Captcha forms Breaking due to Google ChangeIf you’re like me, you have a “captcha” function on your contact form where your users have to type in the squiggly letters to prove that they’re human and not digital robots or spiders spamming contact forms. This is a good thing.

But many of these forms stopped working because Google changed the ReCaptcha URL. This is effecting Joomla 2.5 and 3.0+ sites at the minimum. This fix will be included in the next Joomla 3 release but in the meantime, it’s not good to have a broken contact form!!

Very frustrating! I advise you to send a message to yourself from your contact form, if you have one, and see if it’s working properly. If you are able to see the squiggly letters in your captcha feature, you’re probably fine. If you see the word “captcha” but there are no squiggly letters, your form is probably broken. If you never had captcha installed, you may consider getting one, to save you from some extra spam.

Here’s the fix for Joomla 2.5 and 3 sites (gleaned from this doc):

Go to plugins/captcha/recaptcha/recaptcha.php and change:

  • line 22 (or thereabouts) to the new RECAPTCHA_API_SERVER URL of ‘’
  • line 24 (or thereabouts) to the new RECAPTCHA_VERIFY_SERVER URL of ‘’
  • line 129 (or thereabouts) to the new RECAPTCHA_VERIFY_SERVER value of ‘/recaptcha/api/verify’

See the change in the next patch:

You will need ftp access to make this change, or perhaps your hosting control panel has a file manager that lets you edit files. In either case be sure to make a backup of the existing recaptcha.php file before making the recommended edits.

Note to Hope’s clients only: If your form stopped working I can fix it for you for $50. Or, I can disable captcha for $25. If you need time to pay, I’m flexible. I feel badly about this situation. Credit card is fine too.