Microsoft Skype makes you solve a complex captcha 10 times to sign up


New Skype users report frustration after receiving a captcha that requires them to solve a complex puzzle ten times before signing up for the service.

BleepingComputer’s testing confirmed the problematic captcha required when creating a Microsoft account through Skype, even after verifying your email address.

However, creating a Microsoft account directly was much easier.

The struggle is real, times 10

When downloading Skype to their device, users are prompted to sign in with an existing Microsoft account or sign in.

If you choose to create a new Microsoft account through the Skype app, Skype presents a complex captcha to solve that has frustrated many people.

A captcha (“fully automated public Turing test to distinguish between computers and humans”) is a challenge-response test used by websites and online services to see if they are interacting with a human user or a bot.

The captcha puzzle presented to those who sign up for Skype, however, requires the user to continue spinning through an image with a sphere containing arrows pointing in random directions until “exactly. 2 arrows “, pointing straight up.

Moreover, the challenge must be solved not once, but Ten time!

Skype Captcha
Captcha required by Skype before allowing users to register (Reddit)

BleepingComputer successfully reproduced the issue when testing the registration process using a Skype client on Apple Mac and Microsoft Windows.

The captcha presented by Skype during the process of registering the Microosft account with BleepingComputer took at least five minutes to complete the eighth attempt, there are two more left.

After submitting the captcha, we found out that we had given the wrong answers and had to retry the puzzle to determine which part we got it wrong.

In our tests, BleepingComputer does not have use a VPN and test the registration process from a standard ISP connection:

the captcha has expired
Captcha presented to BleepingComputer expired after solving it ten times

Safety on steroids?

Other users report spending a half hour on the resolution of an alternative captcha presented by Skype.

Note, the complex Skype captcha was presented during the tests of BleepingComputer after we have already verified a Gmail email address used for the registration process:

Email verification
Verifying email when creating a Microsoft account (Sound computer)

“I had the same problem a few weeks ago and almost threw my computer out the window in frustration! ” complained a Reddit user. “I think a big part of this captcha is how quickly you do it, because taking your time but doing it right always counts as failure.”

“At this point, it’s easier to break both arms” declared another Reddit user.

“Somewhere, a doctoral student in psychology is currently preparing his thesis on the level of frustration people are willing to put up with to create free online accounts. said a third.

Equally interesting is the fact that when creating a Microsoft account directly through Microsoft’s website, the presented captcha challenge is much simpler:

Microsoft account captcha
Captcha presented by Microsoft when creating a Microsoft account (Sound computer)

All you have to do is choose an elephant from the various illustrations presented, just twice, and you’re done.

BleepingComputer has contacted Microsoft to explain the causes of this issue and we are awaiting their response.


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