Software & Hardware Recommendations

Keep your computer operating system and applications up to date.
Set your computer to check and run all software and system updates regularly.
     Mobile devices use different apps.  Go to where you get your apps to see what is available, including Bb Mobile apps and our Stanislaus State Mobile App.
     Mobile devices do not have full Blackboard functionality.
Install and update a virus protection program on your computer (see Plugins, Readers, & Software).
Some updates require a restart.

  • Use a browser supported by Blackboard.  If you encounter issues with one browser, use a different one.   We recommend using Firefox.  
  • Even if other browsers can connect to Bb, they may not provide full functionality or they have not been tested and are not recommended.

For dial-up AOL and other Internet Service Provider (ISP) Proprietary Browser users:
These browsers are NOT compatible with Blackboard. 
If you use dial-up service, follow these steps.

  1. Log in as you normally do.
  2. Minimize their browser to remain connected to the Internet.
  3. Launch a recommended web browser.
  4. Log into Stan State Blackboard.

You may need to return to your dial-up AOL/ISP browser occasionally to keep that connection active.
Warning: Switching browsers during a test/quiz may lock you out. We recommend you find a different location to take tests.

For best results with Blackboard, use a wired, high-speed Internet connection and a recommended browser.

Differences in browsers, operating systems, system settings, applications, utilities, plug-ins, and personal settings can alter your computer's performance
Be prepared to use an alternate computer, browser, or location when you encounter issues.

We cannot provide guarantees because applications continue to change and individual computer set-ups and Internet Service Providers affect performance.

If you experience technical difficulties, contact the OIT Help Desk, 667-3687.

Avoid taking tests using a wireless (WiFi) connection or a mobile device.

Pop-Up Blockers

Turn off all browser popup blockers or set them to allow before logging into Blackboard, especially for test taking.
If you have turned off or set exclusions for your popup blockers and continue to have problems, contact the OIT Help Desk, L-150, 667-3687.

JavaScript and Cookies

  • Javascript and Cookies must be set to enabled or true. Java must be enabled.
  • When you see the window with a Trust, Run, or Accept button, click it.
  • If you see a check box for Always Accept, click it.

Browser Plug-ins and Related Applications

Some courses may require plug-ins for your Web Browser. 
Use automatic updates for these and other applications.

Free downloads

Mac users, visit the App Store for free and inexpensive video players, converters, editors, and other useful applications.

Contact the OIT Help Desk, L-150, 667-3687, for technical assistance.

Applications, Programs, Software

Most courses will require an office suite such as Microsoft Office® (for a fee) or OpenOffice (open source, free, see Plugins, Readers & Software).
Apple Pages, Numbers, and Keynote will open and export cleanly to MS Office file formats (Word, Excel, PowerPoint).

See your Instructor's information for specific requirements for your class.

Some software is freeware or open source; other software can be purchased as shareware or from commercial vendors.
Please honor the software creator's licensing.

You can use Google Docs to create and share documents from a computer or mobile device with web access.
NOTE:  Exporting to MS formats may not work for TurnItIn assignments.  Use Rich Text Format.

Computer Requirements for Blackboard

Keep your operating system and software up to date.
Install and regularly update a virus protection application. See Plugins, Readers, & Software.
You may encounter slowness or lack of response with software and operating systems more than 3 year old.

Mobile devices (tablets and phones) and Chromebooks do not support all Blackboard features. Use a Mac or Windows computer for full functionality.

Minimum Hardware Requirements

  • 2 GHz CPU or greater
  • 2 GB RAM (4 GB recommended)
  • 20 GB free disk space
  • Network connection - DSL or Broadband (4 Mbps)
    - Dial-up connections supported but not recommended
    - Satellite connections will work, but you may encounter a latency (delay) in your activities that could cause test and other issues
    - WiFi NOT recommended for tests

Optional:  External or cloud storage drive(s), optical drive (CD/DVD), speakers, headset, printer. 
See individual course requirements to determine specific needs.

Tested Operating Systems

  • Windows - 7, 8, 10
  • Mac OS X - 10.8, 10.9, 10.10, 10.11
  • ChromeOS - features requiring NPAPI plug-ins are not supported

Linux: not tested nor supported

Note:  JAVA Runtime Environment (JRE) is needed for some Blackboard features.
   JRE 7 and 8 recommeded. JRE 6 may work but could result in unexpected behavior. Oracle acknowledged some security issues with JRE 6.


  • The AOL browser is not compatible with Blackboard. Use your dial-up AOL browser to connect to the Internet and use a recommended browser to enter Blackboard.
  • Dial-up modems may be used, but connection speeds will result in slow page loading, choppy audio and video playback, and lengthy uploading and downloading times for files.
  • Blackboard, Inc., tested JAWS 10 and 11 for Windows to meet accessibility requirements.
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