“Could not connect to the reCAPTCHA service” is one of the most common problems that users often run into especially on Google Chrome. How did the reCAPTCHA become the normal service being used on almost all websites today? What is the reason behind its popular usage? What are the causes of “Could not connect to the reCAPTCHA service”? How can I get past the “Could not connect to the reCAPTCHA service”? These are questions that internet users have been asking lately. Do not worry, this post is meant to help you solve the issue of “Could not connect to the reCAPTCHA service”.
- What Is reCAPTCHA?
- reCAPTCHA Not Working in Google Chrome
- Departing Thoughts
What Is reCAPTCHA?
The word CAPTCHA is an acronym for Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart. reCAPTCHA, however, is a free security facility developed by reCAPTCHA was developed by Luis von Ahn, David Abraham, Manuel Blum, Michael Crawford, Ben Maurer, Colin McMillen, and Edison Tan at Carnegie Mellon University’s main Pittsburgh campus, and it was acquired by Google in September 2009. reCAPTCHA was brought to life to protect web applications against fraudulent activities and unreal visits. The functionality of reCAPTCHA is simple and straightforward; separates the real humans from automated or engineered unreal access to web applications. As a constant internet user, you must have seen reCAPTCHA asking you to check the “I’m not a robot” box in order to confirm your identity.
In combating several fraudulent activities that are defining the internet nowadays, Google created this free security service known as reCAPTCHA. Engineered website visits, automated hacking attempts and unreal traffics are some of the problems that web application owners have been battling for time. While the reCAPTCHA has rightly become the popular service we come across on the web today, so often, users complain of facing the problem of “could not connect to the reCAPTCHA service”. The issue mostly reported by users about reCAPTCHA is that at first, the reCAPTCHA window is shown to them but it dims as soon as they click on it. What is more, if the users decide to reload the page due to the inactiveness of the reCAPTCHA service, they get an alarming warning message reading “your computer or network may be sending automated queries”.
reCAPTCHA Not Working in Google Chrome
The problem of “Could not connect to the reCAPTCHA service” is a general thing with browsers. However, the occurrence is more often seen on Google Chrome. Google Chrome users frequently face complications while using reCAPTCHA from a Google Chrome browser. And these issues are being widely reported by these users. The highlight of the report is that the reCAPTCHA fades away when they click on it. In addition, when they attempt to reload the page, they receive a message that reads “your computer or network may be sending automated queries.” Sometimes, the message could be different; reading “Could not connect to the reCAPTCHA service. Please check your internet connection and reload to get a reCAPTCHA challenge”.
Seeing “Could not connect to the reCAPTCHA service. Please check your internet connection and reload to get a reCAPTCHA challenge”? Here are the possible causes
Below are some of the reasons you often run into “could not connect to the reCAPTCHA service” issues.
- Google Chrome browser is not updated to the latest version
Every now and then, most application developers roll out updated versions with better features in terms of security, utility, and efficiency. Google is not left out of this. From time to time, they modify the code of the Google Chrome browser and release the updated versions. However, many users still stick to using the outdated version of the Chrome browser. Unknown to them, using the outdated Chrome version is one of the common reasons they run into the “could not connect to the reCAPTCHA service” error message. reCAPTCHA usually takes a look at the browser version to confirm that it is up to date before granting you access. This is not only pertinent with Google Chrome. It is the same with all browser versions.
- Corrupted Chrome browser profile
This is an issue a lot of users are not aware of. We have seen many cases of users experiencing the reCAPTCHA issues after they had forced the browser to save or create a new profile. The act of forcing profiles on the Chrome browser occurs when they attempt to modify the default browser profile. This issue does not only have an effect on the reCAPTCHA service but can cause the computer system to slow down when they are using it.
- Using a VPN or Proxy service
There are some VPN and Proxy services that generate the reCAPTCHA service issues when the user has activated them. Some of these VPNs and Proxy applications block third-party apps from exercising their duties, hence causing the reCAPTCHA to freeze and become non-functional when they are needed.
- The computer’s IP address is in a banned range
There are IP addresses that are banned from being able to access security features such as the Google reCAPTCHA service. When you try to use a web application that has reCAPTCHA on it with this banned IP address, the address is sent to the reCAPTCHA’s database, resulting in this service being able to detect it and hence, blocking the computer from being able to access it.
- Malware infection
Sometimes it is none of the possible causes mentioned so far. It is just an unknown malware infection overriding the reCAPTCHA’s capability, forcing it to become powerless and unable to verify your identity as you attempt to use a web application. Browser data attackers can send multiple requests that can be too much for reCAPTCHA to take. When these continuous requests remain persistent, reCAPTCHA losses the battle and becomes stagnant.
How to solve the “Could not connect to the reCAPTCHA service” Issues
Sometimes, it might be your internet that is not strong enough or unstable. So, before attempting the fixes listed below, check your internet connection and reload to get a reCAPTCHA challenge. Attempt to connect your computer to a different internet connection and then try again. You can set up a new means of connection by using your smartphone’s hotspot or a friend’s portable Wi-Fi device. When this persists and you are sure it is not the internet connection instability, then try the solutions given below.
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1. Update your Chrome browser
This is a solution that is effortless. Once you notice that your browser is outdated, which you can find out as the browser will often show notifications when a new version is available, go for it and install the new version. The good thing about this is you are not going to lose your data such as bookmarks, history, and login sessions when you update the browser to the latest version.
2. Create a new browser profile
Doing this is not necessarily inconvenient. Below are the steps involved.
- Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open the system’s Task Manager.
- As the Task Manager comes up, look for Google Chrome processes.
- Select the Chrome process (or processes when they are more than one, one at a time) and click on End task. This will kill all the Chrome processes that are currently running on your system.
- Open File Explorer and paste this code below in the navigation bar of the File Explorer.
- As the User Data folder opens, locate the Default folder.
- Right-click on the folder and select Rename from the options.
- Change the name of the folder to Old Default. This will force the browser to make a new Default folder when it starts up again, which means a new browser profile will be created.
- Now launch the Chrome browser to induce it to create a new browser profile. Go to the page giving the reCAPTCHA error and check if the issue has been fixed.
3. Disable VPN or Proxy
This is straightforward and does not involve any technical ability. If the solution above did not work, and you have a VPN application installed and running on the computer system, try to disable it temporarily and check if reCAPTCHA now works in your browser. If it works, then you can tell that the VPN was responsible for the issue. You can also try to disable any proxy service you are using (if you have one installed and activated), and check if this resolves the issue with reCAPTCHA.
4. Scan your computer for malware and reinstall the web browser
Here is another straightforward solution. Steps are given below.
- Scan your system for malware using any Antivirus software you can get hold of. It is recommended that you use a good one.
- Once the scan completes and the malware is removed, open the Run dialog using Windows + R.
- Type appwiz.cpl and hit enter to open Programs and Features.
- Locate Google Chrome (or the browser giving the issue) in the list of installed apps.
- Select Google Chrome and click on the Uninstall button at the top. Uninstall Google Chrome Min
- Wait for the uninstallation process to complete and restart your computer
- As your system completely boots up, download the latest version of the Chrome browser or any browser of your choice, install it and check if the reCAPTCHA issue is resolved.
5.) Reset the browser without uninstalling
You may have very important files on the browser, and hence, may not want to uninstall or deactivate it. At this stage, you simply reset the browser. Follow the steps involved as highlighted below.
For Google Chrome users:
- Launch the Chrome browser and type chrome://settings/reset in the address bar.
- Click on “Restore settings to their original defaults” under Reset and clean up.
- In the confirmation prompt, click on the Reset settings button to confirm the reset process for chrome.
- Once the reset completes, your browser is set back to the default state.
- Restart Chrome and see if the reCAPTCHA error still exists.
For Firefox users:
- Open the Mozilla Firefox browser
- Click on the Settings. That is the 3 horizontal lines menu icon found at the top right corner.
- Now, click on Help.
- Select More Troubleshooting Information from the option
- On the Troubleshooting information page, click on Refresh Firefox…
- In the confirmation window, click on Refresh Firefox button.
- Once the refresh process completes, restart the browser and check if the error is fixed.
6.) Change DNS to Google DNS
Here is the final solution you can resort to if the aforementioned did not work for you. Straightforward as usual. Steps below.
- Press the Windows key + R from the keyboard to open the Run command.
- As the Run command search box opens up, type ncpa.cpl and press OK to open the Network connections window.
- Now, right click on the network adapter (WiFi or Ethernet) with which you are connected to internet and choose properties.
- Now, Double click on Internet Protocol version 4.
- Now, select Use the following DNS server address automatically:
- Preferred DNS server: 18.104.22.168
- Alternative DNS server: 22.214.171.124
- Click on OK and retry the reCAPTCHA service again. The problem should have been fixed by now.
It is worthy of note that there are cases that simple CAPTCHAs can be dodged. To achieve this, you can use the Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology that identifies the text inside images, such as scanned documents and photographic pictures. This technology translates images containing written text into data kind that the machine can read and understand. Hence, there are just multiple ways of bypassing the reCAPTCHA issues. In addition, there are a few browsers that reCAPTCHA does not work on. So if none of the solutions above fixed the issue for you, there is a possibility that you are using an unsupported browser.
That was a hell of a read, right? We hope you were able to find a solution that works for you here. Thanks for reading!