So, I'm getting the occasional CAPTCHA message, which is irritating but fine, but occasionally Google just blocks my network wholesale. I've submitted automated requests to unblock it, but I have no idea who I can email directly to clarify the issue.

I've run all manner of anti-virus, parsed my router's logs, combed through Fiddler to see if any errant packets were slipping by. Nothing. The only Google searches that happen are made by me through the web-browser.

Who or what do I have to do to get Google to stop falsely flagging my network as a spam-bot?

  • 3
    How many searches are you making? are you a Tor server or similar?
    – soandos
    Jul 16, 2012 at 20:21
  • 1
    Are you using a proxy or an anonymizer? This problem usually occurs when you use a proxy because you and multiple others will be generating lots of queries from the same IP which triggers Google's anti-bot script.
    – Synetech
    Jul 16, 2012 at 20:21
  • It could be someone else on your ISP behaving abusively and Google CAPTCHAing/blocking based on an entire subnet (or even all subnets) of your ISP.
    – ultrasawblade
    Jul 16, 2012 at 20:34
  • Surfing Google with an IE opened by VS for debugging can/will cause those as well.
    – techie007
    Jul 16, 2012 at 20:56
  • I just got this too. I think they need to provide ME proof that my computer is doing what they claim it is. Instead, they just accuse and tell you to provide them proof that I am a human. No, Google, YOU provide ME proof of your accusation. You're the one throwing the accusations around. The burden of proof is on you. Until then, Bing it is....
    – Taptronic
    Aug 21, 2013 at 3:05

3 Answers 3


You may be behind a proxy provided by your ISP or government, which mixes in your requests with others in your local area, so that they can't easily be differentiated by IP address. Google should be smart enough to figure out this situation, but that doesn't always seem to be the case. Check to see if you're behind a proxy by using an online tool that shows your HTTP headers and attempts to detect the use of a proxy server (such as mine).


Have you considered the possibility that your computer is part of a botnet? They're designed so it would be hard for you to detect.

Use a different computer to download a bootable virus/malware scan disk and see what you find. Free of charge if you pick the right scanner.

  • Why would a botnet submit Google queries? They usually do DDoS or send spam.
    – Synetech
    Jul 16, 2012 at 21:50
  • @Synetech: While I agree this is not the most common task for a botnet, there is at least on reason to do it: One can search for vulnerable websites, e.g. by a name of a CMS and a known vulnerable version number which is sometimes added somewhere on each page. Since Google limits these suspicious searches, one might use a botnet to extend this limit.
    – Gurken Papst
    Jul 16, 2012 at 23:03
  • @Synetech, note that Google keeps a database of suspect IPs in general. They keep their policies secret, but I'm speculating that they might block known bots in general. GMail would certainly let them identify bots.
    – CarlF
    Jul 17, 2012 at 13:34

using a vpn will cause this behavior as will tor. so it seems that if you like to protect yourself and your anonymity they make it a little arduous. i think they could determine the difference but they are in the business of data mining

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