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Blackboard Help

The Blackboard Collaborate Launcher

The Blackboard Collaborate Launcher is a utility for Windows and Mac. It provides a convenient and reliable way for you to launch your Blackboard Collaborate web conferencing sessions and recordings. When you click Join Room on the Room Details page or a recording link in the Recordings table, Blackboard Collaborate checks to see if you have the launcher installed. If you do not, Blackboard Collaborate prompts you to download it.

When the launcher is installed, clicking a session or recording link triggers the download of a .collab file. The launcher uses this file to launch Blackboard Collaborate using a known and stable version of Java. Because the launcher includes the required Java, you do not need to install and maintain the system version of Java.

These help topics document the Blackboard Collaborate Launcher available in versions 4.4 and 4.6 or later of the Blackboard Collaborate Building Block.

Install the Windows Launcher

Use the following steps to download and install the Blackboard Collaborate Launcher:

  1. On the Room Details page, click Join Room or, in the Recordings table, click a recording link. Blackboard Collaborate prompts you to download the launcher installer if you have not installed the launcher or if your browser "thinks" you have not installed the launcher.
    • Actual first time user: If this is the first time you are using the launcher, click Download Launcher in the First time using Blackboard Collaborate? pop-up window.

      First time using Blackboard Collaborate? pop-up

    • Apparent first time user: Even if you already installed the launcher, you may be treated as a "first time user" and be prompted to download the launcher. This can happen if you cleared your cache and cookies last time you exited your browser, use secure or private browsing, or use a different browser.

      If this is the case, you do not need to re-download the installer again. In the First time using Blackboard Collaborate? pop-up window, click Launch Blackboard Collaborate now to bypass the download and then open your .collab file.

      First time using Blackboard Collaborate? pop-up

  2. A pop-up window reminds you to install the launcher. Do not click OK until after you have installed the launcher.

    Internet Explorer and Firefox users, if you do click OK now, your prompt to open and run the installer file will be hidden behind a prompt to open the meeting.collab file.

    Install the Launcher pop-up dialog

  3. Open the Blackboard Collaborate setup wizard. Different browsers handle this scenario differently and the behavior of each browser may vary depending on how you configured your browser settings.

    If your browser also prompts you to open the .collab file, do not do so until you have installed the launcher.

    When you run the installer, you possibly may see an Installer Information dialog that says "the cabinet file is corrupt and cannot be used." It means the download of the installer was incomplete. This will happen if you lost your connection during download. Download the installer again.

    • Firefox prompts you to save the Windows installer BlackboardCollaborateLauncher-Win.msi. Save the file. The default save location is your browser's Downloads library. Open the Downloads library and, when the download is complete, open the file to start the Blackboard Collaborate setup wizard.

      Opening BlackboardCollaborateLauncher-Win.msi dialog

    • Chrome prompts you to save the Windows installer BlackboardCollaborateLauncher-Win.msi. Save the file. The default save location is your Downloads folder. In the bottom-left corner of your browser window, Chrome shows you the progress of the download. When the download is complete, click the downloaded file to start the Blackboard Collaborate setup wizard.

      Downloaded launcher file

    • Internet Explorer prompts you to run or save the Windows installer BlackboardCollaborateLauncher-Win.msi. Click Run to start the Blackboard Collaborate setup wizard.

      Internet Explorer Run or Save prompt

  4. Click Next > to start the setup wizard and Finish when complete.

    Blackboard Collaborate Launcher setup wizard

    If you see the Modify, Repair or Remove installation screen, the launcher is already installed. Click Cancel to exit the setup wizard.

    The setup wizard installs the Windows launcher and adds it to the Start menu.

    Windows 8 or later users can find the launcher on the Start page in Metro view.

  5. In the pop-up window reminder, click OK to confirm you installed the launcher.

    Install the Launcher pop-up dialog

  6. Open meeting.collab to join your session or play.collab to play your recording. If you don't see a prompt to do so, open the file in your Downloads folder.

Install the Mac Launcher

Use the following steps to download and install the Blackboard Collaborate Launcher:

  1. On the Room Details page, click Join Room or, in the Recordings table, click a recording link. Blackboard Collaborate prompts you to download the launcher ZIP installer if you have not installed the launcher or if your browser "thinks" you have not installed the launcher.
    • Actual first time user: If this is the first time you are using the launcher, click Download Launcher in the First time using Blackboard Collaborate? pop-up window.

      First time using Blackboard Collaborate? pop-up

    • Apparent first time user: Even if you already installed the launcher, you may be treated as a "first time user" and be prompted to download the launcher. This can happen if you cleared your cache and cookies last time you exited your browser, use secure or private browsing, or use a different browser.

      If this is the case, you do not need to re-download the installer again. In the First time using Blackboard Collaborate? pop-up window, click Launch Blackboard Collaborate now to bypass the download and then open your .collab file.

      First time using Blackboard Collaborate? pop-up

  2. A pop-up window reminds you to install the launcher. Do not click OK until after you have installed the launcher.

    Firefox users, if you do click OK now, your prompt to open and run the installer file will be hidden behind a prompt to open the meeting.collab file.

    Install the Launcher pop-up dialog

  3. Java may prompt you for permission to run. To avoid this step in the future, click Always run on this site.

    Java permission prompt

  4. When the installer file BlackboardCollaborateLauncher-Mac.zip is fully downloaded, unzip the file to install the launcher.
    • Safari automatically unzips the file and installs the launcher. No further action is required.
    • In Firefox and Chrome, open the ZIP file in your Downloads folder to unzip and install the launcher.

      Your browser may ask you which application to use to open the ZIP file. If so, select the Archive Utility in System/Library/CoreServices.

    If your browser also prompts you to open the .collab file, do not do so until you have installed the launcher.

    When you unzip the installer using the Archive Utility, you possibly may see the error "Unable to expand BlackboardCollaborateLauncher-Mac.zip into Downloads. (Error 2 - No such file or directory.)". It means the download of the installer was incomplete. This will happen if you lost your connection during download. Download the installer ZIP file again.

    By default, the launcher resides in the Downloads folder. When you open your session or recording .collab file, Blackboard Collaborate gives you the option to move the launcher to your Applications folder.

  5. In the pop-up window reminder, click OK to confirm you installed the launcher.

    Install the Launcher pop-up dialog

  6. Open meeting.collab to join your session or play.collab to play your recording. If you don't see a prompt to do so, open the file in your Downloads folder.