If you’ve been browsing the internet in recent years, you must have been prompted to check a box that says “I’m not a robot”. That’s reCAPTCHA, a free service offered by Google to help mitigate automated attacks on websites. Sometimes, after ticking the small box, you’ll have to solve a short visual or audio test called CAPTCHA to gain access to the website you want to visit.
CAPTCHAs and reCAPTCHAs work similarly, only that CAPTCHAs require more input from you. For example, you may need to solve a math problem, interpret a text, or verify some images. These services can be used by any website to stop usage by automated robots or bots. This technology prevents fake users from viewing pages, making purchases, creating accounts, and logging in.
Lately, users have reported encountering a problem where reCAPTCHA is not working in Google Chrome or other browsers. Some users report that reCAPTCHA shows up as usual, but when they click on it, it just fades away and the website doesn’t open. When they reload the webpage, a warning notification is displayed, stating the following: “Your computer or network may be sending automated queries. To protect other users, we can’t process your request right now.”
Why Is ReCAPTCHA Not Working in Windows 10?
You may be wondering what’s causing the “reCAPTCHA not working in Chrome” issue. Well, there could be several reasons:
- Your browser version is outdated.
- Your PC is infected with malware.
- The browser profile is corrupted.
- Your IP address was banned because of detected suspicious activity.
- Your VPN or proxy service is interrupting the reCAPTCHA process.
If you’re struggling to resolve the reCAPTCHA error on any of your browsers, here are a few troubleshooting steps to help you.
How to Fix ReCAPTCHA Not Working in Chrome, Firefox, and Other Browsers
Solution 1: Update Your Browser
Regardless of whether you’re using Chrome, Firefox, Opera, or Microsoft Edge, it’s always recommended to keep your browser updated. Updates not only enhance the security of the browser but also fix bugs and improve some functionalities.
Here is how to update Google Chrome:
- Launch the Chrome browser and click the three-dot menu icon in the top right corner to display the browser’s settings.
- Select Help > About Google Chrome to open the “About Chrome” page.
- Chrome will automatically check if there are any updates available. If there are, it will automatically install the updates.
- After the updates have been successfully installed, relaunch Google Chrome and try accessing the website that triggered the “reCAPTCHA not working” issue to check if it has been fixed.
Here is how to update Mozilla Firefox:
- Double-click Firefox’s icon on your desktop to launch the browser, and click on the three lines in the top right corner to bring up the menu.
- Click on the “Help” option and select “About Firefox”. The browser will check if there are new updates available. If it finds any, Firefox will automatically download and install them on the next restart.
Here is how to update Microsoft Edge:
- Launch Microsoft Edge, and click on the main menu button (the three dots in the top right corner) to display its settings.
- Hover your mouse over the “Help and feedback” option and select “About Microsoft Edge”.
- Edge should automatically initiate a scan to check for available updates online. If it finds any, it will automatically download and install them.
- Once the updates are installed, you’ll be prompted to restart Microsoft Edge to complete the updating process.
If you’re still encountering the reCAPTCHA not working issue after updating your browser, continue to the next solution below.
Solution 2: Scan for Malware
Malware can penetrate your system when you download malicious files or apps from the internet. It can also arrive via emails when you open infected links or images. Some browser extensions could also be designed to hide malware threats, such as adware, browser hijackers, and Trojans, which get injected into your PC without your knowledge.
So, before you proceed any further, it’s advisable to scan your PC for malware to make sure that it’s not causing the reCAPTCHA problems. You can use Windows Security, the free antivirus provided by Microsoft for Windows operating systems. Here is how to do so:
- Go to your system tray and click on the “Windows Security” icon. If it’s not there, check under the “Show hidden icons” option. Alternatively, press the Windows logo key, type “Windows Security” (without quotes), and hit “Enter”.
- Open the “Virus & threat protection” option and click on the “Quick scan” button. A scan will be initiated to check for malware. For more scan options, click on the “Scan options” link and choose a scan option.
If Windows Security detects any threats, it will quarantine them to let you analyze them and remove them from your machine.
For a more comprehensive scan, we recommend using an advanced security program like Auslogics Anti-Malware. This is a malware removal tool that works more aggressively compared to regular antivirus software and is designed to detect malicious items that your main antivirus application may miss.
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Once installed, the program initiates a scan to check all the areas that are vulnerable to attacks. If it detects any suspicious items, it will automatically quarantine them, allowing you to analyze them and decide whether to restore them or remove them from the machine. We know that some types of malware can be difficult to detect given the complex nature of their design. But with Auslogics Anti-Malware, you can be guaranteed no kind of malware will be left behind.
You can even schedule regular scans to ensure maximum protection 24/7. Once the scan is complete and you’ve managed to get rid of any existing malware, restart your computer and reload the browser that caused the reCAPTCHA issue.
If the error is still there, it could be due to network problems.
Solution 3: Reset Your IP Address
If the reCAPTCHA prompt is not working on any of your browsers, it might indicate a problem with your network. Some users said that resetting their IP address had helped to resolve the reCAPTCHA problem.
To reset your IP address, follow these steps:
- Open an elevated Command Prompt. To do that, press the Win + R shortcut, type CMD into the “Run” dialog box, and press the Ctrl + Shift + Enter shortcut.
- In the Command Prompt (Administrator) window, type or paste the command lines below one after the other and press “Enter” after each one:
- netsh winsock reset
- netsh int ip reset
- ipconfig /release
- ipconfig /renew
- Once all the commands have been executed successfully, open any browser and check if the reCAPTCHA feature is working again.
Solution 4: Create a New User Profile
The issue in question could also be triggered by a corrupted browser profile. To fix this, we’ll show you how to create a new user profile in your browser.
For Chrome users:
- If Chrome is open, exit it completely and close any related processes in Task Manager.
- Now, launch File Explorer by pressing the Win + E shortcut and browse to this path: %LOCALAPPDATA%\Google\Chrome\User Data\. Alternatively, open the “Run” box (Win + R), paste the path into the text box, and press “Enter”.
- Under the “User Data” folder, locate the “Default” folder, right-click on it and select “Rename”.
- Assign it an appropriate name of your choosing, such as “Default Old”.
- Restart Chrome.
The browser will create a new “Default” folder, thereby creating a new user profile.
For Microsoft Edge users:
- Click on the three dots to open the menu, and select “Settings”.
- On the “Settings” page, click on the “+ Add profile” option at the top of the page and click on the blue “Add” button in the pop-up window.
- You can sign in to sync data or choose to continue without signing in. This will open a new browser page. Check to see if you can enter reCAPTCHA to access a webpage or create an account.
For Firefox users:
- Launch the Firefox browser and click on the three bars in the top right corner to open the Settings menu.
- Type about:profilesinto the address bar and hit “Enter”.
- On the “About Profiles” page, click on the “Create a New Profile” button.
- In the “Create Profile Wizard” pop-up window, select “Next”.
- Assign the new profile a name and change the default folder to store user-related data (if necessary).
- Click on “Finish”.
- After you’re done, the new profile will be listed in the Profile Manager. The new profile will become the default profile the next time you restart Firefox.
You shouldn’t experience the reCAPTCHA issue with the new user profile.
Solution 5: Disable Your VPN or Proxy Service
Most users who were using a VPN or proxy service reported that disabling it had fixed the reCAPTCHA problem. The VPN or proxy service could be hindering the reCAPTCHA functionality. Disable it temporarily to check if the issue goes away. If it does and you’re paying for the premium service, you may have to get in touch with your service provider for further assistance.
Hopefully, you now know how to make reCAPTCHA work properly again on your Windows 10 machine. If you have additional information, please feel free to share it with our community by posting your comments below.