How to Generate Google reCAPTCHA v2 Keys

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Bless their hearts, the folks at Google have been busy with their new session-based reCAPTCHA v3 technology. Based on feedback from our client base and pretty much everyone between the ages of 2 and 101 that we’ve asked, it’s been a dismal return to loads of undesired spam (is there such thing as desired spam?).

It comes down to this: reCAPTCHA v2 worked well and v3 still has some ways to go until it reaches both effectiveness of v2 as well as all of the quirks including additional site-wide resource loads.

As the technologies work quite differently, v2 and v3 keys are not compatible. That is to say that a site running a v3 key cannot be used with recaptcha v2 since the same Google reCAPTCHA endpoint is used for both generations of the anti-spam technology. Below we’ll go over how you can generate your reCAPTCHA keys.

First, we can start by giving gratitude that Google didn’t can reCAPTCHA v2 right away like they did Google+. Kidding aside if you do not have a Google Account already you will need to create one, specifically for the Google reCAPTCHA admin console. Once you have an account created and you’re logged into the Google reCAPTCHA console you will be greeted with the register new site screen. If not, click the plus sign at the top right:



  • Label: You can use pretty much anything you want (it’s not exposed to the public) but consider something intuitive such as the website name that the key belongs to
  • Under reCAPTCHA type, select reCAPTCHA v2 and then select the “I’m not a robot” Checkbox option that appears below it
  • Domains
    • Add only the domain or sub-domain itself (i.e. no protocols, slashes, ports, etc…) so as an example, this would be and to cover both variants of the website.
    • These variations won’t work as they contain protocols and ports: or
  • Owners
    • Optionally add additional owners (these must be email addresses associated with Google accounts)
  • Accept the reCAPTCHA Terms of Service
    • Admire the minutia and font size of Google API’s Terms of Use
    • When satisfied that you didn’t go to law school to spend all day writing the aforementioned terms, click the Accept checkbox
  • Send alerts to owners
    • Unless your grandparents are one of the owners listed and you’re concerned that they might be confused about notifications regarding spikes in traffic or site configuration issues, checking this is recommended
  • Click the SUBMIT button (it’s all capitals to lend it legitimacy so that you know that it’s an important final step)


Now it’s time to get those keys working for you AKA combating the legions of spam-happy bots that are constantly picking at your site, only too eager to generate spam.

You can do this by installing, activating, and adding these keys to your shiny new Contact Form 7 – reCaptcha v2 plugin, available at the amazing price of free on the WordPress plugin repository.