"Incorrect CAPTCHA" Error message - Fix and Avoid

CAPTCHA is an effective tool that helps you prevent spam or any malicious actions in your store. Besides, having an additional security layer is always a smart idea.

However, when working with CAPTCHA, you may get the "Incorrect CAPTCHA" error. Although not critical, this error still interrupts the usual workflow, which influences customers' experience.

Thus, today you'll explore what the "Incorrect CAPTCHA" error message is about, and how to fix and avoid it in the future. Those of you using Magento will find the tips on how to avoid the "Incorrect CAPTCHA" error but still maintain high Magento security.

So, let's get to the point!

"Incorrect CAPTCHA" Error: Reasons and Solutions

The "Incorrect  CAPTCHA" error is quite common. So there could be numerous causes. From IP restrictions to invasive extensions, there is a lot for you to untangle. It's easier to do so when you at least know what to look for.

Thus, let's check some of the most common causes of the "Incorrect CAPTCHA" error and their possible solutions.

VPN Tools

When your CAPTCHA is not working, one of the first things to check is whether you're using VPN or other proxy tools. They can interfere with the CAPTCHA verification. Moreover, some VPN and proxy services are blocked by Google.

Thus, when you get the error in question, try to disable the VPN/proxy tool you're using. Alternatively, you can switch to the one Google approves.

IP Restrictions

Your IP address can get blocked. Whatever reason it is, you may not be able to submit CAPTCHA in this case.

The easiest option is to reset your current IP and use a different one. Alternatively, you can try to use the eligible VPN tool. However, be mindful of the previous section and note that not all VPN services are suitable for this purpose.

Out-of-Date Browser Versions

A simple but highly probable reason is the outdated browser versions. No matter what your browser is, its older versions may not be compatible with the CAPTCHA updates. All this results in the "Incorrect CAPTCHA" error.

The next step is quite clear, isn't it? You need to check your browser version and update it if needed. It's best to refer to the official browser documentation to get the accurate steps.

Software Viruses

This case is quite rare but possible nonetheless. If any software viruses affect your browser, they may correspondingly interfere with the CAPTCHA submission. 

Thus, you need to scan your system and eliminate viruses if any. It's also recommended to reinstall your browser once you make sure your system is "clean" and safe.

Third-party Extensions

When looking for reasons why CAPTCHA is not working, be careful not to overlook third-party extensions. You may have a bunch of them in your browser without even noticing that some cause the "Incorrect CAPTCHA" error.

In this case, try to disable all the extensions you have and submit CAPTCHA without them. To spot the one that causes inconsistencies, disable the extensions one by one and test CAPTCHA this way.

Distorted Browser Profiles

Another aspect to take into account is corrupted browser profiles. This usually leads to data loss and distorted functionality of the browser. On top of that, you may get CAPTCHA issues.

If you suspect that your profile got corrupted, try to clear the cache and cookies. If the issue persists, you'll need to create a new profile or reinstall the browser altogether.

There may be some more reasons causing the "Incorrect CAPTCHA" error and not necessarily on your side. Yet, the aspects we mentioned are the basics you need to check out first.

"Incorrect CAPTCHA" Error in Magento 2

We've covered the general specifics of the "Incorrect CAPTCHA" error. Yet, Magento 2 users aren't safe from it, unfortunately, and can face it just as often. Moreover, the error can appear both in the admin and on the frontend. The question is: why does Magento 2 CAPTCHA throw an error? 

The first and most common reason is the typos when entering the CAPTCHA. We've mentioned it above, but some browser extensions can interfere with the CAPTCHA generation and input in this case too.

Not infrequently something goes wrong in the code. That's when you need to dig deeper, check out the logs and take further steps accordingly. Also, the error may be caused by the inconsistencies between the Magento and CAPTCHA versions.

Moreover, the custom themes and third-party modules may be responsible for the "Incorrect CAPTCHA" error too. So, as you can see, the reasons for this error vary. But you still need to be able to solve it.

How to Fix the "Incorrect CAPTCHA" Error in Magento 2?

The causes of the "Incorrect CAPTCHA" error message in Magento are now clear. The next thing to do is to see how you can fix it. There are a few options to consider.

Alter the core_config_data table

To eliminate the "Incorrect CAPTCHA" error, find the core_config_data table and add the following change:

captcha 1 -> 0

After that flush the cache and, if needed, reindex your Magento.

Update the database row

Another option is to apply edits in the database, to be exact in the following row:

Update core_config_data  set value=0 WHERE  path LIKE  '%admin/captcha/enable%'

There may be no such a row in the database. In this case, you have to add it.

Once done, run the following commands:

php bin/magento cache:flush
php bin/magento cache:clean

Run commands in Magento root

If you don't want to change anything in the database, there is an alternative. There are a few Magento root commands you can run.

First of all, disable the customer/admin CAPTCHA:

php bin/magento config:set admin/captcha/enable 0
php bin/magento config:set customer/captcha/enable 0

If the error happens in the admin panel, proceed to unlock the admin user:

php bin/magento admin:user:unlock [admin_user_name]

Then, run Magento reindex and flush the cache:

php bin/magento indexer:reindex
php bin/magento c:c

Edit the app/etc/env.php file

Together with the above-mentioned options, you can work with the app/etc/env.php file. Add the following:

'modules'  => [
      'MSP_ReCaptcha' => '0',
      'Magento_TwoFactorAuth' => '0'

Then, run this command:

bin/magento setup:upgrade

Your choice depends on your case as well as on the method you prefer to work with. However, note that after you fix the "Incorrect CAPTCHA" error message you'll also need to get to its root.

That is, you have to find out what exactly causes the error and fix it so that it doesn't bother you in the future.

Tips to Avoid the "Incorrect CAPTCHA" Error Message

The best way to fix the issue is to avoid it altogether. This is applicable in our case, too. There are a few aspects to take into account to prevent the "Incorrect CAPTCHA" error in Magento.

CAPTCHA settings

First things first, check your CAPTCHA settings. Make sure you configured everything properly and there is nothing in the config section to cause the error.

File permissions

Also, see if the file permissions are granted properly. Check out the CAPTCHA-related permissions to ensure they are accessible and correct. Pay attention to the following directories: /var/page/cache/, /var/generation/, and /var/cache/.

PHP settings

Additionally, look at your PHP settings to ensure the version you use is compatible with your Magento version. Do not miss the chance to review the server logs to see if any CAPTCHA-related warnings indicate the "Incorrect CAPTCHA" error message. This way you can prevent the error from happening entirely.

So, now you have a better understanding of the "Incorrect CAPTCHA" error and know how to handle it both in browsers and your Magento 2 store. With the provided tips, you can monitor your environment and ensure that this error disrupts neither your working process nor the customer experience.