Google reCAPTCHA not loading/verification failing

Carn's Avatar


25 Aug, 2018 11:50 PM

I visit filelockers, which use Google reCAPTCHA to verify human user status, to download files on a fairly regular basis. Recently, however, I have been finding it more and more difficult to access the files I want, as reCAPTCHA has not been loading, or, if loading, taking me back to the initial reCAPTCHA screen after verification has been confirmed. Most of the time, the reCAPTCHA window loads, with the "I'm not a robot" box needing to be checked, after which the spinning circle appears while images load, only in my case, that circle just keeps spinning, and no images ever load; or, instead, the following message appears:

"Please upgrade to a supported browser to get a reCAPTCHA challenge.
Alternatively if you think you are getting this page in error, please check your internet connection and reload."

Until the last few days, I could usually manage to successfully complete the challenge after several tries/reloads, but now it seems impossible. While this could just be a general reCAPTCHA issue unrelated to TFF, the greater frequency of the quoted error message appearing leads me to suspect that it is related to TFF being an unsupported browser.

Any possiblity of a fix for this?

  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by Cameron Kaiser on 26 Aug, 2018 12:09 AM

    Cameron Kaiser's Avatar

    I just checked the demo Google reCAPTCHA at and it works fine with TenFourFox FPR8 without any changes. Make sure you're on the most current version of the browser, and if you are, see if a clean profile makes a difference in case a bad setting or add-on is responsible.

  2. 2 Posted by Carn on 26 Aug, 2018 12:33 AM

    Carn's Avatar

    I'm on FPR8.

    I've uploaded a tiny one line text file to the site I usually use. Could you enter this URL for the DL page, and see if reCAPTCHA loads properly there, and if you are able to complete the challenge? (Whenever the image grid does actually load for me today, it either disappears midstream, or after completing takes me back to the empty "I'm not a robot" box, as mentioned above.)

  3. Support Staff 3 Posted by Cameron Kaiser on 26 Aug, 2018 12:42 AM

    Cameron Kaiser's Avatar

    I was able to complete the challenge and download the file on both my Quad G5 and iMac G4, so system speed doesn't look like an issue.

    Besides using a clean profile to rule out a misbehaving addon or bad setting, sometimes resources won't load if your clock is off by more than a few minutes in either direction if it causes a certificate to fail verification. Other than that, I can't reproduce this problem currently, so I don't have any other suggestions for you right now.

  4. 4 Posted by Carn on 26 Aug, 2018 12:46 AM

    Carn's Avatar

    OK, it's good to know that you were able to get it! Do you have pop-up windows blocked like I do?

  5. 5 Posted by Carn on 26 Aug, 2018 12:48 AM

    Carn's Avatar

    Oh, and my clock is auto set by apple, so it can't be that.

  6. Support Staff 6 Posted by Cameron Kaiser on 26 Aug, 2018 12:51 AM

    Cameron Kaiser's Avatar

    Actually, it could be. The clock settings in OS X 10.4 and 10.5 can sometime skew widely; see

    Assuming that isn't actually the problem, though, yes, pop-ups are blocked, and the internal basic adblock was on. However, this really needs to be tested on the default settings on your system, because people sometimes forget about old changed settings or previous addons that might have altered them and failed to set them back. Some adblocker add-ons can also interfere with captchas.

  7. 7 Posted by Carn on 26 Aug, 2018 02:27 AM

    Carn's Avatar

    I did a Refresh and reCAPTCHA now loads and verifies as expected! Must have been some altered browser settings since I had no add-ons installed, and I verified that the clock was accurate with online time/date services. Odd that the issue would arise more or less out of the blue like this, though...

    Anyway, just another quick question: After the reset, I had TFF reload my three windows with multiple tabs in each, but under the "Window" menu at the top, there is no longer a list of the open tabs, but only the default "Minimize" and "Zoom." Is this an issue you're aware of?

  8. Support Staff 8 Posted by Cameron Kaiser on 26 Aug, 2018 02:38 AM

    Cameron Kaiser's Avatar

    The Window menu has never listed the active tabs, only how many and which windows are open. The drop down arrow at the top right of an individual window does.

    If you're not seeing any windows listed at all, though, I can't reproduce that either on any of my test systems.

  9. 9 Posted by Carn on 26 Aug, 2018 02:40 AM

    Carn's Avatar

    Yeah, I meant open windows, and none are listed. I' m busy in the browser right now, but hopefully that will be corrected after a restart. Anyway, glad to see the reCAPTCHA functionality restored, and thank you for your help with this issue!

  10. Support Staff 10 Posted by Cameron Kaiser on 26 Aug, 2018 02:46 AM

    Cameron Kaiser's Avatar

    You're welcome.

    I will close this ticket. No reply is necessary. Any reply will automatically reopen it.

  11. Cameron Kaiser closed this discussion on 26 Aug, 2018 02:46 AM.

  12. Carn re-opened this discussion on 26 Aug, 2018 03:59 AM

  13. 11 Posted by Carn on 26 Aug, 2018 03:59 AM

    Carn's Avatar

    It's started again! First, the "Please upgrade to a supported browser to get a reCAPTCHA challenge." message, and then, on the next try, the endless spinning wheel after clicking the "I'm not a robot" box (which would typically be followed by loading of the image grid). Is it possible that another site I'm logged into is changing something in my browser settings that causes this? And, if so, is there an easy way to identify that setting after a fresh reset (no add-ons)?

  14. Support Staff 12 Posted by Cameron Kaiser on 27 Aug, 2018 12:08 AM

    Cameron Kaiser's Avatar

    That wouldn't seem very likely (it would need a serious security flaw in the browser and undoubtedly other types of sites would be affected). Is something messing with your network? What type of system and OS, and do you have other kinds of operating system extensions loaded like Little Snitch, etc.?

  15. 13 Posted by Carn on 27 Aug, 2018 12:42 AM

    Carn's Avatar

    I'm on a G4 Sawtooth (AGP graphics); upgraded 1.4 GHZ processor; OS 10.4.11.
    I do have Little Snitch loaded. My system has not changed at all in years, though, and these developments with reCAPTCHA are only very very recent (like, countable in days).

    edit: Just adding that Little Snitch has always be been active, so I don't see why/how it would suddenly start causing this sort of issue when it never did previously; and also that it (LS) never asks for permission to connect to google or any other reCAPTCHA related-site.

    edit2: Just tried DLing file with LS turned off; problem persists, with endlessly spinning wheel next to "I'm not a robot" while reCAPTCHA image grid fails to load at all.

  16. 14 Posted by Carn on 27 Aug, 2018 03:51 AM

    Carn's Avatar

    Some process in TFF in eating up a consistent 80-90% of my CPU, even when no pages are loading. Looks like coin mining via an open tab (had this happen before with an open novafile tab). TFF is, obviously, very slow going at the moment. Going through open tabs now to identify the culprit. (This might account for page loading issues.)

  17. Support Staff 15 Posted by Cameron Kaiser on 27 Aug, 2018 04:39 AM

    Cameron Kaiser's Avatar

    Go to Preferences, TenFourFox and check "Enable basic adblock." Restart the browser; the basic adblock list has a number of entries to retard coin miners.

  18. 16 Posted by Carn on 27 Aug, 2018 07:17 AM

    Carn's Avatar

    Will do! However, I finally pinned the CPU-hog down to an open eBay page; after closing it, TFF now idles around 15-30% CPU on average.

    A new problem has arisen, now: I can't DL from dropbox. I DLed a comparably-sized file (1.2 GB) from there, not even logged in, yesterday without any problem; clicking "download" now, from all available buttons/links on a page, does absolutely nothing. Not sure if this might be TFF-related; might you know anything about this issue?

    edit: Oh, and how do I empty the TFF cache? Some people report improvement with reCAPTCHA issues by doing that.

    edit2: After some forum-browsing, I found a way to DL from dropbox, but I had to be logged in and select multiple files. Odd that I was able to DL a single file without being logged in not too long ago, and now cannot.

  19. 17 Posted by Carn on 28 Aug, 2018 10:39 PM

    Carn's Avatar

    Chiming in again here to say that I have repeatedly confirmed that it was open eBay pages (not a specific page, but even random search result pages) causing average CPU load of 80-90%, even when idle. reCAPTCHA image grids now load and verify without any issues since closing any such eBay tabs. Is it within the range of expected or "normal" behavior for javascript -- as on an eBay page -- to cause CPU load to spike like this, to the degree where it is causing other pages not to load properly (since I assume that is what 's happening)? My only other experience of this sort of thing is with the previously-mentioned coinmining operation at novafile (filelocker).

    And I will ask again, where do I find an empty cache option in TFF? I can't seem to find any!

  20. Support Staff 18 Posted by Cameron Kaiser on 29 Aug, 2018 01:08 AM

    Cameron Kaiser's Avatar

    I use eBay frequently, and I've never noticed anything like that on any of my systems, so I don't have anything to offer. Low memory can sometimes cause machines to thrash intermittently, though I don't know why the problem would be limited to eBay. All of the systems here have at least 1GB of RAM.

    The Dropbox problem is confirmed but there is no obvious solution. There are various workarounds, see . You can also switch to a mobile user agent and it will generally work.

    The cache dump option is available under Preferences > Advanced and clicking the Network tab. There is a button to clear the cache there. Again, however, I think that's masking the actual problem your system is experiencing, but I can't reproduce it here.

  21. 19 Posted by Carn on 31 Aug, 2018 12:26 AM

    Carn's Avatar

    Thanks for pointing out location of the cache dump option!

    Since closing my previously always-open eBay tab, all reCAPTCHAs load and are completed successfully as expected, so I think you can safely close this ticket once again. (BTW, I have 1.75 GB RAM, but frequently notice low-memory issues as soon as I open TFF. It may be the case, however, that these memory issues are related more to Virtual Memory than to Real Memory.)

  22. Cameron Kaiser closed this discussion on 06 Sep, 2018 06:24 PM.

Comments are currently closed for this discussion. You can start a new one.

Keyboard shortcuts


? Show this help
ESC Blurs the current field

Comment Form

r Focus the comment reply box
^ + ↩ Submit the comment

You can use Command ⌘ instead of Control ^ on Mac