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

contact-form7

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.

 

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

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.

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

Get Beaver Builder Now!

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

 

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 the plugin, 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?

Try Gravity Forms

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 suggest giving Gravity Forms a try.

Help

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

Ryan Cameron

Hi, I’m Ryan Cameron, a certified expert WordPress developer, SEO specialist, web designer and digital marketer. I help businesses create a website that gets found on Google and generates leads and sales.

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31 Comments

  1. Anil Jadhav on December 18, 2019 at 4:58 am

    Realy helpfull Thank you

    • Ryan Cameron on February 15, 2020 at 3:21 pm

      Thank you 🙂 Please let me know if there are any other topics you would like covered.

  2. Atif on January 21, 2020 at 8:01 am

    Hi, This error is still coming. I have installed litespeed cache. But still error is coming.

    • Ryan Cameron on February 15, 2020 at 3:20 pm

      Try deactivating all plugins and see if the issue still persists. Did you validate your forms?

  3. Rakesh Patel on February 17, 2020 at 4:16 pm

    Not working contacts form 7

  4. Brandon Chase on February 27, 2020 at 7:47 pm

    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?

    • Ryan Cameron on April 16, 2020 at 12:33 pm

      What is not working exactly? Will the form send but you never get the email? Or do you get a red or orange error when you press submit?

  5. Tania on April 22, 2020 at 5:35 am

    In my case contact form not working

    • Ryan Cameron on April 22, 2020 at 2:07 pm

      Is your form validated? Please give me more details so I can help.

  6. Dimitris on May 3, 2020 at 8:46 am

    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…

    • Ryan Cameron on May 4, 2020 at 1:04 pm

      Hi Dimitris,
      Please send me your login details to my contact form and I will take a look at your site for you.

      • Dimitris Gavalas on May 7, 2020 at 12:43 pm

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

  7. Allison Colwell on May 7, 2020 at 1:04 am

    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.

    • Ryan Cameron on May 7, 2020 at 12:44 pm

      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.

      • Allison Colwell on May 7, 2020 at 7:40 pm

        Thanks, Ryan! I just emailed you through your contact form.

  8. nicole on May 7, 2020 at 4:46 am

    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!

    • Ryan Cameron on May 7, 2020 at 12:45 pm

      Ok, no problem. Please post a reply if it does not work. Thanks

      • nicole on May 7, 2020 at 5:14 pm

        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.

        • Ryan Cameron on May 9, 2020 at 7:21 pm

          Happy to hear, Nicole. Thanks for the follow up 🙂

  9. Gopal on May 8, 2020 at 11:32 am

    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.

    • Ryan Cameron on May 9, 2020 at 7:21 pm

      Hi Gopal, I just updated the article to include the red border error, please let me know if this works for you.

      • Gopal on May 12, 2020 at 1:15 pm

        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 (https://www.auditgenius.net/contact/) 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

        • Ryan Cameron on May 27, 2020 at 12:48 pm

          When you tried really simple captcha, did you use captcha v2? I tried looking at your site but it does not load.

  10. Helmut on May 9, 2020 at 8:38 am

    Hi Ryan,

    no chance on my website: https://www.naturfotografie-kruse.de/fotoworkshops/fotoworkshop-kreative-pflanzenfotografie/

    I deactivated the cache plungins (autooptimze and WP fastetst cache, and installed reCaptcha V2, but still get an red-boxed error massage

    • Ryan Cameron on May 9, 2020 at 7:22 pm

      Hi Helmut, I just updated the article to include the red border error. Let me know if this works for you.

  11. Helmutt on May 10, 2020 at 8:35 am

    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….

  12. Martin on May 11, 2020 at 2:42 pm

    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! 🙁

    • Martin on May 11, 2020 at 5:15 pm

      Hi Ryan,

      I solved the issue by changing the code of mail.php.
      wordpress_src/plugins/contact-form-7/includes/mail.php

      L134
      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.

  13. Helmut on May 27, 2020 at 3:33 pm

    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

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