When a website is protected by Cloudflare, there are several occasions when it will challenge visitor traffic:
- The visitor’s IP address has shown suspicious behavior online (as tracked by Project Honeypot).
- The website owner has blocked the country associated with the visitor’s IP address.
- The visitor’s actions have activated a firewall rule enabled by the website owner.
If the visitor passes the challenge, their request is allowed. If they fail, the request will be blocked.
Managed challenge (recommended)
Managed challenges are where Cloudflare dynamically chooses the appropriate type of challenge based on the characteristics of a request. This helps avoid CAPTCHAs, which also reduces the lifetimes of human time spent solving CAPTCHAs across the Internet.
Unless there are specific compatibility issues or other reasons to use other types of challenges, you should use managed challenges for your various firewall rules.
Depending on the characteristics of a request, Cloudflare will choose an appropriate type of challenge, which may include but is not limited to:
- A non-interactive challenge page (similar to the current JS Challenge).
- A custom interactive challenge (such as click a button).
- Private Access Tokens (using recent Apple operating systems).
Currently, Managed Challenge actions are available in the following security products:
- IP Access Rules
- User Agent Blocking
- Rate Limiting (previous version)
- Custom rules
- WAF Managed Rules
- Rate limiting rules
- Bot Fight Mode: You may also see Security Events with an Action taken of Managed Challenge due to Cloudflare bot products.
- Firewall rules
- HTTP DDoS Attack Protection
Interactive challenges require a visitor to interact with the challenge page, presenting the visitor with an interactive challenge to solve. Cloudflare does not recommend using Interactive Challenges.
For more on why Cloudflare does not recommend using Interactive Challenge, in favor of Managed Challenge, refer to our blog.
When your application sends a challenge, your visitors either receive a non-interactive or an interactive challenge page.
Challenges are not supported by Microsoft Internet Explorer. If you are currently using Internet Explorer, try using another major web browser (Chrome, Safari, Firefox).
If you are already using a major web browser, make sure it is using the latest version.
If your visitors are using an up-to-date version of a major browser — such as Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Microsoft Edge, Chrome and Safari on mobile — they will receive the challenge correctly.
Challenges are not supported by Microsoft Internet Explorer.
If your visitors encounter issues using a major browser besides Internet Explorer, they should upgrade their browser.
Resolve a challenge
If a visitor encounters a challenge, Cloudflare employees cannot remove that challenge. Only the website owner can configure their Cloudflare settings to stop the challenge being presented.
When observing a Cloudflare Challenge page, a visitor could:
- Request the website owner to allow their IP address.
- Scan their computer for malicious programs (it may be infected).
- Check their antivirus or firewall service to make sure it is not blocking access to the challenge resources (for example, images).