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If you cannot hear or say anything, run the audio set-up wizard again. If your speakers and microphone are set up properly, adjust your speaker and microphone volume in My Settings.

If your audio is not resolved, 

  1. Check your browser settings to make sure it has permission to use audio and video to participate in a session. Select the appropriate link for your browser:
  2. Check the permissions for your operating system.
  3. Check to see that the correct speakers are selected for your OS.
    • Mac go to Apple → System Preferences → Sound.
    • Windows go to Control Panel → Hardware and Sound → Sound or search for Sound and select Sound from the Control Panel in the search menu.

  4. Make sure the microphone is located appropriately.
    • Placing the microphone directly under your nose will result in breathing being heard by session participants.
    • Placing the microphone too far away from your mouth will result in low audio and the possibility of environmental noise being captured.

  5. Make sure that you are using a supported web browser and that it is up to date. 
    • Try clearing web browser cache and restarting the session.
    • Close out of your web browser and reopen it.
    • If it is still not working, try a different supported web browser. 

  6. Check for sustained high CPU usage which is an indicator that your computer is working too hard.  High CPU usage for our intents and purposes is defined as sustained CPU usage of 90% - 100%, meaning the CPU Usage doesn't often fall below that level or frequently returns to that level. High CPU usage is most commonly seen when using an older computer or when too many programs are running.
    • On Windows open the Task Manager (ctrl+alt+delete → Task Manager).  Total CPU usage is shown at the bottom of the Task Manager screen.
    • On a Mac, open the Activity Monitor (Go → Utilities → Activity Monitor).  Total CPU usage is shown at the bottom of the Activity Monitor screen.
    • Shut down any unnecessary programs that are running on the computer before starting your Collaborate Ultra session. As a general rule, if you don't plan on sharing an application, close it!

  7. Reboot your computer.

If these steps have been taken and there are still issues, it might be time to evaluate your network connection.

Related Article

If you think the issue is Collaborate or you’ve been repeatedly disconnected from Collaborate, you can submit an issue to Blackboard.


  1. Open the Settings panel
  2. Click Report an issue
  3. Check the boxes that correspond to your issue.
  4. Describe your issue in the box provided 
  5. Click SUBMIT

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Known Issue with Chromebooks & iOS Devices

Some users on older or underpowered ChromeBooks and iOS devices (iPads and iPhones) may experience audio breaking up in their live Blackboard Collaborate Ultra session due to hardware configuration and CPU capabilities.  

Affected Platforms

While we do not have a complete list, the issue seems to be related to older or underpowered ChromeBook and iOS devices. However, older or underpowered Windows machines may also be effected.

Examples: the Apple iPhone 6 or a ChromeBook with an Intel Celeron N4020 processor.

Workarounds and Best Practices

Since the audio breaking up is generally a result of high CPU usage on the device or computer we recommend the following measures be taken if at all possible:

  • Be sure any unused applications on your computer or device are closed before starting your Collaborate Ultra session
  • When in the Collaborate session, try not to open the Collaborate Panel located on the right side of your session. If you must open the Collaborate Panel to utilize the Chat feature, do NOT open the Participant tab.
  • Do not turn on your web camera unless it is necessary. 
  • Instructor's with students having issue should upload Powerpoint slides to Collaborate and try to avoid using Application Sharing unless it is necessary.

While the most immediate advice is to follow the practices listed above, Blackboard is working on potential optimizations of Collaborate's use of CPU so that low performance devices can have a better experience.