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LockDown Browser - Student View: LockDown Browser Troubleshooting: Mac and iPad

Instructions for installing LockDown Browser

LockDown Browser Troubleshooting: Mac and iPad

This guide contains troubleshooting information for LockDown Browser and Monitor. It was created by accessing the Respondus Knowledgebase between 02/03/2021 and 02/16/2021. There may be updates to these pages or new pages added. For the most up to date information on a particular topic, please see the links given on the pages. Those pages are maintained by Respondus, the makers of LockDown Browser and Monitor. For additional topics, please see their main Knowledgebase page:

Please note that Respondus makes LockDown Browser and Monitor for multiple learning management systems. Southern Crescent uses Blackboard Learn (original, not Ultra). DO NOT follow instructions for D2L Brightspace, Canvas, etc.

Error Message: Update Check Failed: Error Code a4

When LockDown Browser starts, it must be permitted to access this server:

LockDown Browser accesses this server in order to check if an update has been issued by Respondus. If your computer and/or network is blocking access to this server, the LockDown Browser session will not be permitted to continue.
It's possible that your computer's security settings are blocking access, or you possibly have a firewall or anti-virus software running on your computer or network that is causing the block.

What to do next:

1) Temporarily relax all anti-virus and firewall software on the computer and try the exam again.

2) Your computer, ISP, or network may be blocking access to the Respondus servers. These servers include:

These domains may need to be added as "trusted sites" in security settings on the local computer and may need to be added to network firewalls or routers. For Macs, you should check settings in System Preferences->Security & Privacy.

3) We also recommend doing a complete power down and restart of your Mac.

4) For Macs, the "a4 error" can be due to permissions issues with the specific user account on the Mac. Some students have found creating another user account with "Allow user to administer this computer", restarting the Mac and logging with the new user account allowed them to start LockDown Browser.

The original webpage can be found at


Error Message: Update Check Failed: Error Code A19

On the previous screen, you read about Error Code A4. First, reference that article and ensure that all the necessary servers are accessible via your network and computer.

If you've determined that all the servers are accessible, download LockDown Browser again and reinstall to see if the error message goes away.

Mac Trackpad users may experience the scrollbar not appearing during an exam. To resolve the problem, on your Mac go to System Preferences > General.  Change "Show scroll bars" to "Always" as shown below.

The original webpage can be found at

The iPad Edition of "LockDown Browser" available from the Apple App Store (< link) enables a student to use an iPad to take exams that require LockDown Browser. However, your instructor must first select a setting that permits the use of iPads for the exam and your school's learning management system must be compatible. The LockDown Browser iPad app is not compatible with Sakai LMS servers. All Sakai users will need to use a computer with a compatible operating system. More details can be seen here (< link).

A student should follow these steps to take an exam with the iPad Edition of LockDown Browser.

1. Download and install the "LockDown Browser" (< link) app from the Apple App Store to the iPad. (Requires iOS 11 or higher.)

2. Follow the instructions for your institution's learning system below.

For Blackboard Original Course View, Canvas Classic Quizzes, and some Moodle instances:
Launch the LockDown Browser app. The first time the app is used, you will be prompted to select your institution and server (shown below). If you later need to change the institution or server, select the settings icon on the toolbar for the LockDown Browser app. Once the setup is complete, you will be directed to your institution's login page. Log in with the correct credentials, navigate to your course and quiz, and begin your exam.

Setup LockDown Browser

For Brightspace, Blackboard Ultra, Canvas New Quizzes, Schoology, some Moodle instances, and ALEKS users:
Open your mobile browser (Safari, Chrome, etc.), log into your learning system, and navigate to the quiz. Start the quiz; the LockDown Browser app will automatically launch.

3. When you start a quiz that requires LockDown Browser, you should see the following message. You must click "Yes" to open the LockDown Browser app.

Confirm App Self Lock - Yes or No

If you do not see the above confirmation message, but rather see a message that says your instructor has not enabled the use of a tablet for your exam, you will need to use LockDown Browser on a Windows or Mac computer.

Notice that iPad hasn't been enabled by instructor

4. Once you click "Yes" to confirm "app self-lock,", you will see a message confirming that your iPad is now locked to LockDown Browser.

now locked

5. After you submit the exam, you'll see confirmation that your iPad is no longer locked to LockDown Browser.

no longer locked

6. You can now either take another exam, or exit the LockDown Browser app.

It's important that you don't start Apple's Guided Access feature (by triple clicking the home button) and then enter LockDown Browser. If you do, you'll see this warning message at the top of LockDown Browser.

You should immediately triple click the home button and exit Guided Access before proceeding with your exam. If you do not, you'll see this error message when trying to start your exam:

Guided Access must be disableed

You can permanently disable Guided Access on your iPad by going to "settings" > "general" > "accessibility" > "guided access"

The original webpage is located at

If you use the LockDown Browser iPad app, you may occasionally see grey shapes on your screen.   Example:

Example of Grey Shapes

These shapes are caused by a Guided Access security feature that permits a user to designate areas of the screen that they want to block from being accessed. Any area on the screen where the dark grey shape appears is rendered temporarily disabled to your touch.

With the release of version 5.0 of LockDown Browser for iPad, Guided Access is no longer needed, and so this problem can be avoided completely by upgrading. We recommend you visit the Apple Store and download version 5.0. You also might desire to disable Guided Access if you do not use that functionality for any other apps. Until you upgrade to version 5.0, the only workaround is found below.


If you open Guided Access and look at the bottom of the screen, you'll see some controls such as "hardware buttons," "touch" and "time limit." Additionally, in the center of the screen near the bottom is the phrase "circle areas on the screen you would like to disable." This is the security feature causing the shapes.

Grey Shapes - image 2

If you then drag your finger across the blue screen area, this creates grey streaks that will carry over into your LockDown Browser session if you don't remove them.

Grey Shapes - image 3

To remove these grey shapes, please follow these steps:

1) Open the LockDown Browser iPad app to your Learning Management System's login page.

2) Triple click the Home Button 3x in a row to trigger an exit from Guided Access.

Bottom of iPad screen

3) Enter your GA password, if prompted. Your password may have fewer/more characters, depending on your Guided Access password settings.

Passcode screen

4) Each grey shape will have an "X" in a circle. Press this "X" to remove the grey streak from the screen. Afterwards, press "Resume" in the upper right hand of the screen. This should take you back to the LMS login page, and the grey streaks should be gone.

Grey shapes - image 4


The original webpage is located at

For Mac users, start Respondus LockDown Browser, select “About” from the toolbar, and then click “Check for Update.” The version will be displayed and you will be able to download a newer version if one is available.

You can also update LockDown Browser by downloading and running the full installation program again.

The original webpage can be found at