Respondus Applications Troubleshooting

This guide details some of the common issues encountered by students when downloading Respondus LockDown Browser and Respondus Monitor.

Respondus LockDown Browser is a client application installed on a local computer. You must have administrative rights on the computer in order to download LockDown Browser.

Compatible Operating Systems (OS)

Windows: 10, 8, 7

Mac: MacOS 10.15 (Catalina) to 10.12 (Sierra), OS X 10.11 (El Capitan), OSX 10.10 (Yosemite)

iOS: 11.0+ (iPad only)

LockDown Browser and Respondus Monitor may continue to run in older operating systems that have reached "end of life," but students may encounter unexpected results.

You will also need memory (Windows: 2 GB RAM, Mac: 512 MG RAM) and hard disk space (Windows: 75 MB of free hard disk space, Mac: 3 MB of free hard disk space) to run the Respondus installer.

Chromebooks and other devices that use an alternative operating system are not compatible with LockDown Browser.

Windows installation of LockDown Browser prompts back to the app store

Some computers come with Windows 10 in S mode, which will prompt users back to the Microsoft Store upon running the .exe installer.  This is common in Lenovo IdeaPads, Windows Surface, and other "2-in-1" machines that double as a tablet. S mode means it only allows the download of applications from the App Store in a more "locked down" version of Windows 10. LockDown Browser cannot be obtained via the Microsoft App Store. In order to download Respondus LockDown Browser, you will need to switch out of S mode. 

How to check if your Windows 10 computer is in S mode

You can check whether you're using S Mode by navigating to Settings > System > About. On the About page, scroll down to the Windows Specifications section.

If you see the words in S mode to the right of the Edition entry, you're using an S Mode PC. If you dont, you're not using S Mode.

screen shot of PC About page with windows in S mode

How to switch out of S mode

To leave S Mode, open the Store app on your PC and search for Switch out of S Mode. The Store will guide you through taking your PC out of S Mode. This will allow you to download applications from outside of the apps Store.

screen shot of microsoft store results for search of "switch out of S mode"

If your machine is running Windows 10S instead of Windows 10 in S Mode, this is an older version that is a separate and incompatible operating system. Any existing PCs with Windows 10S can be converted to Windows 10 in S Mode by installing the April 2018 Update, then following the steps above to switch out of S Mode. To run the update, head to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update. Click the Check for Updates button.

Mac and iPad OS Updates

You can manually check your macOS to assure it is running a supported version for the LockDown Browser installation. To download macOS software updates, Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Software Update. Tip: You can also choose Apple menu > About This Mac, then click Software Update.

To update your iPad OS, your device must be plugged in and connected to WiFi. Go to Settings > General, then tap Software Update to download and install.

Your instructor must first enable a setting to allow students to use the iPad app to take exams. Please contact your instructor if you plan to use this app prior to your scheduled exam. See the guide for taking an exam in the LockDown Browser iPad app for more information.

I can't find LockDown Browser on my computer

Once you've downloaded and run the installer, the Respondus LockDown Browser icon should appear on your computer's desktop.

icons for windows and mac versions of LockDown Browser

If you cannot locate the icon to run the application, you can search for it in your computer's files.

If using a Mac, hit Command+Spacebar to open Spotlight, then type "LockDown Browser" in the search field and click on it when it populates in the results.

If using a Windows PC, type the name of the app in the search box of the taskbar or press the Windows key on your keyboard and start typing.

LockDown Browser appears as malware or virus

Security software or an "anti-malware" program with very high settings might falsely detect LockDown Browsers as malware such as a virus, Trojan or parasite. The security program would blockthe download or corrupt the LockDown Browser installer, "LockDownBrowser-200-xx.exe" (Windows) or "Install Respondus LockDown Browser xxxxxxxxx0.pkg" (Mac).

As a first step, verify you are downloading the LockDown Browser installer from your school's unique download link that uses your school's unique 9-digit Institution ID. Please do not start with any other web link found in a web search.

One option is to temporarily relax or disable all third-party security software and any "anti-malware" applications prior to downloading the LockDown Browser installer. This may also be necessary to run LockDown Browser to take your exam, as it requires no other applications running in the background to function.

LockDown Browser won't run because of other apps detected in background

LockDown Browser will typically prompt you to close other running apps when you try to launch it. However, if the application will not launch because it detects apps in the background, you can go in to your task manager and quit or force quit applications.

To view programs running in Windows, use the Task Manager app, accessible by searching in the Start menu.

To view programs running in Mac, hit Command+Spacebar to bring up the Spotlight search field. Type in Activity Monitor and hit the Return key when it populates the Spotlight results.

You may need to disable your anti-virus software running in the background.

Respondus Monitor: "Connecting to media server, please wait..."

When starting your Respondus Monitor exam on your computer, you might encounter a problem connecting to the Respondus Media Server. A variation of this same problem might produce an error that says:

"STOP. We're unable to connect to our media servers from your computer."

screen shot of error on webcam check in respondus monitor

The errors indicate that your computer cannot make the necessary connection with the Respondus media servers in order to record video. This can be caused by:

  1. The WiFi network you are using. There could be a block to the necessary ports for the media server connection (Ports 80 and 1935.) You can try using a different network to see if that helps, or plug in directly to the router with ethernet connection.
  2. Lack of bandwidth. The ports may not be blocked on your network, but it could be that the bandwidth simply isn't sufficient to stream video to our server. Using a hard wired connection may help, but if not available, get as close to the router as possible, restart your computer, and be sure to disable all other running applications on your computer after the restart. It's best to use a network where bandwidth intensive applications (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime video, gaming, etc.) aren't running.
  3. Anti-virus or firewall software running on your computer. Temporarily disabling these may help, but be sure to re-enable your anti-virus afterwards.

If using a Mac, disabling the Mac Filevault and Firewall may be necessary. You can do this via System Preferences > Security

Also, AVG for Mac has been shown to cause the above problem. It also can interfere with the photo steps in the pre-exam webcam check, resulting in your camera not being found.

example screen shot of error message with webcam detection in respondus monitor

Disabling the AVG "Realtime Protection" is easy to do via the AVG user interface. The screen print below shows Realtime Protection turned on. You need to click on this and set it to "off".If you choose to implement the above workaround, be sure to re-enable your AVG Realtime Protectiononce the exam is finished.