Using reCAPTCHA with MediaWiki

Important: Version 1.0 of the reCAPTCHA API is no longer supported, please upgrade to Version 2.0. Learn more

The reCAPTCHA MediaWiki plugin uses a CAPTCHA to prevent spam. Here is how to add reCAPTCHA to MediaWiki:

  1. Download the zip file (note that this plugin only works with MediaWiki 1.8 or newer).

  2. Unzip the MediaWiki extension.

    cd /path/to/mediawiki/extensions/
    # * gets whatever version you downloaded
    unzip ~/recaptcha-mediawiki-*.zip
    # move the package to a standardized directory.
    mv recaptcha-mediawiki-* recaptcha
  3. Add the following lines to MediaWiki's LocalSettings.php:

    require_once( "$IP/extensions/recaptcha/ReCaptcha.php" );
    // Sign up for these at
    $recaptcha_public_key = '';
    $recaptcha_private_key = '';
  4. Enter the public and private keys in LocalSettings.php. (If you haven't done so, you must sign up for reCAPTCHA keys here.)

  5. That's it! You should have CAPTCHAs now!

MediaWiki FAQ

When do CAPTCHAs get displayed? How do I tune this?

By default, CAPTCHAs are triggered on the following events:

  • New user registration
  • Anonymous edits that contain new external links
  • Brute-force password cracking

These settings can be tuned in LocalSettings.php. See ConfirmEdit.php for possible options

How do I uninstall reCAPTCHA?

Simply remove the line you added to LocalSettings.php. You can also delete the folder you created in the extensions directory.