Blackboard Known Issues

Recently Reported Issues:


When using Microsoft Edge, if a file that is submitted to an Assignment is open at the time of submission, an empty file is uploaded instead. This problem is isolated to occur when using the Microsoft Edge browser on the Windows 10 operating system. Microsoft has been notified to correct the issue.

In the meantime, do not open the source file after selecting it for upload into Blackboard or use a different web browser such as Chrome, Firefox, or Internet Explorer prior to Windows 10 version.

Global Navigation Menu not expanding

Some users have reported a problem accessing their notification or the Global Navigation menu at the top right. This issue is affecting certain accounts in the system and has been reported to the vendor.  A workaround is to click on any tab other than My Blackboard, Course Search for example, then the Global Navigation menu can be accessed.

Latest Microsoft Windows Update causes problems with Blackboard.

Blackboard continues to investigate the latest course access issue related to a recent security patch released for Internet Explorer version 11. In the meantime, a temporary workaround was put in place at Cornell. This workaround resolves the issue with course access however, any IE 11 user would now be prompted for login when trying to access Microsoft Office document. Clicking ‘Cancel’ twice at the prompt would allow you to proceed. Alternatively user can save the document to a local drive and open with an appropriate application outside the browser window.

Browser hangs when trying to post to Discussion.

Some students’ discussion posts may cause IE and Chrome browsers to hang when other users attempt to access and post to the same discussion forum or thread. The issue in caused by XML tags that are copied into the post using copy/paste from Word. The recommended workaround is for students to use Firefox to access the Discussion forum.

  • To resolve the issue, contact to help identify and fix the problem post.
  • To prevent the issue, students who are copying text from Word should “sanitize” the text by pasting it into Notepad first or open “HTML” view in the content editor and paste the text there.

The following items are known issues with Blackboard 9.1:
(For issues regarding Blackboard Mobile Learn, click here.)





Opening Microsoft documents by clicking the link in the course prompts for userid/password even though the user is already logged in.

This problem only occurs with  Internet Explorer version 8.0.7+ on PC. Firefox and Safari browsers are not affected. When prompted for username/password, clicking on the cancel button (typically 2 times) will open the document.  Alternatively user can save the document to a local drive and open with an appropriate application outside the browser window.

Graded item displayed as Letter Grade shows incorrect grades after point value of the graded item is modified.

The letter grades when entered are converted to an absolute point value and do not recomputed when the overall point value of the assignment is modified. If you’ve already entered letter grades and need to change the point value, export the grade center, change the point value of the graded item in Blackboard then upload the assignment grades for that item.

Grade center visibility issue

In Grade center full view mode, either the scroll bar is missing or when scrolling down to the bottom of the grade book, the row corresponding to the last student does not show. This problem occurs in a browser when browser resolution (view text size) is increased by a factor of 2 or greater. The problem is resolved when resetting browser zoom level to 0 or default.

If using a Mac, a recommended workaround with the missing scroll bars visibility issue, go to System Preferences -> General -> under “Show scroll bars: click on “Always”.

Grade Center error loading when accessing Full Grade Center

See and error message after clicking the Full Grade Center link.
NOTE: This behavior is sporadic and does not happen all the time.
Work around: Using FireFox (yes it matters) — Click on Full Grade Center — Click on Manage -> Column Organization — Reorder a column by clicking and dragging the arrows next to one of the columns (depicted as a row in the table) — Click on Submit The grade center should now be accessible again. You can reorder the columns back the way they were.

Instructor cannot see chevrons in Firefox

Check to see if images from are being blocked – Tools > Options > Content, click Exceptions next to the option “Load images automatically”. Remove blocked site.

Assignment File Download in Full Grade Center over SSL in Internet Explorer fails

In the Full Grade Center, selecting Assignment File Download to download all submitted assignments will result in an error when trying to download the .zip file. Workaround is to use Firefox as an alternative browser for this download operation.

Drag-and-drop file upload not working on Mac

Cannot drag-and-drop files onto upload file canvas area in the course file repository. To upload a single file, click Browse and locate the file to upload. In order to upload multiple files, create a zip archive package and then upload this package into the course file repository.

Upload to a Folder in File Repository not working

After adding files to the folder created in the course file repository, clicking the Submit button does not work. Make sure that the folder name (or the parent folder) does not contain an apostrophe.

Problems Opening PDF on Mac

  • Students using a Mac click a PDF and are asked to download a plug-in. If the PDFs are in Content folders check the setting to “Open in a New Window” and that will take care of it. If the PDFs are in a learning module then the students may need to download a plug-in. The Schubert plug-in is working and can be downloaded.
  • Compatibility Advisory Regarding Adobe Reader plug-in and Acrobat plug-in with Safari 5.1 Applications that require the Adobe Reader or Acrobat plug-in to render PDF documents in the Safari browser will be affected. Additional information is available.

For cases in which a user cannot open a PDF document from the browser, the user can save the PDF file to his or her computer, and then open it directly in Adobe Reader or Acrobat.

Sorting problems – User list

  • Sorting by name displays results incorrectly. Any name which is upper case is displayed not in the correct sorting order. Workaround: system admin can modify name to change to/from upper or lower case. Contact for assistance.
  • Sorting by course role does not work. At this time there is no solution or workaround.

File upload problems

  • Do not upload documents that have special characters in the name. Blackboard recommends the following guidelines for file names: Characters a-z (upper or lower case), 0-9, period “.” and underscore “_”
  • Check the name of your document, make sure that the first character in the file name is not a space.
  • Information on updating Java is available.

Instructor can’t upload file, gets an error – infinite loop

The file name that may not have any special character, however, it may include a space at the beginning of file name. Remove the extra space from file name and then upload.

Attempting to download an assignment results in 404 error.

Students should avoid using special characters in file names. Name that include the characters such as pound/number/hash/lattice/sharp symbol, angled brackets, percent sign, quotes, apostrophes, slashes, colons, exclamation and question marks etc will cause this error.

Emailing all students unsuccessful

When one of the user emails is invalid, the entire email process is halted. User accounts in Blackboard are setup by default with Cornell email address. Users can verify and if necessary modify their email address. To modify email, click on Personal Information in the Tools module after you login to Blackboard. Then select Edit personal information.

Connection Was Reset message

When sending an email to a large group of users, the sender would receive a message “Connection Was Reset”. This is a known issue and is scheduled to be fixed in a later release. The email WILL go out so the instructor should not attempt to resend the email.

Blank email sent from Grade Center

When sending an email from Grade Center, using the Email / Email Selected Users, if either the BCC is used or the option “include list of recipients” is checked at the bottom, the message sent will be blank.

Certificate warning message

When accessing a page that includes a visual text box editor (creating content item, submitting assignment, etc.) you may be prompted to accept a certificate or allow to run a program. You will need to click Yes or Run. Individual users can turn off the visual editor.
To turn off visual text editor, Personal Information > Change Personal Settings from Tools module on My Blackboard tab. Change “Set Availability” option for Text Editor options to “Off”. Then restart your browser for the changes to take affect.

Links to Library Licensed Resources not working

To post links to library resources in Blackboard, you need to preface it with a link that allows login access through Kerberos. Go to: which provides the information needed to post to Blackboard – scroll about halfway down and you should see this:

Which is what you will need to preface your link.

Cannot open web links to non-https (non-SSL) content

With the latest upgrades to some browsers, you may find that you can no longer view or see the content that is embedded in your Blackboard course. This is a new web security feature, and if it is not currently in the browser you use, then it will very likely be there soon. This document will present workarounds for Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Chrome browsers that will allow you to see the missing content in your course. (But remember, these safeguards were put in for your protection, so you need to be confident you are interacting with a safe site before disabling them.)

To avoid the problem, instructors should set website links to open in a new window. To set your non-https (non-SSL) website link to open in a new window, click Yes next to Open in New Window under Web Link Options for that item.

Videos added with the “Mashup” tool can be replaced by pasting the embed code from into a new item. Update Vimeo videos by pasting the revised embed code from the Vimeo website.

Typing an apostrophe using Internet Explorer 11 converts it to HTML code (')

If you are using Microsoft Internet Explorer 11 web browser, typing an apostrophe converts it to the HTML code '. Users should try using another web browser such as Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.


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