Blackboard Technical Requirements

Steps to Preparing Your Computer for Blackboard

group of students with computers

To ensure your computer runs properly in Blackboard on either PC or MAC, take the following steps for preparation.   NOTE:  Your computer may operate fine without preparation; however, the following is provided for optimal performance.

Before you begin:  It’s a good idea to write down your operating system, browser, and Java (JRE) information and keep it handy for future reference.  If you have a technical issue later and need to call the Help Desk, providing this information to them will help them resolve your issues more efficiently.

Step 1. Ensure your operating system, web browser, and the Blackboard system are compatible: If not, issues may arise with items displaying improperly or not appearing at all. In this first step, you will need to find out what you have, what you need, and how to get what you need. Use the certified or compatible versions recommended by Blackboard because the recommended versions may not be the latest version.

To find out:
• if your browser is supported:  
• how to download a Browser: 
    Mozilla Firefox
    Internet Explorer 
    Google Chrome

Important note about operating systems: Although you can change the operating system on your computer, it is not advisable. If the operating system you are using is not certified or compatible, consider using an alternate machine with a certified or compatible operating system. For example, some features on Blackboard and other education technologies that use Java or other addons may not fully work with ChromeOS (found on Chromebook computers).

Step 2.  Ensure you are running the correct version of Java Runtime Environment (JRE): Go to to make sure you are running the latest version of Java. Some browsers may not automatically allow Java. Follow the steps below to:

Step 3. Allow pop-ups in your browser or turn off your pop-up blockers: Some tools such as quizzes in Blackboard utilize pop-ups, so you will need to be sure they aren’t getting blocked in your browser. Select the browser and/or toolbars you are using from the list below, and then click the link to follow the instructions for allowing pop-ups.


Browsers Toolbars


Step 4. Configure your cookies:  Cookies are used for user-related authentications (log-in) and sessions among other things. Please configure your web browser to allow cookies from IOL before logging in.

Select the browser you are using from the list below, and then click link to configure cookies.
• Internet Explorer:  How to Set and Customize Cookies Settings in Internet Explorer
• Mozilla Firefox:   Cookie permissions in Mozilla Firefox
• Google Chrome:   Adjust cookie permissions in Google Chrome
• Safari:   Adjust cookie permissions in Safari


Step 5. Install plug-ins:  Many Blackboard courses use browser plug-ins so you can view portions of websites or certain files such as .pdf.  Browsers will generally automatically download any plug-in required by a particular page, but you may want to download and install specific plug-ins to ensure you have them when you need them.

Click on the links below to download the plug in:
•  Adobe Reader - Displays PDF (.pdf) files.  
•  Adobe Flash - Plays Flash files (.flv, .swf)