University of Southern Indiana

Respondus Lockdown Browser


This page is to provide tips to faculty to help them prepare students for using Respondus Lockdown Browser and to help students troubleshoot problems they may encounter when using the lockdown browser.

Lockdown Browser errors are usually specific to a particular system setup, so there is no definitive list of what may cause a problem and what will not. As we encounter problems with Respondus Lockdown Browser, we will provide fixes and workarounds where possible, and error reports where workarounds cannot be found.

Tips for Instructors 

  1. Create a mock exam for Lockdown Browser

    Instructors are highly encouraged to provide a mock test using Lockdown Browser before every quiz/exam they plan on giving students using the Lockdown Browser.

    Problems students encounter using Lockdown Browser can, in many cases, be resolved by first taking a mock exam using the Lockdown Browser, working out any bugs using the mock exam, then taking the real exam. If you use any features in your test that require a plugin to work, namely Flash, you must include a question that requires the plugin in your mock exam. This will ensure that the student's machine is configured correctly to run the plugin in Lockdown Browser.

    Unfortunately, many of the problems users are encountering can be fixed once, then appear again after a restart of their computer, hence the need to provide a mock exam before each quiz/exam.

  2. Modifying the "Password" field in the Test Options in Bb when using the LockDown Browser

    If you use Respondus LockDown browser to deploy a locked-down test, do not make any modifications to the "Password" field in the Test Options area in Bb, even if you do not want a password on the quiz/exam. Unchecking the box or erasing/modifying the password will cause multiple problems when students try to take the test using the LockDown Browser, and you can potentially disable the LDB requirement on the exam, which would allow the student to take the exam in a non-locked-down environment.

Troubleshooting for Students 

  1. Launching the correct browser to take a quiz/exam in Lockdown Browser

    After you install Lockdown Browser, you must use the Lockdown Browser link on your Desktop to take a quiz/exam in Blackboard. If you launch Internet Explorer or Firefox as you would to normally access Blackboard, you will not be able to take the quiz/exam. If the icon you use does not say "Lockdown Browser", then you are using the wrong icon.

  2. Using a mock exam to eliminate bugs in Lockdown Browser

    If your instructor provides a mock exam using Lockdown Browser, we suggest you take the mock exam immediately before you take your actual exam using Lockdown Browser. After you have taken the mock exam, do no restart or make changes to your computer, as they may cause bugs to reappear during the actual exam.

  3. Lockdown Browser stops responding after you enter your Blackboard course, but before you start the test.

    Issue: Some windows that pop up due to security restrictions may appear behind the Lockdown Browser window for Blackboard. These pop-ups require the user to click through them before taking you to the next Blackboard page. When this occurs, the Lockdown Browser will just sit at a blank page waiting for you to click the security pop-up before proceeding. Because Lockdown Browser will not let you move or resize a window, you cannot get to the pop-up, resulting in an effective freeze of the browser.

    Workaround: Since you are not yet in the exam for the course, you can still close the Lockdown Browser. Closing the Lockdown Browser will allow the security pop-up to be seen, at which point you can click "OK". Relaunching the Lockdown Browser after clicking through the security pop-up will allow you to proceed to the exam without problem. This works only if you relaunch the Lockdown Browser immediately after you close the pop-up window. If you go to another website, restart your computer, or make any changes to your computer, you may encounter the problem again after restarting the Lockdown Browser.

  4. After launching an exam in Lockdown Browser, you just see a blank page that fills the entire screen.

    Issue: A pop-up requires attention, and is hidden behind a full screen Lockdown Browser window. Because you have already started the exam, Lockdown Browser will not allow you to close the program, resize, or move the window. Therefore, you cannot get to the pop-up window, and your computer is effectively locked.

    Workaround: There is no known workaround for this problem at the moment. We are working with Respondus to provide a workable solution. If this happens, you'll need to restart your computer by powering off the computer, then powering it back on.

  5. You lose your internet connection while taking an exam with Lockdown Browser

    Issue: If you lose your connection to the internet while taking a test using the Lockdown Browser, it will freeze the Lockdown Browser program.

    Workaround: There is no known workaround for this problem at the moment. If this happens, you'll need to restart your computer by powering off the computer, then powering it back on. Your instructor will have to reset your test in Blackboard before you will be able to take it again.

  6. The Lockdown Browser request you to close other programs

    Issue: Other programs running in the background can cause the Lockdown Browser to lock up.  Programs that use java or the internet have a higher risk.

    Workaround: Close every program on your computer before starting the Lockdown Browser.  Instant messaging, media managers like iTunes, file sharing, chat, internet and other java based programs should definitely be closed.

  7. The Lockdown Browser closes or locks up in the middle of a test

    Issue: If you have already done all the steps above there could be a problem with your Java.  If it is a problem with your Java, you are likely having problems with Internet Explorer 8 as well.

    Workaround: Go to and download the latest version of java.

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