Microsoft's Bot CAPTCHA is Annoying AF

20 Sep 2022 | ~2 minute read

While trying to setup a new Microsoft account for my son, I got stuck in a CAPTCHA loop. It's annoying AF.

It's Christmas morning (Merry Christmas BTW) and like most parents, my wife and I have been busy setting up (and playing with) various presents for our sons.

One of my sons got a tablet for Christmas, and (like most kids) he wanted to play Minecraft on it. Being the fantastic dad that I am, I went to go set him up with a new Microsoft account so he could log into, and enjoy, Minecraft.

I fired up my trusty MacBook M1 Air and went to the Microsoft signup page. Using a segregated sub-domain email, I went through Microsoft's sign-up wizard and eventually got a CAPTCHA prompt.

It all goes downhill

Microsoft uses a CAPTCHA tool that I've never seen before, which I assume is proprietary. This prompt asks you to look a 6 images, each with icon overlays, and select the one that has a matching pair of icons.

Microsoft CAPTCH example

It asks you to do this between 5 and 8 times! So I oblige, and go through the process of selecting the matching pairs, I even get a tick telling me the CAPTCHA was successfully passed.

Then the stupid bloody system repeats the process of going through the CAPTCH. Over, and over. And over. It does this in a seemingly infinite loop.

How fucking annoying.

I use Safari with the 1Blocker content blocker, assuming it was that, I disabled 1Blocker and tried again. No dice.

I switched to Firefox and tried again. No dice.

Then I tried DuckDuckGo browser. No dice.

I wonder if Orion browser will work? Nope.

At this point I'm pretty pissed off. I've tried numerous browsers, disabled my content blockers, and clicked untold amounts of icon pairs. All while my son is waiting to play Minecraft.

The solution beckons

I took a step back and had a think about the problem here. It's Microsoft I'm dealing with here, they don't like competition. So I downloaded Microsoft Edge thinking if anything is going to work, it's gonna be their browser...

It did.

Lo and behold, Microsoft's shitty CAPTCHA worked first time under Edge. So it seems that although Microsoft are getting better when it comes to their anti-competitive, closed nature, there's still a ways to go.

So all in all I wasted an hour or so on Christmas morning, pissing about with Microsoft's CAPTCHA, instead of being with my family.

Fuck you very much, Microsoft.

</rant>

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