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No matter what format your course is in -- hybrid, online, or F2F -- your instructor may ask you to:

  • Send an email to the teacher or a fellow student.
  • Attach a file to an email before sending it.
  • Upload and download files.
  • Take quizzes or exams online or on campus
  • Participate in an online threaded discussion list.
  • Meet in a chat room for online class discussions.
  • Listen to a recording and watch a video.
  • Write blog/journal entries and write in a wiki.
  • Participate in online group activities.
  • Use a clicker.

Need some help with basic computer skills? Check out these free tutorials.

Is your browser ready for Blackboard?

If you pass all checks listed in this browser check, you should be able to use the main features of Blackboard. 

What kind of computer do you need?

  • Hardware:
    • At least 512 MB of RAM -- 2 GB is recommended
    • At least 5 GB of free hard disk space -- 20 GB is recommended
  • Connection to the Internet:
    • A broadband connection, such as Comcast, Verizon FiOS or DSL, is preferred. Hi-speed Internet connections are recommended for viewing multimedia, working with virtual labs or exercises and taking tests/quizzes since dial-up connections may not be as reliable.
    • Campus lab computers are equipped with very fast connections so you may prefer to do some tasks there if your home connection is not fast enough.
    • Wi-fi is generally okay for most Blackboard activities, but a wired connection is strongly recommended for taking tests.
    • Check your internet speed settings using the speed test on this website.

What kind of web browser do you need?

Blackboard supports five primary browsers for Learn releases. However, certain versions and operating systems work better. To learn more about Blackboard's general browser support policy as well as information about Javascript, Cookies, and other software, see the Browser Support Policy topic

BrowserSupported Desktop* Browser Versions
Internet Explorer9+ (Windows only)
Safari6+ (MacOS only)

* Mobile app versions of these browsers aren't supported at this time, although users may have success using them.

** Google Chrome versions 42+ and Microsoft Edge do not support NPAPI-type plug-ins including Java plug-ins and many media browser plug-ins. Blackboard doesn't support these browsers for use with the Virtual Classroom and Lightweight Chat tools, the multiple-file upload interface, or embedded media that require NPAPI plug-ins for viewing.

Tested Devices and Operating Systems

A variety of devices and operating systems were used to test the supported browsers. Support is not limited to these specific operating systems. The desktop browser versions above are supported regardless of the particular device or operating system on which they run.

Operating Systems used in testingWindows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, MacOS 10.8, MacOS 10.9, MacOS 10.10, Chrome OS
ChromeOS tested deviceChromebook (Chrome browser; features requiring NPAPI plug-ins are not supported)

NOTE: Due to Chrome and Firefox's rapid development strategy, Blackboard has conducted testing using the version Stable Channel of Chrome and the Final Release Channel of Firefox that were available during testing of new Bb releases; they resolve cannot guarantee the compatibility of future versions.

  • TIP: Having multiple browsers already installed allows you to quickly switch to a different browser when you have a browser related issue. If you are having problems in one browser and not another, then you know there is something going on with the program or its settings. If you are having the same problem in multiple browsers, then you’ll know that it is either a system issue or something related to Blackboard.

Java & Other Plugins

A handful of features in Blackboard Learn require particular additional software to be installed. Without these, the features themselves do not function. Java Realtime Environment (JRE) versions 7 and 8 are the recommended versions for features that depend on it. JRE version 6 may work, but could result in unexpected behavior. Oracle has acknowledged some security issues with JRE version 6. You can download Java at When prompted, you should always answer "Yes" or always allow an exception to Java for Blackboard and associated products such as Blackboard Learn, Blackboard Collaborate, etc.

If your instructor users the original Blackboard Collaborate (original) for web conferencing, you will need to download and install the Blackboard Collaborate Launcher application, but does not require the Java JRE browser plugin.

Flash may be required by some multimedia and publisher platforms. If you access the new Ultra Experience Blackboard Collaborate with Firefox or Safari, it will use Flash for audio and video.