Saturday, March 19, 2016

IRCTC Captcha Solution

Bypass IRCTC Captcha?

normal irctc login captcha
Captcha image given by irctc website on the login page, specially during tatkal timings is getting smaller and difficult to read. As a result users are not able to login promptly and those precious seconds are lost which enable one to book tatkal tickets successfully. Usually a tatkal ticket booked under 20 seconds stands a good chance to success.

What is Captcha?

CAPTCHA stands for "Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart". It is one of the best methods to stop people using the official website unfairly. Agents started using computer programs which allegedly booked hundreds of tickets within seconds of tatkal opening time. Finally irctc website decided to implement this method, so that such agents don't get the extra edge over common people.

Why IRCTC Captcha?

Though captcha image used in the railway website very clear and simple, it has been observed that character L in small, I in capital, and certain other characters when presented in waved and line crossed format are pretty hard to configure. For example this captcha to the right is quite difficult to comprehend.
Captcha during tatkal booking
Given the fact that seconds matter for tatkal booking, one error in captcha and your chances for getting a tatkal ticket for the next day gets messed up. IRCTC has started this trend of using typical captcha images to slow down net traffic and allow normal window reservations to succeed.

How to bypass?

  • The best way to overcome this delay is to login at least 15 minutes before the scheduled tatkal opening time to overcome login failures due to captcha images. At this time the images are simple and one has plenty of time to try and retry.
  • Do not install any plugin in firefox or chrome which claim to bypass this system. Such plugins/softwares take more time than the manual entry, resulting in more delay. Besides these have potential to steal your private data or credit card information.
  • The second captcha challenge that appears at the 'Passenger Information page' is the most critical, because other information can be auto filled(refer to my post on how to book tatkal ticket in seconds) but not this captcha. Any error here will surely minimize the chances for a confirmed tatkal ticket. Enter this captcha manually. Don't try any plugin or software because the chances are that the plugin/software will take more time to process the image than the human mind.

Solution to fill IRCTC captcha without any error

 The error in captcha entry happens because the captcha image is usually very small.
  • The trick is to zoom the web page to 200% or more depending on the PC screen size. The will make the image bigger and readable. To zoom a web page in google chrome browser, do the following:
Find the "Zoom" section in the menu and choose one of the following options:
  1. Click to make everything on the page larger. You can also use the keyboard shortcuts Ctrl and + (Windows, Linux, and Chrome OS) and ⌘ and + (Mac).
  2. Click to make everything smaller. repeat the same procedure accordingly or use shortcuts Ctrl and - (Windows, Linux, and Chrome OS) and ⌘ and - (Mac).
  • In firefox browser to zoom in and zoom out a web page, use the following shortcut key:
Keyboard shortcut:
  1. To zoom in, increasing the size, press and hold commandCtrl while pressing +.
  2. To zoom out, decreasing the size, press and hold commandCtrl while pressing -.
  3. To reset size back to normal, press and hold commandCtrl while pressing 0.
Captcha image after zoom in 200%
The difference is clearly visible in this screen shot to the right. After you enter the image text correctly in the text field, return back to normal screen size using the methods described above.
  • REFRESH CAPTCHA: If you arrive at the passenger details page too quickly, chances are that captcha shows an error, it is better to refresh the captcha image by clicking this icon
  • WAIT FEW SECONDS: It is always better to wait and let the captcha load, then enter it carefully. There is no use waisting 20-30 seconds by entering the wrong text and doing the same process again.
  • CAPTCHA LENGTH: The complexity and length of the captcha image increases with number of times you arrive at the page in the same login session. So it is better to keep it simple by arriving the passenger details page for the first time during one login session.
  • TIMING and PRACTICE: There is no alternate to good timing and practice. Keep in mind that early login(10-15 minutes before the scheduled tatkal opening time) is ideal. Besides your agility and typing speed matters. Keep all the information at hand like passenger details, aadhaar card number or pnr number, age of the passngers and correct spelling of names. Using firefox such entries can be made using autofill feature.
All the best.


  1. Thanks, most of time and many time I get the wrong captch error. Now will try your tips.

  2. The problem I keep running into is the request for an Indian mobile phone #. I don't have one as I am a US resident and citizen. any suggestions?

  3. The problem I run into is the request for an Indian mobile number. I don't have one as I am a US citizen and resident. I can't get past that page. any suggestions? Thanks.


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