friendly bot detection. Many times, it requires no direct user interaction, instead analyzing behavior to decide if a user is human.

How do you trigger a CAPTCHA for testing?

To test reCAPTCHA, you can set up a dummy contact form on your WordPress site and try submitting it. reCAPTCHA should trigger automatically.

It should also display a warning message if the user doesn’t pass the test on their first attempt. So you can intentionally fail the reCAPTCHA test in order to see if the error message displays correctly.

Next, More Ways to Protect Your Site

We hope this guide helped you learn how to fix reCAPTCHA not working. You may also find the following tutorials helpful for protecting and enhancing your WordPress website:

If you liked this article, please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for RafflePress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

author avatar
Stacey Corrin Writer
Stacey has been writing about WordPress and digital marketing for over 10 years and on other topics for much longer. Alongside this, she's fascinated with web design, user experience, and SEO.

Disclosure: Our content is reader-supported. This means if you click on some of our links, then we may earn a commission. We only recommend products that we believe will add value to our readers.

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