I'm trying to add a CAPTCHA to a Freeform (free version) form.

The form is a callback request form that features in the header of the site, so is visible on every page and is not linked to a specific channel.

I've got the CAPTCHA to show up but the form can be submitted with the CAPTCHA text field left blank.

Anyone know a good way of using a CAPTCHA with Solspace's Freeform in this way?

2 Answers 2


After hours of digging (never worked with ExpressionEngine before) I found out why it was not working in our setup (EE v2.8.1, Freeform Pro 4.1.7). Leaving this here for anybody else looking for the answer:

Go to CP > Admin > Security and Privacy > CAPTCHA Preferences. There you will find two input fields that were empty in the site I was working on: "Server Path to CAPTCHA Folder" and "Full URL to CAPTCHA Folder". Fill these out.

The last one should probably be "/images/captchas" and the first depends on your server. You can find the correct path using PHP's getcwd. It should look something like "/var/www/vhosts/[...]/public_html/images/captchas". This folder should be writable.

After that the Captcha finally showed up.

A few dead ends, to help redirect misguided searches:

  • The "{captcha}" or "{freeform:captcha}" EE template code was not the issue
  • CAPTCHA being disabled for logged in members was not the issue
  • "Enable Membership CAPTCHA" was not the issue (I think this related to registering, which we don't use)

In the documentation there is a parameter to make sure the captcha is required

This assumes you are using the freeform captcha not the default ExpressionEngine one.

If you have done these things already, please edit your question to include your code.

  • Thanks for your thoughts, I'm actually using the free version of Freeform and it appears these features are limited to the paid version? Aug 7, 2014 at 9:07
  • 1
    That's not correct, you can get the captcha to work with the free version too :) Be default captchas are disabled for logged in members. Go to Admin > Security and Privacy > CAPTCHA Preferences and check the "Require CAPTCHA with logged-in members?". i typically test in Google Incognito mode too then you can see if that's your issue too. Nov 4, 2014 at 16:27

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