Java is a software platform that, like Flash, runs within a web browser to display certain content and run certain web applications. Blackboard uses Java for some of its functionality, most importantly:

  • Uploading files and attachments (i.e. the My Computer icon will not appear if Java is missing or not functioning properly)
  • Loading the Blackboard gradebook
  • Editing pages using the built-in HTML Creator
  • Loading SCORM objects (including certain activities, worksheets, and other interactive or sharable content)
  • Checking for browser incompatibilities at login

When you or someone you support is having problems with one or more of these functions in Blackboard, odds are the problem originates in the Java setup on the computer accessing Blackboard.

Most Common Steps for Troubleshooting Java Issues

Most Java-setup issues can be resolved in one or more of the following ways:

Install or Update Java

To install the latest version of Java, visit and follow the download link and instructions provided there.

Clear the Java Cache

Occasionally a problem arises in which the Blackboard gradebook fails to load, but instead a blank white screen appears. The solution to this problem is to clear the browser cache and then the Java cache. To clear the Java cache, complete the steps on the following link:

Clearing the Java Cache

Troubleshoot Java Security Settings

If Java is installed but you are still having problems with Java functionality in Blackboard, there might be a problem with the Java security certificate settings on your computer. Here are two things to look for:

  1. The application digital signature has not been allowed to run.
  2. The certificate information stored on the comptuer does not match the current certificate.

Please see the following link for more details.

Troubleshooting Java certificate problems in Blackboard

Remove multiple installed versions of Java

When Java is updated, older versions are not removed but are left installed on the computer. On rare occasion this can lead to problems.To remove old versions, go to the Control panel of your PC (located within the "Start" menu, and select the option to Add or Remove programs. Scroll through the list of installed programs and remove all but the latest version of Java.

Note that before taking this step, it would be good to know whether other software running on your computer requires an older version of Java than the latest. If so, you may want to keep that Java version installed on your computer.

For Mac users, multiple versions of Java is not a problem.