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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

Operating System
  • Windows 7 or higher
  • Mac OSX 10.12 or higher
  • Windows 10 version 2004
  • Mac OS 10.15
Processor1 GHz processor2 GHz or faster
Memory4GB of RAM4 GB of RAM or higher
Monitor Resolution1024 x 7681024 x 768 or higher
Free Hard Disk Space5 GB of free disk space20 GB or higher of free space
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

All Three Rivers networked computers are configured to use Blackboard and will have most software needed to complete online coursework. If additional software is needed on a Three Rivers lab computer, please contact the instructor or facilitator of the lab for assistance.

Operating Systems

Blackboard was designed to work on Windows and Macintosh based systems. While the minimum allowed Windows operating system is Windows 7, students are strongly advised to use a newer operating system such as Windows 10 for Windows machines. Windows 8 is compatible with Blackboard when using your browser through Desktop Mode.

While some students have had success using Chrome OS on Chromebooks, many features are not supported. Therefore, they are not recommended.

Internet Connections

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.

For a couple of reasons, it is a good idea to have multiple browsers installed on your system. First, you always want a backup plan. You don’t want to waste time troubleshooting your browser or downloading a new browser if you are trying to perform time sensitive tasks in Blackboard. When you have a browser related issue, having multiple browsers installed allows you to quickly switch between them.

Second, it can aid in ruling out browser related issues. If you are having problems in one browser but a different browser is working correctly, then there is something going on with the browser or its settings. If multiple browsers are having the same problem, then it is likely either related to Blackboard or a system issue.

Technologies Not Supported

  • Internet Explorer - Any Version
  • Firefox - 56 and under
  • Chrome - 63 and under
  • Edge - 44 and under
  • Safari - 11 and under and any version on Windows
  • Windows XP or Vista, 32 or 64-bit versions
  • Mac OSX 10.3 through 10.11
  • Java 5, 6, or 7, although they may continue to work

Additional Software and Plugins

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 • .rar • etc.DownloadN/A • .rar • etc.DownloadDownload
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
Open Office.doc • .docx • .ppt • .pptx • .xls • .xlsx • .rtf • .txtDownloadDownload
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.

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