Captcha ReCaptcha is a Joomla Plug-in that will add a Google Captcha to a form so that makes it more difficult for web robots to fill out forms and submit them. It takes a human eye to decipher the code placed at the bottom of the form.  The form can't be submitted until the code is entred correctly. This method cuts down on the amount of spam in your inbox from people that have nothing better to do with their brain power than to frustrate legitimate web developers.

People hate Captchas - but it can be necessary. There are Joomla Extensions that allow you to use other versions of Captchas than may be more pleasing to you and your visitors.


To enable your Joomla 3 site to place the Google Captcha-ReCaptcha at the bottom of your forms such as registration forms, contact forms or other third party created forms, you need to take a few steps.

Get your Captcha-ReCaptcha code from Google at

Step 1:

  • You need to have some sort of Google account set up, like a gmail account or webmaster tools.
  • You well need to login to your Google account to proceed.
  • Then you will be asked to enter the domain name for your site. You can read their Tips regarding using a key on multiple accounts.
  • At the bottom of their page is a Create Key button. Click on that to get the two keys that you will need to enable Captcha on your Joomla site.
  • You need to copy and paste the Public Key and Private Key.  It's not a bad idea to copy these into a text document in case you need to reference them later.

Step 2:

Enable the Plug-in on your Joomla 3 site.

Extensions -> Plug-In Manager -> Captcha-ReCaptcha


Make sure that the Status is set to Enabled.

Click on the Basic Options tab. Enter the Public Key and Private Key that you got from Google in Step 1.

Theme: Google's Captcha comes in a few flavors - pick one that seems to go with your site. See examples at the bottom of this page.

Step 3:

Set Catpcha-ReCaptcha as the default Captcha for your site in Global Configuration

System -> Global Configuration -> Site Tab -> Site Settings

captchaglobalconfigYou need to use the pulldown selector and choose Captcha-Recaptcha. If you have installed a third-party plug-in, you will be able to choose that here.

Google Captcha Themes

These are the default themes that you may select from the Captcha-ReCaptcha Plug-In.

Clean White
captchacleantheme captchawhitetheme
Black Glass Red
captchablackglesstheme captcharedtheme