LockDown Browser - Getting Started for Instructors - Canvas
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LockDown Browser – Getting Started for Instructors

LockDown Browser is a custom browser that locks down the testing environment in Canvas. When students use LockDown Browser to access a quiz, they are unable to print, copy, visit other websites, access other applications, or close a quiz until it is submitted for grading. Quizzes created for use with LockDown Browser cannot be accessed with standard browsers.

Topics addressed:

Getting Started

Respondus LockDown Browser is enabled by default in Canvas courses and is only visible to instructors.  In the event you do not see LockDown Browser listed in the Course Navigation you can enable it through managing your Course Navigation Links.

If you are new to LockDown Browser in Canvas, it is recommended that you review the materials available in About LockDown Browser when you click on LockDown Browser in the Course Navigation for the first time.

Accessing LockDown Browser


There is a Welcome Video, Video Tutorials, Getting Started which includes information about LockDown Browser you can add to your Syllabus, and additional Resources which includes a Quick Start Guide and information on getting support.


LockDown Browser works much like a standard browser, but some options have been removed or work differently.  The list below highlights some of these differences.

a canvas quiz that has been set to use the lockdown browser

  1. Modified Toolbar – the condensed toolbar includes only Forward, Back, Refresh and Stop functions.
  2. Assessment Mode – assessments are shown full-screen and cannot be minimized, resized, or exited until submitted for grading.
  3. Disabled Controls – all printing, keystroke combinations, screen grab, function keys, and right-click menus have been disabled.
  4. Links – links to other web servers do not compromise the secure testing environment.
  5. Blocked Features & Applications – the Start button (Windows), system tray, and menu bars have been removed. Hundreds of screen capture, messaging, screen-sharing and network monitoring applications are blocked.

Preparing a Quiz/Exam

To set up a quiz in Canvas that requires students to use LockDown Browser, follow these steps:

Note: LockDown Browser can also be enabled in the Quiz settings under the Quiz Restrictions section, but it is recommended that all modification and changes be done using the LockDown Browser Dashboard.

  1. Make sure the quiz has been created in the Canvas course.  It does not need to be published to enable LockDown Browser.
  2. From the Course Navigation in Canvas, select LockDown Browser.
  3. A list of quizzes in the course will be displayed.  If the welcome screen is displayed click Continue to LockDown Browser.
    •   Quizzes labeled with Required require students to use LockDown Browser.
    •   Quizzes labeled with Not Required do not require students to use LockDown Browser.
  4. To change the settings, select Modify Settings from the context menu to the left of the quiz title and select the desired option.
    You may additionally require that LockDown Browser be used to view quiz feedback and results.lockdown browser settingsOptionally you may create an access code that students must enter to start the quiz. LockDown Browser will prompt students to enter the instructor-provided code before proceeding with the quiz.
  5. Several Advanced Settings are available:lockdown browser advanced settings page
    • The first setting will prevent students from exiting the browser until the exam is completed. You are encouraged to enable this setting to prevent students from navigating away from the quiz until the quiz has been submitted. This is sometimes used in testing centers where a proctor can enter a password to exit an exam early.
    • The second setting will allow students to take the exam with an iPad, using the free LockDown Browser app.
    • The third setting will allow specific students to access the exam with screen reader accessibility programs. See www.respondus.com/accessibility for an additional step that’s required by the student.
    •  The fourth and fifth settings allow instructors to provide students with a calculator or print function in the LockDown Browser toolbar.  For additional information, select the [explain] link that follows each setting.
  6. Click Save and Close to apply the settings.Note: Depending on your browser and settings it may be necessary to collapse the Advanced Settings to click Save and Close.

Taking a Quiz

From a student’s perspective, this is how LockDown Browser is used to take an assessment. If the settings for a quiz require that LockDown Browser be used, it cannot be accessed with a standard browser.  When a student accesses a quiz a warning message will be shown indicating LockDown Browser is required along with a link to Download LockDown Browser.

  1. Locate the “LockDown Browser” shortcut on the desktop and double-click it.  (For Mac users, launch “LockDown Browser” from the Applications folder.)
  2. If prompted to close a blocked program (e.g. screen capture, instant messaging) choose Yes when prompted.
  3. Log into your Canvas course using a student login.
  4. Navigate to the quiz and click Take a Quiz.
  5. Once a quiz has been started with LockDown Browser, you cannot exit until the Submit Quiz button is clicked.

TIP: Prior to the first quiz, have students complete a practice quiz that uses LockDown Browser to make sure they have installed it correctly.

TIP: You see the quiz as a student using Student View on the course Settings page.  You will need to login using the LockDown Browser prior to doing this to take the exam as a student.

Additional Training and Support Resources