Automating Tests with Google’s No CAPTCHA reCAPTCHA

Automating Tests with Google's No CAPTCHA reCAPTCHA

3 July 2024 Stephan Petzl Leave a comment QA

Implementing Google’s No CAPTCHA reCAPTCHA (NCRC) is an effective way to prevent bots from submitting forms on your application. However, it poses a challenge for Quality Assurance (QA) teams who rely on automated testing. This guide will provide solutions to automate tests while keeping the reCAPTCHA active in production.

Understanding the Challenge

reCAPTCHA is designed to distinguish between human users and bots, making it difficult for automated scripts to bypass it. To maintain the integrity of automated tests, you must find a strategy that either bypasses or simulates the reCAPTCHA in a controlled environment.

Potential Solutions

Conditional Rendering in QA Environment

The cleanest and most effective solution is to conditionally render the reCAPTCHA based on the environment. This means reCAPTCHA will be disabled in the QA environment where automated tests run, but enabled in production.

To implement this:

  • Check the environment configuration during the form rendering process.
  • If the environment is QA, skip rendering the reCAPTCHA.
  • Ensure that the reCAPTCHA is rendered in the production environment.

Using Automated Human Services

If modifying the application is not feasible, consider using services that solve CAPTCHAs programmatically. These services employ human workers to solve CAPTCHAs and return the solution to your automated tests.

While this approach adds complexity and cost, it ensures that the same build is used in both QA and production environments.

Implementing a Configuration Toggle

Another approach is to introduce a toggle in the application’s configuration that enables or disables reCAPTCHA based on the environment. This toggle can be a setting in a configuration file or database.

Steps to implement this:

  • Add a configuration setting (e.g., useCaptcha).
  • Default the setting to enabled.
  • Disable the setting in the QA environment configuration.
  • Modify the application code to check this setting before rendering reCAPTCHA.

Backdoor Mechanism for Testing

If none of the above solutions are viable, a backdoor mechanism can be implemented. This involves modifying the application to bypass reCAPTCHA validation based on specific input or conditions known only to the QA team.

While this method carries some risk of being exposed in production, it can be safely managed with proper controls and validation checks.


Automating tests in applications that use Google’s No CAPTCHA reCAPTCHA requires thoughtful planning and implementation. By conditionally rendering the reCAPTCHA, utilizing automated human services, or implementing configuration toggles, you can maintain automated testing without compromising production security.

For those looking for a more streamlined and efficient way to handle test automation, consider using Repeato. As a no-code test automation tool for iOS and Android, Repeato allows you to create, run, and maintain automated tests with ease. Leveraging computer vision and AI, Repeato offers a fast and reliable solution for quality assurance, making it an excellent choice for teams looking to enhance their testing capabilities.

For more information on setting up and using Repeato, visit our Getting Started page.

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