As from jDownloads v3.2.36 the Joomla! Captcha-Recaptcha type 2 is supported. This note gives advice on the steps needed to include and use in jDownloads. Unlike the original Captcha arrangement where the user typically had to type a set of characters that were shown in a distorted form in a graphically misleading image the type 2 Captcha version is often just ticking a box which, after short wait whilst the 'keys' are checked, then allows the Continue button to be used.

There are three steps as noted below.

  1. Getting the Captcha 'keys' from Google.
  2. Setting up the standard Joomla! Captcha-ReCaptcha Plugin.
  3. Enabling use in jDownloads.

However before detailing these steps we present below examples of the Captcha-ReCaptcha working in jDownloads.

The first point to note is that the Captcha sequence appears in the jDownloads Summary view. When you have requested that a User Group may only download after using a Captcha then the Summary view will always apear, even if you have not selected it in the Configuration.

So after clicking on the Download Button, or perhaps the Download name then depending on your configuration the Details View may appear with its Download Button.

One way or another you will eventually get a Summary view as shown opposite.

As the instructions say just click in the box opposite the text "I'm not a robot".


After a short delay whilst the 'keys' are checked then a 'green tick' will appear in place of the white box.

The Continue button will also become properly enabled so that when you click on 'Continue' it will activate the download sequence you have selected in the jD Configuration.


In this example I waited 'too long' to give an answer so an error occurred. The delay has nothing to do with the size of the download, I was in fact answering a telephone call before remembering to cick in the original box!

So sometimes further verification may be required.

The request to click in the now red edged box that has appeared.


After clicking in the 'red edged box', an image with several sub-images in it is shown.

In this example the supplementary question, shown as the first image opposite, was to "Select all the drinks".

The relevant sub-images were clicked which produced the appropriate 'tick marks'. The verify button was then clicked and this then initiated the download.

All very simple and, in my view, much less hassle than the distorted character type of Captcha. It is also more secure.


There is an exception when the Captcha does not appear even if you have set it up to appear.

This is when the specific Download requires a Password.

In this case the need for a password is deemed more significant than a Captcha so the Captcha is bypassed.

What happens next depends on whether or not the password matches.


  Getting the Captcha keys

The most challenging part, especially for a novice, is getting the Captcha keys from Goolge. There are two 'keys' required that will be used by the Joomla! Captcha-Recaptcha plugin.

These are the Site Key and the Secret Key. Each key is typically 40 or so characters long.

Note: In this example we will be using keys that are totally fictitious and meaningless. If you use them they will not work!.

The first step is to go to the Google ReCaptcha site

Look for a button like Captcha21

Clicking on it gives a picture such as shown opposite

There is a list of existing websites which will use the same captcha keys but usually this is blank when starting out.

The princilpe objective here is to register your site for Captcha keys

So give it a label or 'nickname' in the Label field,

then fill in the url such as in the domains field,

and use an email address in the Owners field. It is probably useful, but not necessary, to use the same email as the one used for Joomla!

Finally click on Register.













This will give a view like below, which is followed with various bits of code that have not been shown here.

We only need to copy the two actual keys for use in the Joomla! Captca-ReCaptcha plugin. It is probably a good idea to copy and paste then into a text file so you can then paste into the plugin.

It may be necessary to exit from the Joomla! admin and clear your browsers cache before the Captcha takes effect.


Configure the Joomla!Captcha - ReCaptcha Plugin And User Manager Options

Using the Extensions Plugin Manager select and open the Captcha - ReCaptcha Plugin, which is illustrated below.

After ensuring the plugin is published then copy the Site and Secret keys into the relevant fields.  And of course select Version 2.0.


The next step is to go to the Options in User Manager and set CAPTCHA-reCAPTCA as the new user default.

You may also find it helpful to set the Default Captcha in Global Configuration - Site tab.

 Enabling use in jDownloads

jDownloads allows selection of which User Groups (UGs) will or will not need to use a Captcha sequence through the User Groups Settings.

Each User Group is treated independently, and there is no implied parent.

In User Groups Settings  then for each UG that you decide should respond to a Captcha then set the View Captcha field in the Group Settings tab to Yes.

The default setting for this field is No so the creation of any other UG will not have Captcha set.    To repeat, the administrator has to positively set the View Captcha field to Yes to enable Captcha-ReCaptcha for each UG required to use a Captcha sequence.

Edit  It may be necessary to exit from the Joomla! admin and clear your browsers cache before the Captcha takes effect.

Colin Mercer, August 2015

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