Skip to Main Content
Mobile Menu

System Requirements


This page describes the minimum hardware/software requirements you will need to use Blackboard Learn.

Boise State University is currently running Blackboard Learn 9.1 Spring 2014. Minimum system requirements for using Blackboard Learn are documented below.

Minimum Hardware/software Requirements

Your computer should have sufficient RAM memory, storage space, and processing power for running the latest operating systems and software releases. Most newer computers will meet these hardware requirements. If you have an older computer, you may try it, but it may be insufficient for using the newest tools available in Boise State’s robust Blackboard environment.

At a minimum your computer should have:

  • 1.5 GHz CPU or greater
  • 1 GB of Ram
  • 1 GB of free disk space
  • Network adapter: LAN (Ethernet) or wireless (WiFi)
  • DSL or cable broadband internet (Dial up is not compatible)

Internet Connection

Once you have ensured that your computer has the proper operating system and hardware to run Blackboard Learn Release 9.1, you should verify that your Internet connection is fast enough to support Blackboard Learn Release 9.1. Online courses may require you to download/upload large files and often include streaming audio and video, both of which require faster connections.

You should not rely on dial-up while taking a course through eLearning. At a minimum, a standard level high-speed Internet connection is recommended (3 Mb download speed or higher) for access to advanced features both in Blackboard and on the Internet in general.

A wireless Internet connection may not be stable enough for Blackboard functions such as taking tests and submitting assignments; therefore, it is recommended that you use a wired connection for optimal performance.
Types of Internet Connections

  • Cable modems – this is the preferred connection to use when accessing Blackboard
  • Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) – this is a good quality connection to use
  • Satellite (such as Huges Net) will work however you will encounter a latency (a delay) between the satellite connection and Blackboard Learn

Link to Blackboard Supported Operating Systems, Web Browsers & Plugins

Accessibility and JAWS

Blackboard strives to make all its products as accessible as possible. JAWS for Windows 11 and 12 were used during accessibility testing.

Browser Plug-ins

At a minimum, you will need three browser plug-ins to use Blackboard Learn: Adobe Reader, Adobe Flash Player, and the Java Runtime Environment plug-in. You may need additional plug-ins if the course you are taking includes multimedia elements such as QuickTime; your instructor will provide you with any additions you may need. Use this link to verify your Java application.

Adobe Reader and Adobe Flash Player

To download and install the current versions of Adobe Reader and Adobe Flash Player:

Java Runtime Environment

You will also need the correct version of the Java plug-in (note this is not the same thing as JavaScript). Blackboard Learn will not run properly if you are using an incompatible version of Java or if you have multiple versions of Java installed.


You need an e-mail account and the ability to send and receive e-mail and e-mail file attachments. The default e-mail account used by Blackboard is your Boise State e-mail account, which is one of the official methods of communication between Boise State and students. You cannot change to another account in Blackboard. Boise State Policy 2280 recommends that you DO NOT forward or redirect email sent to your Boise State account, because forwarded or redirected e-mail may be lost or blocked.

Note: Problems with forwarded email do not absolve you of responsibilities associated with university communications sent to your Boise State email address (Boise State Policy 2280). We  recommend that you frequently check your Boise State address for important communications.

Other Requirements

  • You must be able to use a browser to navigate the Web; navigate among multiple open windows; open, close, and save files and attachments
  • Any additional requirements as requested and specified by the course instructor, such as access to Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Acrobat Reader, or other specialized hardware or software