How To Fix Contact Form 7 There was an error trying to send your message. Please try again later [SOLVED]

How To Fix Contact Form 7 There was an error trying to send your message. Please try again later


Updated May 17, 2020

Contact form 7 is a free contact form plugin that helps you easily create forms and put them anywhere on your website. Contact form 7 is one of the most use plugins on WordPress with over 5 million active downloads.

I found that some of the forms you create can stop working or have issues when trying to send a message. You will often receive a message with a border saying “There was an error trying to send your message. Please try again later”. Depending on the colour of border the message is surrounded by will determine what kind of fix you need.

If you have the Yellow message, scroll to this section.

If you have the Orange message, scroll to this section.

If you have the Red message, scroll to this section.


Alternative WordPress Form Builder

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Yellow Error Message Fix

The yellow error tells us that there is a form validation error. This will be something you need to change in the admin area.

Forms Not Validated

Go to your WordPress admin dashboard and you will see icons on the Contact Form 7 plugin button. Click on the “Contact Forms” button.

How To Fix Contact Form 7 There was an error trying to send your message. Please try again later

Once you get to the forms page, near the top you will see an error message like the image below. Click on the link within this message.

That page will take you to another page where you just need to simply click on the “validate form now” button.

How To Fix Contact Form 7 There was an error trying to send your message. Please try again later. Solved
How To Fix Contact Form 7 There was an error trying to send your message. Please try again later

This should fix the problem but if it doesn’t, please comment below and I will help you out.


Alternative WordPress Form Builder

Orange Error Message Fix

The orange error tells us that your form isn’t sending because of a spam issue. Here are two solutions I did to fix this problem.

ReCaptcha v2

Contact Form 7 uses reCaptcha to make sure your website doesn’t receive a lot of spam. Once CF7 moved from reCaptcha V2 to V3, forms stopped working. The easiest solution that instantly fixed these issues for me was to change the reCaptcha back to V2. Here is what I did…

Go to the plugins page and search for “Contact Form 7 – reCaptcha v2“, install and activate it.

Contact Form 7: How To Fix “There was an error trying to send your message. Please try again later"

Next go to reCaptcha version and select Version 2.

How To Fix Contact Form 7 There was an error trying to send your message. Please try again later

Next go to the Contact Form 7 tab and click on integration. Click on “remove keys”.

Next go to the Google reCaptcha page, sign in and create new site keys for your website. You might need to delete your website property from reCaptcha first. When asked for reCaptcha type, choose reCaptcha V2.

Contact Form 7: How To Fix “There was an error trying to send your message. Please try again later"
Go to the Google reCaptcha page and create a new website key. Use V2 reCaptcha keys.

Once the keys have been generated go back to the integrations tab for Contact Form 7 and add your new V2 site keys.

Once you are done, click save then go back to your forms and add the “[recaptcha]” shortcode. 

How To Fix Contact Form 7 There was an error trying to send your message. Please try again later - Add the new recaptcha to your form

Test your forms again just for safe measure. If this doesn’t work then try the next solution.

Ninja Forms
Alternative WordPress Form Builder

Red Error Message Fix

The red error tells us that the form is not sending and is caused by your server not sending the email.  There are two solutions for this:

Contact Hosting Company

Contact your hosting company and tell them about the issue. They will most likely test the email function on your server and fix it or they will not have a solution which will bring me to the next fix.

Install SMTP Plugin

SMTP and php mail plugins make sure emails are authenticated and properly sent through third parties. The plugin I use to fix this was WP Mail SMTP.

there was an error trying to send your message. please try again later. contact form 7.  

Once you downloaded and activate WP Mail SMTP, go to the settings page. 

contact form 7 there was an error trying to send your message please try again later

Go to one of the suggested mailers websites and sign up for an account. I’ve used Mailgun and SendGrid in the past. Once you create an account you will get an api key(s) and you will need to go back to that SMTP plugin settings page to enter your api keys. You will see a place to enter your credentials (see image below). This will appear below the mailer options on the SMTP settings page.

how to fix there was an error trying to send your message contact form 7 red error

Once your api key is saved, go to the top of this page and you will see an option to send a test email.

contact form 7 red error message

Send a test email to make sure everything is working.

Other Things To Try

Caching plugin Conflicts

Another reason why your contact forms may not be sending messages is from caching plugins conflicts. The easiest way to test for this is to deactivate your cache plugin and try testing the form again. If it works, then you either need to find another cache plugin that doesn’t cause issues. I have tested litespeed cache and w3 cache and they both work fine.

Still not working?

A while back I noticed that contact form 7 often had these annoying issues and they happened every time I updated the plugin. Sometimes I was missing out on new clients because my forms wouldn’t send if the form broke without me knowing. I also needed more complex features that Contact Form 7 simply couldn’t offer. If you are frustrated with this plugin, I would switch to a premium plugin as they usually come with support so you could get your issues fixed quickly.

Plugins to use instead

1. WPForms

This contact form builder is great for WordPress beginners because the user interface is easy to use. Simply drag and drop the fields inside your form template.

The process is simple. Design the form, use the block to embed it, and you will have a fully-functional form. You can use WPForms Lite for building a fairly bare-bones template.

Get WP FORMS here

2. Gravity Forms

Gravity Forms helps you create more advanced types of forms beyond a simple contact form such as quote forms (that’s what I use it for).

You will get more integrations as compared to WPForms. Plus, the drag-and-drop form builder is easier to use. The large amount of add-ons is what makes Gravity forms so great.

Although Gravity Forms does not provide a free version, it is worth paying for, for the support. They will help you out with your forms very quickly.

Get Gravity Forms Here

3. Ninja Forms

This freemium option on my list is a perfect choice for non-developers. You can use this WordPress form builder to design a nice form in no time.

When you select a form template, it will redirect you directly to a live editor so that you can customize it easily. Unlike other form builders in this list, you can create a wide range of forms using just the free version.

Get Ninja Forms Here

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I get an error message with a yellow border?

An error message with a yellow border in CF7 means that you have a configuration and validation error in your form at the backend. You will find the error in detail when you go to the Contact Form 7 in the admin dashboard.

Why do I get an error message with an orange border?

An error message with an orange border typically means that the form is not being sent due to a spam problem. This problem is usually resolved by adding ReCaptcha to your site.

Why do I get an error message with a red border?

A error message with a red border typically means that the Contact Form 7 plugin was unable to use the underlying mail sending functions of the server and will need some additional configuration to be able to send the CF7 emails and forms.


Let me know if one of these solutions worked for you and if not put in a comment below and I’ll gladly help.

Related article:
3 Best Contact Form Plugins for WordPress Compared

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90 Responses

  1. Hi Ryan, I deactivated all plugins except contact 7 and recapchta v2 and it still didn’t work. I don’t have a cache plug in. Question 1, should I have 1? Question 2, where do I go from here withe recaptcha error?

  2. Hi Ryan, I deactivated all plugins except contact 7 and recapchta v2 and it still didn’t work. I am getting the same error message. please help…

      1. Thank you for your message. Fortunatelly there was a problem with my email client. Not it works! So, it was my fault!

  3. Hi Ryan, I receive the error message with an orange box around it. I’ve followed the steps you’ve suggested here and it still doesn’t work. Any help is appreciated. Thank you.

    1. Are you getting any error messages? If you send your user credentials to my contact form I could take a look at the backend of the site if you would like.

  4. I think that you may have fixed my problem. I just need to wait to see if my client receives the contact form messages. I have been trying to post in forums, asked the Contact Form 7 developer (who was less than helpful) and no one could help. My issue was that the form was not working on Chrome or Safari for iPhone 7. Crossing fingers that those test messages arrive! Thanks again!

      1. Just thought I would follow up to say that the test messages arrived! Changing the “reCaptcha” per your instructions was what fixed this for me.

  5. Not working on my side. I have tried V2 and V3. When I deactivate the reCAPTCHA plugin the messages work. When reCAPTCHA is active V2 or V3 then it doesn’t work. Checked the integration as well as the reCAPTCHA plugin settings.

    1. Same here. I know this was a while ago (almost 2 years!) but I’m frustrated that I haven’t been getting messages….

      1. Did you try deactivating all your plugins and then testing the form? Could be a plugin conflict.

        My advice is to just use a pro forms plugin mentioned above to avoid all these problems. Having pro support is also a huge advantage where the plugin owners would be able to fix the problem for you. It’s worth it, my site is using gravity forms.

  6. I am having the same error with red border, I don’t have any cache plugin installed. I am also tried with SMTP as well, still issue persist and not able to sent any emails.

      1. Thanks for you reply, one of our website sort out the issue having red border through SMTP plugin, but I have one more site having the same issue with orange border. But in this site ( I am configuring the SMTP plugin, So I can sent a test-email through SMTP but not able to send through our contact form. If this is related with captcha, So I used really-simple-captcha plugin for the same. And I had also test the default (basic) wordpress form without captcha, But the issue persist in orange border. Thanks in Advance

  7. Thanks.

    For me i find another solution, very simple, but don’t understand why it works.
    I do not mark the checkbox “HTML Content” in the E-Mail settings of each form. In the past all forms work well with this option….

  8. Hi Ryan,

    Your article is very detailed and I followed your article solved the Orange message issue with ReCaptcha v2. But I still could not solve the Red Error message issue.
    As your updated article steps:
    1. I installed the WP Mail SMTP and configured with mailgun,
    2. I received the test email sent by WP Mail SMTP
    3. I deactivated all necessary plugins

    But I still get Red Error message! 🙁

    1. Hi Ryan,

      I solved the issue by changing the code of mail.php.

      return wp_mail( $recipient, $subject, $body, $headers, $attachments );
      return wp_mail( $recipient, $subject, $body );

      But I have no idea(didn’t spend time) why the default $headers will cause the wp_mail send to fail.

  9. for me it is not really a good choice to deactivate html in the forms. But this seems to be the only way to get contact form 7 work.
    I think i will use another plugin

  10. Just want to say thanks! I downloaded the recaptcha v2 and everything is working again. Thanks again!

  11. Hello, I receive the error message with an orange box around it as well. I’ve followed the steps you’ve suggested here using Mailgun and it still doesn’t work.
    I am having this error message:

    An issue was detected.

    This means your test email was unable to be sent.

    Typically this error is returned for one of the following reasons:

    – Plugin settings are incorrect (wrong SMTP settings, invalid Mailer configuration, etc).
    – Your web server is blocking the connection.
    – Your host is rejecting the connection.
    Any help is appreciated.

    Thank you.

    1. Hi Georges,

      Using mailgun is for the red border issue. Orange border issue is due to spam. Please use the solution for the orange issue by changing your captcha to V2.

      1. Hello Ryan,

        I changed the version from 3 to 2 (v2) and the shortcode “[recaptcha]” should be added to the form but where exactly should I add it?

  12. Hello Ryan, If you go on my website and try to use the contact form 7 you will see the red border I tried now and got this message:

    There was an error trying to send your message. Please try again later

    Trying to solve that issue I tried the steps you suggested and still doesn’t work.

  13. Hello,
    I am trying anything to get my contact form 7 working without any success. I tried every step mentioned above but no results. I am still getting red border trying to send a message, I changed my captcha to V2 and no results then I went back to V3, I received no test email using WP Mail SMTP and I don’t have any change on my website. I don’t know where my problem is?
    Could you please help me giving me at least some advice?

    Thanks a lot

    1. If wp mail smtp did send the test email then this is something to do with your server/hosting. Submit a support ticket with your host and they should be able to solve this issue for you. Otherwise I would use a premium plugin like Gravity Forms as they have a support team unlike contact form 7.

  14. Thanks for posting this. Ultimately, my issue was related to ReCaptcha, which I resolved by installing ReCaptcha v2 for Contact Form 7.

  15. Hi i tried your steps, still getting the error in orange while filling the form how to solve this ?

  16. I got a red one. Followed the steps and it worked perfectly! Thanks. Must say the google screenshots differ a bit, but it was really helpful.

    The issue disappeared straight away.

  17. I am getting the orange error message, but I don’t use recaptcha. I just have a question I added, instead. It used to work fine, but doesn’t, anymore. Any suggestions to try? Test emails come through okay, but the contact form doesn’t work

  18. Actually, I finally figured this out, after adding Flamingo to my site. Though I haven’t been using recaptcha, apparently my site thought I was. I deactivated the recaptcha keys and will continue to use the quiz I had added to my form to prevent spam. Took hours, but your information and some other stuff I found helped me figure it out. Thank you!

  19. Hi, I have the yellow error showing up when trying to submit all forms on my site, but there is not configuration notifications on the back end. I seem stuck.

          1. I noticed the recaptcha is v3 on your website. Try using recaptcha V2, instructions are in this section: orange section. If this doesn’t work then send me a message through my contact form with your login details and I will take a closer look.

  20. hi i am using a multistep contact form 7 plugin so when i click submit button then i see “There was an error trying to send your message. Please try again later.” in a red box. what should i do?

    1. Have you tried making the same form without multisteps? Sometimes if you have steps and some of those fields are required it will cause errors. Gravity forms is better for multisteps, this is actually the reason why I started moving away from contact form 7 to gravity forms.

  21. Thank you so much! You’re such a lifesaver. I was even developing a headache before stumbling on this post. The reCaptcha plugin solution is what I tried and it worked.

  22. Hi Ryan, thanks for the informative post, helpful in solving the various problems that I’ve had. But I also am having intermittent problems, with someone infrequently telling me they had an error and couldn’t submit. I use Flamingo so I know it’s not spam, and I get most messages (I think), so I don’t think it’s and email problem.

    Is there any way to get emailed or notified when there’s a submission error so I can immediately try to debug? The form always works when I test it.

  23. We had an issue regarding Orange Box. The contact form submitted by users would throw the error with orange box.

    We had Flamingo installed to save the contact form into a database. Flamingo is a plugin created by the same guy behind contact form 7. So I was using Akismet spam protection for my contact form and it was judging the contact submissions as wrong and categorised as spam.

    You can find this details by going to flamingo and by finding the saved messages. Then you have an option to click “Not Spam” and train the AI behind Akismet. After I did that it correctly sorted the next contact submissions.

    So if your issue is not because of reCaptcha, and because of Akismet, you should try installing flamingo and retrain the system.

  24. I’ve the solution. Install Flamingo plugin then send a message then go to flamingo – inbound messages and check the spam log. In my case it was because I’m using some disallowed words in my form. To see your disallowed words go to settings – discussion – disallowed comments

  25. My form is working. The emails are being sent through wp mail smtp with a sucessful receipt. I am using Sendgrid as the Mailer. The issue is that the form still displays red box error, which says to the user that the email hasn’t been sent.

    Any idea how to resolve this one?

    1. Are you using Flamingo? Seems like a lot of issues are caused by this. I would probably also reach out to your host and see if there are error logs or if they can look into the issue. I haven’t seen to many errors like this so please let me know if you are able to figure it out.

      1. I turned off wp SMTP mail and I can still recieve the emails however the form still returns a red box error.

        With flamingo the suission are being listed.

        I have checked my php version and I am running 7.4.3

        Any suggestions?

          1. I am the one managing the server…not my expertise though. Any idea what logs I should be looking at. I am running Ubuntu with litespeed server.

          2. Server settings are not my expertise either. Usually I contact my host and they figure out the issues. You will need to turn on the error logs on your server and you check to see if your server allows Mail() php function. Another thing to try is to migrate your site to a development environment with a different host to see if the issue still happens.

  26. So thank you for featuring a post about this problem. It’s affecting one of our webpages. However, your color schemata doesn’t seem to apply to us. We get a RED message, which according to you means that the form is not sending and is caused by your server not sending the email. However, in our case, the form IS sending. We’ve confirmed this multiple times. But each time a person fills out the form and clicks subscribe, that error message appears.

    So what else is there to do? I’ve tried emptying the cache, updating the plugin, etc….

    1. What are you using for the user to subscribe? If you are using a third party plugin that could be causing the issue. Also, try deactivating all plugins except for the form plugins and then testing out the form.

      Honestly, I just move away from free plugins especially when it comes to important things like forms. Try using one of the pro forms recommended above.

  27. Hey Ryan,

    I have had a look through this and still having issues. I am getting the yellow error message of: There was an error trying to send your message. Please try again later. I’m not sure if this is a problem within wordpress as a whole or our site.

    Thank you.

    1. Did you try deactivating all plugins except for the forms to see if that worked? It could be a plugin conflict. I noticed console errors when I took a look at your site.

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