Add Recaptcha to Joomla

If you have been running a website that include user registrations, contact forms and comments, chances are high that you have faced and struggled with the spam menace. Of course, these include fake registrations, comments and filling up of forms by bots. On a lighter note, these bots get smarter with every passing day. Anyway, this spam menace is rampant all over the web. One way to deal with this issue is to use softwares such as Recaptcha. In this tutorial we’ll learn how to add Recaptcha to Joomla contact and registration forms.

There are individuals and companies dedicated to battling spam in every form. However, the problem with this battle is that newer spam scripts keep surfacing every other day. So it’s sort of a cat and mouse game. Nevertheless, it is important to keep our anti-spam softwares updated at all times.

There is one such anti-spam service offered by Google for free. The latest stable version of which is called the No Captcha Recaptcha. They’re currently working on the Invisible Recaptcha which is still in beta mode.

Anyway, once Recaptcha is integrated with a website, users should validate themselves as humans usually before registering or submitting forms by simply clicking on it. If for some reason, Recaptcha fails to validate your click, it will prompt you to solve the captcha challenge. It has been reported that currently Recaptchas are loaded over 100 million times everyday on various sites.

Having said that, Joomla has added Recaptcha as a native plugin since version 2.5. All we have to do to make use of this feature is to enter your Recaptcha keys and activate the plugin.

Hot to add add Recaptcha to Joomla

Step 1: Get Recaptcha Site and Secret Keys from Google

  1. Login to your Google account and visit the Recaptcha link.
  2. Click on the ‘Get Recaptcha’ link located on top of the page.
    Add Recaptcha to Joomla - 1
  3. Register your site by entering the Label and Domain.
    Add Recaptcha to Joomla - 2
  4. Note the Site key and the Secret key.
    Add Recaptcha to Joomla - 3

Now that you have the Recaptcha keys ready, its time to head over to your Joomla website and make use of it.

Step 2: Activate the Joomla Recaptcha plugin

  1. Login to your Joomla back-end.
  2. Navigate to Extensions > Plugins.
  3. Search for ‘recaptcha’ and open the plugin.
    Add Recaptcha to Joomla - 4
  4. Set the version to 2.0 and enter the Recaptcha Site and Secret keys. For your information, 2.0 is the latest and improved version of Recaptcha and it obviously does a better job.
    Add Recaptcha to Joomla - 5
  5. Enable the plugin.
    Add Recaptcha to Joomla - 6
  6. Save and close.

Step 3: Add Recaptcha to Joomla contact form.

  1. Navigate to System > Global Configuration > Site.
  2. Set the Default Captcha to Captcha-Recaptcha.
    Add Recaptcha to Joomla - 7
  3. Save and close.

Step 4: Add Recaptcha to Joomla registration form.

  1. Navigate to Users > Manage > Options.
    Add Recaptcha to Joomla - 8
  2. On the User Options tab, set Captacha to Captcha-Recaptcha.
    Add Recaptcha to Joomla
  3. Save and close.

So that is how we add Recaptcha to Joomla. Hopefully, your website will have lesser spam issues after enabling this feature.

Add Recaptcha to Joomla contact and registration forms
5 (100%) 8 votes


  1. I have noticed you don’t monetize your site, don’t waste your traffic, you can earn additional bucks every month because you’ve got hi quality content.

  2. Hello
    I am having a problem with recaptcha on my registration form. Instead of a recaptcha I have the following text “Enter the two words you see below”, but no words or field to put the words appear.