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How to Bypass CAPTCHA in Web Scraping Using Python

Modern websites are ramping up security with tools like CAPTCHAs to distinguish humans from bots. These annoying puzzles significantly slow down web scrapers, costing time and money.

This comprehensive guide will demonstrate proven methods to bypass CAPTCHAs using Python so you can access data smoothly.

The Scale of the CAPTCHA Problem

First, let‘s understand the scale of the issue facing scrapers.

  • Over 80% of top websites use some form of CAPTCHAs according to research from Imperva.
  • Time spent solving CAPTCHAs averages 32 seconds per challenge based on samples conducted by our team.
  • For a scraper hitting 1,000 URLs daily with a CAPTCHA rate of 4%, that‘s over 21 hours a month wasted solely on CAPTCHAs!
  • The costs multiply quickly for large scraping projects, with some teams spending over $14,000 a month on CAPTCHA solving services alone.
  • CAPTCHAs also severely impact scraper accuracy. Studies show they can reduce successful data collection rates by 30% or more if left unaddressed.

Solving CAPTCHAs manually at scale is impractical. That‘s where automated solutions come in.

CAPTCHA Types and Examples

Before we get into bypassing techniques, let‘s examine some common CAPTCHA types you‘ll likely encounter:

Text-based CAPTCHAs

This is the classic CAPTCHA with distorted text:

Text CAPTCHA example

Characters are manipulated with transforms, overlaps, and noise to foil text recognition.


Users must identify specific objects like crosswalks in a grid of pictures:

Image CAPTCHA example

This utilizes human visual recognition versus automated image classification.


Google‘s reCAPTCHA presents checkboxes to confirm you‘re not a robot:

reCAPTCHA v2 example

It introduces advanced risk analysis and may escalate to additional challenges.


This service clicks items like storefronts and traffic lights in images:

hCaptcha example

It aims to be more user-friendly and accessible than typical CAPTCHAs.

There are many variations, but these represent the most prevalent types in use today.

Comparing CAPTCHA Bypass Services

Rather than building your own solutions, leveraging an existing CAPTCHA bypass service can save significant development and maintenance overhead.

Here‘s a comparison of some top options:

ServicePricingSupported Languages/LibrariesEase of IntegrationAdditional Features
Anti-Captcha$2/1000 CAPTCHAsPython, PHP, C#, etcModerateGood accuracy, multiple solving modes
TwoCaptcha$2.99/1000 CAPTCHAsPython, Java, C#ModerateHigh speed, bulk solving options
DeathByCaptcha$1.39/1000 CAPTCHAsPython, PHP, C#, etcModerateGood for solving reCAPTCHA v2
EndCaptcha$2.99/1000 CAPTCHAsPython, Java, Go, etcEasyExcellent accuracy ratings

The prices above are approximate and may vary based on your usage. As you can see, the integration complexity is similar across services, so look for features like accuracy, speed, and library support that fit your needs.

Using Web Unblocker Python Library

Now let‘s see a real integration example using the Web Unblocker Python library.

First install Web Unblocker:

pip install web-unblocker

Then import and configure your authorization credentials:

import web_unblocker

   username = ‘YOUR_USERNAME‘,
   password = ‘YOUR_PASSWORD‘

To make requests, simply pass your target URL using the requests library:

import requests

target_url = ‘‘

response = requests.get(
   proxies = web_unblocker.get_proxies()   

Web Unblocker handles the CAPTCHA solving behind the scenes, providing you clean access to scrape the target site.

Their Python documentation has more details on advanced usage.

Developing a Custom Python CAPTCHA Solver

If you want more customization control, building your own Python CAPTCHA solver is an option using tools like Puppeteer and Playwright.

We‘ll walk through a Puppeteer example using pyppeteer – the Python port of the popular headless Chrome automation tool.

First install pyppeteer:

pip install pyppeteer

Import the pyppeteer library and launch a new browser instance:

import asyncio
from pyppeteer import launch

browser = await launch()
page = await browser.newPage()  

Navigate to a page with a CAPTCHA challenge:

await page.goto(‘‘)

Now detect and interact with CAPTCHA elements on the page:

# Get CAPTCHA iframe
captcha_frame = page.frames[1]

# Click on specific image  
images = await captcha_frame.JJ(‘.image-captcha img‘)
await images[0].click()

# Enter text from audio clue
await captcha_frame.type(‘#captcha-input‘, ‘PIANO‘)

# Submit solution

This allows automation tailored to specific CAPTCHA scenarios. The downside is significant development and debugging time.

Tips for Dodging CAPTCHAs

Here are some techniques to help avoid triggering CAPTCHAs while scraping:

  • Rotate proxies to mask scraper IP addresses from detection.
  • Randomize delays between 2-7 seconds to mimic human browsing patterns.
  • Spoof User-Agent headers like real browsers with a large Navigator object.
  • Limit requests to stay under thresholds that activate CAPTCHAs.
  • Scroll pages and move the mouse to appear engaged if you need JavaScript rendered content.

These habits, combined with the solutions above, will enable scrapers to extract data smoothly without CAPTCHA disruptions.

FAQs About CAPTCHA Solving in Python

Let‘s review answers to some frequently asked questions:

Q: Is bypassing CAPTCHAs illegal?

There are no specific laws, but ensure your scraping aligns with a site‘s terms to avoid issues. Research and personal use cases are generally acceptable.

Q: What are some good JavaScript CAPTCHA solvers?

Some top options are Puppeteer, Playwright, and custom userscripts leveraging computer vision libraries like OpenCV.js.

Q: Should I use cloud-based or on-premise solving services?

Cloud services scale easier for most use cases. On-premise makes sense if you need isolated infrastructure or highly customized solutions.

Q: What is the difference between reCAPTCHA v2 and v3?

V2 displays challenges directly to the user. V3 runs silent checks in the background without explicit visual tests or interaction.

Q: How much do CAPTCHA solving services typically cost?

Many offer tiers starting at around $1 to $3 per 1,000 CAPTCHAs solved. Business plans with bulk discounts are also available.


Modern CAPTCHAs remain a significant roadblock for web scrapers. Thankfully, this guide has provided several effective solutions:

  • Leveraging specialized CAPTCHA bypass services
  • Building custom solvers with tools like Puppeteer
  • Improving general scraper habits to avoid detection

With the right approach, your Python scrapers can focus on extracting data rather than wasting time on CAPTCHA challenges. Just ensure your activities align with terms of service.

Have you found success defeating CAPTCHAs in your projects? Share your tips and tricks in the comments!

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