Troubleshooting Lockdown Browser

If you experience problems with the Lockdown browser, the following tips may help to correct the problem.

Topic What’s Covered
Problems Downloading and Installing the Lockdown Browser Steps for troubleshooting issues with downloading and/or installing the Lockdown Browser
Using Lockdown Browser on a Wireless Connection The Lockdown Browser is not designed to be used on a Wireless Connection and can run into issues as a result
Permissions Errors in Lockdown Browser How to adjust your permissions settings in order to run Lockdown Browser
Link is Blocked Error Instructions on how to resolve Link Blocked errors
Lockdown Browser and Other Programs What to do when other programs conflict with Lockdown Browser
Lockdown Browser and Pop-Ups Troubleshooting issues with Pop-ups and Lockdown Browser
Lockdown Browser Stops Responding What to do when Lockdown Browser stops responding
Lockdown Browser Updates Update notifications in Lockdown Browser
Important Note:

Only use Respondus Lockdown Browser for testing purposes.
If you attempt to use the browser to access additional course content, like lecture notes or worksheets, it may cause the program to encounter a problem and freeze or close. This usually occurs when the content you are attempting to access is a Word, PowerPoint or Adobe Acrobat related file. The browser cannot open the external program needed to run these files because of the browser’s restricted nature and it creates an internal error with the software. If you need to view these files, please use a regular browser like Mozilla Firefox.

Problems Downloading and Installing the Lockdown Browser

If you are having problems installing LockDown Browser on a Windows system, we recommend the following additional steps:

  1. Directly log into a system as a local administrator with full rights. Do not use “Switch User” or a “Remote Access” connection.
    Important Note:

    Logging is as a non-administrator and then using “Run as Administrator” may not set the correct permissions.

  2. Temporarily disable all security software. Contact the IT Services Help Desk for additional assistance in disabling your security software.
  3. Download Respondus LockDown Browser. Do not “Google” for a link because these are campus specific.
  4. When you start running the installer and get to the large button “LockDown Browser Click to install”, instead click the link “Problems with the installation program? Click here”. You will be presented with an option to extract the files to a location of your choosing.
  5. Go to the folder you extracted the files and run “setup.exe”.
  6. Start the Lockdown Browser to verify installation and then quit the Lockdown Browser.
  7. Re-enable any security software.

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Using Lockdown Browser on a Wireless Connection

We strongly recommend using an Ethernet (wired) Internet connection with a speed of at least 512 Kbps or higher while taking your exam in Lockdown Browser. If you use a wireless, UBS modem, laptop connect card, or mobile hotspot connection during an exam, you are more likely to run into problems due to dropped/interrupted connections to the Blackboard server. This is because the Blackboard server is more bandwidth intensive (especially during exams) than normal Internet surfing.

If you lose your Internet connection during the exam, it will lock up the browser and not allow you to save answers, move on to other questions, submit or exit the exam. Ethernet connections are the most stable connection to the Blackboard servers. If you have a router, plugging directly into it when taking exams will reduce the chances of connection interruptions.
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Permissions Errors in Lockdown Browser

If you are getting an error when you attempt to open the Lockdown Browser that says “You may not have the appropriate permissions to access the item”, it may be an issue with the permissions on your system or antivirus software.

We recommend completely uninstalling the software and doing a new installation while directly logged into the system as a local administrator with full rights (see instructions above for full details).
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Link is Blocked Error

This occurs when there is a second level link being accessed from a primary level link. However, link blocking usually does not occur until the student enters a quiz and starts accessing links within a quiz. Usually, this comes from configuration issues with the underlying Internet Explorer browser components.

To resolve this issue, please try the following:

  • Start Internet Explorer and first go to Tools.
  • From the Tools menu, select Internet Options.
  • Inside the Internet Options dialog box under the General select Browsing History.
  • Hit Delete to clear the browser cache and related areas.
  • Finally, if you are running any third-party toolbars or add-ons, remove them from Internet Explorer.

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Lockdown Browser and Other Programs

The Lockdown Browser is programmed to detect when conflicting programs are still running and will request that you close these programs. Some programs like the Dell Dock and Google Toolbar run as a background process on your computer and will have to be shutdown before you can proceed in the Lockdown Browser. You can usually turn these programs off through the task tray or, in the case of the Dell Dock, by right clicking on the application and clicking Exit.

In some rare instances, these programs running in the background can cause the Lockdown Browser to lock up or stop responding. Programs that use Java or the Internet such iTunes and other media managers, file sharing agents like Bittorent, and instant messenger applications have a higher risk of causing the Lockdown Browser to lock up. It is best to close every program on your computer before starting the Lockdown Browser.
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Lockdown Browser and Pop-Ups

If the Lockdown Browser stops responding before you start an exam or if you see a blank page that fills the computer screen, this could be due to security windows that have popped up behind the Lockdown browser. If you have not started the exam, close the browser and address the security pop-up windows. You should be able to reopen the browser without issue. However, if you have started the exam, the only known workaround is to restart your computer and address the pop-up windows before beginning the exam.
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Lockdown Browser Stops Responding

If you lose your Internet connection while taking an exam or if you have outdated and/or multiple Java installations, the Lockdown Browser and your computer may stop responding or freeze. Currently, the only way to resolve this issue is to do a hard shutdown (i.e. unplugging all power from the computer including power cables and/or batteries if you are using a laptop). If you are missing your Start Menu, Task Bar or are unable to access the Task Manager after doing a hard reboot, you can restore these applications by restarting the Lockdown Browser and exiting the software properly.

Depending on your system, this could take several minutes and will cause you to lose time on the exam. In most cases, as long as the time has not expired, it should let you back into the exam. As soon as you have completed the exam, immediately e-mail your instructor to let them know what happened.
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Lockdown Browser Updates

Occasionally, Respondus will release a new version of the Lockdown Browser. When a new version of Lockdown Browser becomes available, the system will prompt you to update your installation of the software.

Lockdown Browser update window

Whenever you update your Lockdown Browser, you may also want to do the following:

  1. Make sure your system is up-to-date by installing all necessary system updates. You will also want to make sure you have the latest version of Internet Explorer for Windows users and Safari for Mac users.
  2. Make sure you only have one version of the most recent Java installed on your system.
  3. Important Note:

    Macintosh users should be aware that Apple supplies their own version of Java for all operating systems prior to OS X 10.7 Lion. For Macintosh operating systems prior to Lion, use the Software Update feature (available through the Apple menu) to check for Java updates. For more information about Java for Mac, please visit our Java support page.

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