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Configuring Your Computer for Optimal Use with Blackboard

Completing the following steps will insure that you have an optimal experience using Blackboard and all its features. Please do not hesitate to call our helpdesk if you have any questions or problems with this process at 254-968-1960 or Toll-Free 1-866-744-8900 - Option 3. If necessary, our staff can remote into your computer and assist you with the process.

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Step 1 - Make Sure You're Using a Supported Operating System

Blackboard supports the most common operating systems:

  • PC: Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows XP, Windows Vista,
  • Mac: Mac OS 10.6 "Snow Leopard", Mac OS 10.7 "Lion", Mac OS 10.8 "Mountain Lion"
Step 2 - Make Sure You're Using a Supported Web Browser

The Web browser that you use is very important! Below are the supported browsers and versions for Blackboard.

  • Certified: Fully supported technology with highest level of testing before release.
  • Compatible: Fully supported technology with minimal level of testing before release.
  • Unsupported: Unsupported technology because it is either impossible or not tested.

Windows operating systems:

Internet Explorer 8 Internet Explorer 9

Internet Explorer 10

Firefox ESR

Firefox (Final Release)

Google Chrome

Windows XP (32-bit)

Compatible Unsupported Unsupported Certified Compatible Compatible

Windows Vista (32-bit)

Compatible Certified Unsupported Certified Certified Compatible

Windows Vista (64-bit)

Compatible Compatible Unsupported Certified Compatible Compatible

Windows 7 (32-bit)

Compatible Certified Certified Certified Certified Certified

Windows 7 (64-bit)

Compatible Certified Certified Certified Certified Certified

Windows 8 (32-bit)

Unsupported Unsupported Compatible Certified Certified Certified

Windows 8 (64-bit)

Unsupported Unsupported Certified Certified Certified Certified

Mac operating systems:

Safari 4.0

Safari 5.0

Safari 5.1

Safari 6.0.1

Safari 6.0.3

Firefox ESR

Firefox (Final Release)

Google Chrome

Mac OSX 10.6 "Snow Leopard" 

Compatible Certified Certified Unsupported Unsupported Certified Certified Certified

Mac OSX 10.7 "Lion"

Unsupported Unsupported Certified Certified (10.7.5) Certified Certified Certified Certified

Mac OSX 10.8 "Mountain Lion"

Unsupported Unsupported Certified Certified (10.8.2) Certified (10.8.3) Certified Certified Certified

Technologies Not Supported

The following technologies are not supported in SP 10:

  • Internet Explorer 6, 7
  • Firefox 1.x, 2.0, 3.0, 3.5, and 3.6
  • Safari 2.0, 3.x and any version on Windows
  • Windows XP 64-bit
  • Mac OSX 10.3, 10.4, 10.5
  • Java 5, although it may continue to work

Download a compatible browser:

Also note: If using America On Line (AOL) as your Internet service provider, minimize AOL and use a supported browser.

Make sure that cookies from third parties are allowed.

Third party cookies are allowed by default on all supported browsers.  If you experience problems staying logged in to Vista/CE please check your browser settings to make sure you allow third party cookies. View documentation for your web browser: Firefox, Internet Explorer , Safari, Chrome

Make sure that JavaScript is enabled in the browser

JavaScript is enabled by default on all supported browsers.  However, if you encounter problems with Blackboard please check your browser settings to make sure that JavaScript is enabled. View documentation for your web browser: Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, Chrome

Step 3 - Check to See that Java is Installed. If not, Install the Latest Supported Version of Java.

While using Blackboard, some tools, such as Chat, Collaborate, Assessments, and SCORM® modules may not function without Java. 

Check to See that Java is Installed

  1. For PCs Users, Click on "Start", then "Control Panel"
  2. Double click on the "Add & Remove Programs " icon
  3. Wait for the list to populate and look for Java.
  4. If you do not see Java in your Add & Remove programs, then you must install Java.

Installing Java

  1. Download Java
  2. Click on Free Java Download
  3. If using Internet Explorer, Click "Run" and then "Run" again. If using Firefox click Save As.
  4. Run the Java setup.
  5. Click "Next" (it may ask you to click "Next" again and if so click next)
  6. Click "Finish"
  7. After the installation it may ask you to reboot your computer so that the changes will take effect. Click "Yes".
  8. After your computer restarts you should now be ready to log into Blackboard with Java successful installed.

Make Sure You'll Be Able to Add Attachments and Upload Files into Blackboard

To make Blackboard run properly on your computer, you must download the latest version of Java.

If you think you may be experiencing problems with Java, it may be because you have more than one Java version installed. Check and see which version of Java you have by following steps 1 through 4 below.

  1. Click on "Start", then "Control Panel"
  2. Double click on the "Add & Remove Programs " icon
  3. Wait for the list to populate and look for Java.
  4. If your screen looks similar to this:

    Java

    Then you should uninstall all older versions of Java.

If you do not see Java in your Add & Remove programs then you must install Java.

If you are at a computer that requires you to have "Administrator Rights" and you do not have these rights, you can contact your network or lab manager and request that your Java be made compatible with Blackboard.

Step 4 - Disable Pop-Up Ad Blocker Programs (or allow pop-ups from the Blackboard site)

While using Blackboard, if you are unable to view discussion postings, quiz windows, and download links, then you may need to disable pop-up blocking for our web site. View documentation for your web browser:  Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, Chrome

You have the option to disable any pop-up ad blocker programs installed on your system. Pop-up blocker applications work in the background while you browse the Internet. When they detect a pop-up window that may be an unwanted advertisement, they automatically close the window. This functionality will prevent you from seeing and/or downloading files in Blackboard.

Pop-up blockers may be installed as part of a browser toolbar, as part of your browser, as part of your virus protection software or even as a separate program.

Examples of programs that may include pop-up blockers include the following (you may want to click a link below to determine how to disable pop-up blockers on your system):

If you are unable to determine how to disable pop-up blockers on your system, please contact support.citde@tarleton.edu.

Step 5 - (Optional) Uninstall Browser Toolbars (e.g. Yahoo, Google, America On Line, Bing)

Although the browser toolbars are useful tools for searching the Internet, you should uninstall these for Blackboard to work optimally. Open your browser. Your toolbar (if you have one) will be immediately under the line on your browser where you can type in a web address.

Google toolbar

To uninstall browser toolbars:

  1. Click your computer's Start button.
  2. Click Control Panel. (You may need to click Settings first, and then Control Panel.)
  3. Double click Add/Remove Programs.
  4. Click the appropriate toolbar and click Remove.
Step 6 - (Optional) Install Plug-ins for Blackboard

Some Blackboard courses use browser plug-ins to run certain types of multimedia (e.g. streaming video). To view portions of these courses, you may need one or more of the plug-ins. The most utilized plug-in for media viewing is Windows Media Player. You may download all of the following, or just come back to this page if/when you need them:

Step 7 - Run This Quick Test to Make Sure You've Successfully Completed The Steps and are Good to Go!

As a final step, Run A Browser Check, and look to see that you get all 'green checks', as shown below:

New Browser Check

If you are still getting a red 'X' for any of the categories, give us a call at 254-968-1960 or Toll-Free 1-866-744-8900 - Option 3 or e-mail support.citde@tarleton.edu with your contact info.