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Students are required to have regular, reliable access to a computer with a stable broadband Internet connection. The following minimum hardware and software requirements are necessary in order to access an online class through Three Rivers’ current version of Blackboard. Individual instructors may have additional requirements for specific classes. Be sure to check your course syllabus and discuss technology needs with your instructor as early in the class as possible.

System Requirements

Monitor Resolution

MinimumRecommendedPC (Windows)MacintoshChromebooks
Operating System
  • Windows 7 or higher10, or newer
  • Mac OSX 10.12 or higher Windows 10 version 2004with security updates
  • Chromebooks are not supported
2 GHz or faster
  • Mac OS 10.15 or higher with security updates
Processor1 GHz processor
  • Chromebooks are not supported
  • Not supported
ProcessorIntel Core i3 or equivalentIntel Core i3 or equivalent
Memory4GB of RAM4 GB of RAM or higher1024 x 7681024 x 768 or higher
Free Hard Disk Space5 GB of free disk space20 GB or higher of free spaceHard Drive250+ GB250+ GB
Internet ConnectionBroadband (high-speed) Internet connection with a consistent minimum speed of 1.5 Mbps.Broadband (high-speed) Internet connection with a speed of 4 Mbps or higher
Internet Browser
  • Google Chrome 63+
  • Mozilla Firefox 57+
  • Safari 12+ (Mac OSX Only)
  • Edge 79+
Latest Version of Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome
JavaThe most up to date version of Java is required to use Blackboard.
Adobe Flash PlayerFlash is required to play some videos within the Blackboard system. You can download Flash from the Adobe website.

Free Use of Campus Computers


To operate effciently, a high-speed Internet connection (cable modem, DSL, satellite broadband, T1, etc.) of at least 1.5 Mbps (megabits per second) is recommended for taking online tests. Accessing Blackboard courses from a mobile network (3G, 4G, LTE, or 5G network) provider is not advised.


If your speed is slower than 1.5 MBps, you may need to find an alternative way to access the Internet either by finding a different Internet service provider or using the wireless connection at a public facility (i.e. any Three Rivers center or campus).

Internet Browser

Desktop Browser*PC VersionMac Version
Internet ExplorerUnsupportedUnsupported
*Mobile app versions of these browsers are not supported at this time. Although users may have success using them, the Office of Distance Learning does not recommend using them to access our version of Blackboard

We strongly recommend Blackboard students use the latest version of Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome for Windows or Mac because it is the most compatible with our current Blackboard system.


Most course materials you will access through Blackboard will be web pages, Adobe Acrobat files, or Microsoft documents. Instructors may decide however to upload content in a variety of formats. Below is a list of common file types that can be used in Blackboard. The software needed to view these files and links to downloadable versions of the software are provided if available.

Application DownloadsFile ExtensionsPCMac
Adobe Acrobat Reader.pdfDownloadDownload
Adobe Flash PlayerNeeded for BlackboardDownloadDownload
JavaNeeded for BlackboardDownloadDownload
Microsoft Office.doc • .docx • .ppt • .pptx • .xls • .xlsx • .rtf • .txtAvailable through the Office 365 PortalAvailable through the  Office 365 Portal

Video PlayersCommon File ExtensionsPCMac
Media Player Classic (optional).avi • .vlc • .wmv • .qt • .flv •  etc.DownloadN/A
VLC Media Player.avi • .vlc • .wmv • .qt • .flv •  etc.DownloadDownload

Additional SoftwarePCMac
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware FreeDownloadDownload

Mobile Microsoft Office AppsiOSAndroid
Office LensDownloadDownload

Remember: These are minimum requirements. Your instructor may have additional requirements in order to achieve the learning objectives of your class.