Contact Form 7 switched from reCAPTCHA v2 to reCAPTCHA v3
Contact Form 7 (CF7) added support for reCAPTCHA v3 in version 5.1 following repeated requests from CF7 users.
Immediately after this update, there was a large number of questions added in the CF7 Support Forum, asking for answers to problems users were experiencing with using reCAPTCHA v3 in Contact Form 7.
This is our 11th version of this article on the recent reCAPTCHA v3 update in Contact Form 7.
We published this to give CF7 users around the world, that are having issues, something to help them solve their particular problems.
reCAPTCHA v3 works well with CF7 for many people
We ourselves have never had a problem using reCAPTCHA v3 with Contact Form 7. It’s always worked flawlessly, on a number of websites, on a few different servers. It just works and always has.
We believe many users of CF7 have the same experience. CF7 having over 5 million active installs, indicates a lot of people are successfully using reCAPTCHA v3 with CF7 every day.
But not for everyone – reCAPTCHA v3 doesn’t work easily for some CF7 users
If you spend some time in the CF7 support forum you will see a number of posts from people who do have problems with using reCAPTCHA v3 with Contact Form 7.
Recaptcha V3 is not working …
… adding recaptcha to contact form 7 not working
ReCaptcha don’t work … etc.
If you are having CF7 reCAPTCHA v3 problems, you will need to investigate this issue in detail for your particular local WordPress site/s.
You have our sympathy, this can be a difficult and time consuming task and you may not, in the end, get it to work.
BUT … it probably isn’t the plugin that is causing your problems … the plugin works.
Please try to keep that in mind as you work through some of the possible causes and solutions given below.
This article answers the following common issues, raised by many CF7 users, on adding reCAPTCHA v3 to Contact Form 7:
- CF7 now uses reCAPTCHA v3
- You need to register with Google
- If you previously used reCAPTCHA v2 – your forms may stop working
- reCAPTCHA v2 is no longer available in CF7 – but you can install any extra plugin to use reCAPTCHA v2
- reCAPTCHA v3 needs to learn before it works
- reCAPTCHA v3 not working – on your website
- Contact Form 7 reCAPTCHA Troubleshooter – if you would more help
This article was created from questions asked in the CF7 support forum related to this issue.
We answer questions in the CF7 support forum most days & try to add any questions that are asked by a significant number of CF7 users, as soon as we become aware.
1. CF7 now uses reCAPTCHA v3
The latest version of Contact Form 7 supports reCAPTCHA v3, which does not use the
[recaptcha] tag required previously.
reCAPTCHA v3 works in the background – so users don’t need to read blurred text in an image or tick the I’m not a robot checkbox.
Instead reCAPTCHA v3 uses a learning algorithm, which runs in the background while the user is viewing the site, to detect whether or not to display a captcha quiz before submitting a form.
[recaptcha]form-tags are no longer necessary in reCAPTCHA v3. Any
[recaptcha]tags found in a form (in Contact Form 7 5.1 or higher) are ignored.
2. You need to register with Google
Importantly, you need to register reCAPTCHA v3 with Google:
- the API keys for reCAPTCHA v3 are different from those for reCAPTCHA v2
- the keys for reCAPTCHA v2 don’t work with the reCAPTCHA v3 API.
You need to generate your keys from Google and copy/paste them at Contact > Integration.
Follow the step by step instructions at Contact Form 7 reCAPTCHA (v3) Integration Setup.
- Any existing keys you have for reCAPTCHA v2 won’t work with reCAPTCHA v3.
- You need to register your sites again, if you want to use reCAPTCHA v3 with your CF7 forms.
- You have to re-register with Google reCAPTCHA on every site where you’ve previously used reCAPTCHA with CF7.
3. If you previously used reCAPTCHA v2 – your forms may stop working
If you previously used reCAPTCHA v2 with CF7, this will be automatically disabled when you update to Contact Form 7 v5.1 or higher and:
- your form may no longer send emails when the form is submitted
- reCAPTCHA may no longer operate on any of your CF7 forms
- you may see an immediate increase in form spam
- you need to deal with this change – you can’t ignore it.
You need to re-register your sites again to use reCAPTCHA v3 with your CF7 forms.
Alternatively you need add to an additional plugin that retains support for reCAPTCHA v2 in CF7.
Tip: If you previously used reCAPTCHA v2 with CF7, this will be automatically disabled when you update to Contact Form 7 v5.1 or higher – you need to deal with this – you can’t ignore it.
4. reCAPTCHA v2 is no longer available in CF7
The decision to move CF7 elusively to reCAPTCHA v3 means that reCAPTCHA v2 is no longer available in CF7.
Your Options are:
- Upgrade to reCAPTCHA v3 in CF7
- Add an additional plugin that retains support for reCAPTCHA v2 in CF7.
Tip: You can now use Contact Form 7 – reCaptcha v2. Once installed and configured it offers the same reCAPTCHA functionality you are used to in previous versions of Contact Form 7 (recommended by CF7 plugin author).
5. reCAPTCHA v3 needs to learn before it works
The new reCAPTCHA v3 implementation does NOT include any visitor challenge. It is completely hidden.
Importantly the newly added reCAPTCHA v3 system has to learn what is and is not spam. Google reCAPTCHA warns this when creating your keys.
Some users report they are seeing dramatically increased form spam. We recommend you consider adding Spam Filtering with Akismet while waiting for ReCAPTCHA v3 to learn.
Several CF7 users have shown concern that reCAPTCHA v3 may not be working because they don’t see any sign that reCAPTCHA v3 is actually working. This is difficult because working in the background is the key part of this latest version of reCAPTCHA v3. We plan add more on this issue shortly.
6. reCAPTCHA v3 not working on your website
Are you seeing an error warning surrounded by an orange border, every time you submit a form, after updating to Contact Form 7 version 5.1.1 or later?
The orange border can indicate reCAPTCHA v3 may not be functioning correctly on your site. Note: there can be other reasons.
You may see this error if you’ve:
- previously used reCAPTCHA v2 with CF7
- updated to CF7 5.1.1 or newer and
- not changed your previous reCAPTCHA v2 keys to reCAPTCHA v3 keys at Contact > Integration.
The API keys for reCAPTCHA v2 don’t work with the reCAPTCHA v3 API.
Tip: If you don’t update any previous reCAPTCHA v2 keys, your forms users will likely see this error & your form may no longer send emails when the form is submitted.
Check reCAPTCHA v3 is working
If you’ve registered correctly for reCAPTCHA v3 & it’s working, you should see the reCAPTCHA Privacy badge displayed at the bottom of every page on your site (not just the pages where you’ve got CF7 forms).
Tip: If the reCAPTCHA badge is not showing, this indicates that reCAPTCHA v3 is not working on your site.
Avoid a common mistake – add only the domain name in the Domains section
We’ve noticed some users having problems when they add their domain name in the Domains section on the Google reCAPTCHA admin area:
- ALLOWED: yoursite.com
- NOT ALLOWED: http://yoursite.com
- NOT ALLOWED: www.yoursite.com
- NOT ALLOWED: http://www.yoursite.com
Tip: Having https:// or even www. in front of the domain causes an error.
Switch temporarily (nothing will be lost when you switch back) to a WP default theme to see if the problem goes away.
If this fixes the problem & you can’t get your theme fixed, you might try Contact Form 7 – reCaptcha v2. Once installed and configured it offers the same reCaptcha functionality you are used to in previous versions of Contact Form 7.
Tip: If using a default theme doesn’t stop the error, you could have a general WP email sending problem.
See Contact Form 7 Email Issues – most people that work carefully through this list of email sending issues are able to solve their particular problems.
If you’ve worked through all of the above common problems & this still didn’t solve your problem, we recommend you install Flamingo (which saves all form submissions included those rejected as spam).
This should help you to get a better picture of what is happening when you get problems on your site.
Contact Form 7 reCAPTCHA Troubleshooter
If you would like some help from our support staff & are willing to help us by providing information on your use of Contact Form 7 & CF7 Skins, you should complete the following form:
This form is made with CF7 Skins + CF7 Skins Pro + CF7 Skins Ready + CF7 Skins Multi + CF7 Skins Logic
- Contact Form 7 reCAPTCHA v3 Integration Setup
- Contact Form 7 reCAPTCHA v2
- FAQ about reCAPTCHA v3
- Google reCAPTCHA
- Thoughts on reCAPTCHA v3
- FIXED Contact Form 7 reCAPTCHA Not Working (reCAPTCHA v3) – VIDEO
Still have questions?
If you still have questions, after reading and working through the information provided in this article, you should ask your question in the CF7 support forum.
- a link to your Contact Form 7 form plus
- all your input in the Form & Mail sections of the CF7 interface.
This helps others to understand your actual problem and offer a possible solution.
Tip: Make sure you create a separate post for your question as per the WordPress Forum Guidelines.
This page is still a Work in Progress
This article was created from questions asked in the CF7 support forum related to this issue. We add more information as we become aware of other issues and solutions.
If you have something you think might help others on this issue, you can use the CF7 form below to contact us.
Please note, in this case, we are looking for submissions from experienced CF7 users, adding useful information they are confident will help many CF7 users – anything that looks like a request for support or help will probably be ignored.
Of course this form is made using CF7 Skins.