Student FAQ


When using the Microsoft Edge browser, if a file that is uploaded to an Assignment is opened for preview prior to submitting the assignment, 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.


Student FAQ (PDF file)



What if  I cannot see the course I’m registered to take?

If your course does not display for you automatically in Blackboard, your course is not yet available (dates when courses are available to students), or your instructor may not be using managed enrollment.  If you are required to manually enroll in the course, follow instructions below.

  1. Log in at
  2. Click the Search Courses subtab. CourseSearch
  3. Type the course id in the “Course Search” field.
  4. Search by the Course ID, by name or by instructor and locate the desired course.
  5. Next to the course link, click on the arrow icon that appears and select Enroll.

If there is no “Enroll” option, then the instructor has set the course site enrollment so that you cannot enroll yourself.  In this case, you will need to contact the professor directly for instructions.  If your instructor has questions about Blackboard enrollment, have them contact

Why do I see an “Access Denied” error when I try to enroll in a course?

You are unable to enroll in the class because the course enrollment options are set for instructor-led enrollment only. The instructor or a course TA would need to enroll students in the course. You need to contact your professor for further instructions.

What is the difference between Course Enroll, Just the Facts, and Blackboard?

To register to take a course at any college, you must use CourseEnroll. The Just the Facts page shows your enrollment status. Blackboard is a course management system that some instructors use voluntarily, not all courses are available on Blackboard and enrolling in a course on Blackboard does not mean that you’re properly registered through the registrar to take the course.

I sent an email to my instructor. Where is it?

Blackboard does not store any emails that you send to the instructor. Please be sure to copy yourself on the email if you want to have a record of it.

How do I know if I have email from from my course instructor?

Emails are sent to your Cornell email address. Make sure that you are setup to receive Cornell email or that you have it properly set to forward to an alternate address.

How can I be notified about new items?

You can control which kind of notifications you receive from Blackboard by changing your personal preferences:

  1. Click Global Navigation menu at the top right next to your name
  2. Click Settings below list of courses
  3. Click Edit Notification Settings
  4. You can change notification settings for a single course by clicking on the course name, or for all of your courses by clicking Courses I am taking under Bulk Edit Notification settings
  5. Add or remove checkmarks in the Email and Mobile columns to control which emails you receive. Mobile notification requires that you have a Blackboard Mobile app installed.

How can I receive Blackboard notifications on my mobile device?

To set your Blackboard preferences so that you can receive notifications about updates, deadlines, etc. on your mobile device, follow these instructions on setting Blackboard preferences.

How do I change my email address?

To change your email address in Blackboard, please write to and include both your Cornell email and the new email you wish to update.

How do I turn off Blackboard Email and Mobile Notifications?

You can control which kind of notifications you receive from Blackboard by changing your personal preferences:

  1. Click Global Navigation menu at the top right
  2. Click Settings below list of courses
  3. Click Edit Notification Settings
  4. You can change notification settings for a single course by clicking on the course name, or for all of your courses by clicking Courses I am taking under Bulk Edit Notification settings
  5. Add or remove checkmarks in the Email and Mobile columns to control which emails you receive

I am getting a plugin error when I try to open a PDF from Blackboard on my Mac (using Firefox or Safari).

This is a browser bug (not a Blackboard bug) in Firefox and Safari. To get around this problem, download the file to your computer and open it with Adobe Acrobat Reader.

I’m getting errors or I can’t open a file.

  • Make sure that Pop-up blocker and/or Add blocker are disabled.
  • If you’re using Ineternet Explorer, look for a Security message. If you are using Internet Explorer 9, you will need to click Show all content to allow all content to be displayed. IESecurity
  • If you cannot open the file in your browser, you can download the file to your computer. You need to have the correct software installed on your computer to open the file. For most filetypes, there is a free version of the software that you can download and use to open the common filetypes. Here are a few of the common filetypes used by instructors, and the free software that you can download and install to open them.
    • docx – Microsoft Word – Install free OpenOffice program to view these files. (
    • pdf – Adobe Acrobat Reader – Install free Adobe Acrobat Reader program to view these files. (
    • pptx – PowerPoint Presentations – Install free Microsoft PowerPoint Viewer program to view these files.

I can’t find an assignment, test, or some other piece of course content.

Your instructor controls the availability of tests, assignments, and other content. Sometimes your instructor has put conditions on releasing content. For example, you might have to view a lecture before you can access the assignment or the assignment is not available until a certain date.

I can’t open my assignment, test, or some other piece of course content.

Please check to make sure you are using a supported Internet browser and operating system.

I was in the middle of taking a test or writing a post when I lost everything.

Unfortunately, the information is probably lost permanently. You will need to recreate the information. If you experience problems during a test and cannot continue, contact your instructor immediately.

Here are some reasons why you might lose information that you are entering in Blackboard:

  • The internet connection dropped.
  • The browser was refreshed.
  • Your browser timed out due to inactivity. Blackboard has a security setting that logs you out if it doesn’t receive any input for a period of time.

The following tips can help you avoid this issue in the future:

  • Use a wired connection if possible when taking a test. Wireless internet connections are less reliable.
  • Do not refresh the browser page.
  • Do not close the browser window
  • Do not click the browser’s back button.
  • If possible, write out the text in an external application and then paste it into Blackboard. Working offline first ensures that your work in progress will not be lost.
  • If you are working directly in an assignment in Blackboard, save your work in progress. Saving often helps avoid any browser timeout issues.

How do I print something from Blackboard?

Because Blackboard Learn is web-based, printing is handled through whatever internet browser you are using. Sometimes you can right-click the area that you want to print and look for a message similar to “Print This Frame.” Most browsers have a Help option that can explain more about printing.

If the course content is an attached file, such as a Word document, you can open the document and print it from that program.

How Do I Remove Old Courses?

Courses from previous semesters may remain in your Blackboard course list if the instructor does not remove you from the enrollment area. You cannot unenroll yourself, but you can keep the course from appearing in the course list.

How do I Hide a Course from the Course List?

  1. From the Course List module (on either the My Blackboard tab or the My Courses tab), click the gear icon in the top right. wheel
  2. Remove the check from the checkboxes next to the course name and the course ID.  If you keep the Course Name or Course ID, you can choose to hide only the Instructors and Announcements information.
    Hide a course


Why do I get an error when I try to login to Blackboard?

You must have a Blackboard account to access Blackboard course sites. If you did not yet request a Blackboard account, you can submit a request for an account on the main Blackboard page.

What are some basic troubleshooting steps I can try?

  1. Clear the browser cache.
  2. Test your browser.
  3. Make sure you are running the supported version of the Java Runtime Environment.
  4. Contact your instructor.

Why can’t I take a quiz?

Java is required for some Blackboard features. You can download the software.  Pop up blockers can prevent you from accessing some Blackboard features. Try holding the CTRL key when clicking on these items to temporarily disable your pop-up blocker.

When I paste information into a text box, it’s all garbled.

Microsoft Word contains a lot of markup that is unintelligible to other text editors, including the one used in Blackboard. Once you paste content into the text editor, click the tool “Remove Formatting” (top left tool ribbon) to remove any markup.


People who do not have a Cornell NetID will need to request a Guest account to access Blackboard. See Access for Non-Cornell Users page.


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