Web Browser Troubleshooting

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Keeping Your Web Browser Up-To-Date

Regardless of which web browser you use to access your online course content, it is important to make sure that it is kept up-to-date.

  • Firefox — We suggest that you configure Firefox to update automatically (this option is set by default), but you can also update Firefox manually. We also recommend that you routinely update your Firefox browser plug-ins.
  • Chrome — Google Chrome automatically checks for and installs updates whenever you close and reopen the program. However, you can still check for Chrome updates manually. Chrome will notify you whenever it detects that one of your browser plug-ins is out of date. To update to the latest version of that plug-in, click “Update plug-in” in the notification message that appears.
  • Safari (Mac OS) — Updates for Safari come bundled with other updates for your Mac. Your computer should notify you automatically when they become available. To check for updates manually, open the App Store app on your computer.
  • Internet Explorer/Edge (Windows) — Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge can be kept up to date automatically using Windows Update. Windows 7 users can run Windows Update manually by selecting it in the Start menu. Windows 8 and Windows 10 users should go to their computer Settings, select “Change PC settings” and then select “Update and recovery”.

Web Browser Plug-Ins

Browser Plug-Ins are small helper programs that allow your web browser to run specialized features on websites. They are often needed in order to display certain times of media, like videos. Many times, you will be asked to an install a plug-in by your web browser, if it detects one is needed in order to properly display a webpage. However, you can also install them ahead of time:

  • Java — Many web-based applications require Java to run, including some instruction tools (e.g. Blackboard Collaborate).
  • Flash — Flash is required in several places in Canvas: media recording/streaming and viewing as well as uploading files to a course or an assignment.
  • Microsoft Silverlight — Microsoft Silverlight is used for in-browser video playback and is required for web applications such as Panopto (often used by instructors in Canvas).

Browser Privacy Settings

Web browsers sometimes make modifications to privacy settings in order to protect users from online content that may be insecure. Occasionally, this can cause problems with the way a webpage displays or functions, including in Canvas. The following are known ways that common browsers may block content within Canvas.

Chrome Security:

Chrome Security Notice

Google Chrome verifies that the website content you view is transmitted securely. If you visit a page in your Canvas course that is linked to insecure content, Chrome will display a shield icon [1] in the browser address bar.

You can choose to override the security restriction and display the content anyway by clicking the shield icon and then clicking the “Load unsafe script” button [2].

Chrome Media Permissions:

Chrome Media Permissions

Chrome has its own media permissions set within the browser. To use your computer camera and microphone with a Canvas-integrated feature, you may have to approve one or more permissions:

Allow access to Canvas via the Adobe Flash Player Settings [1]. This prompt appears in the center of video and audio pop-up windows, or the center of the browser.

Allow access to Canvas via Chrome’s media permission settings [2]. This prompt appears just below the address bar. Click the “Allow” button.

Firefox Security:

Firefox Security

Firefox verifies that the website content you view is transmitted securely. If you visit a page in your Canvas course that is linked to insecure content, Firefox will display a shield icon in the browser address bar [1].

You can choose to override the security restriction and display the content anyway by clicking the shield icon, clicking the “Keep Blocking” drop-down menu [2], and selecting the “Disable Protection on This Page” option [3].