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Launch Blackboard Collaborate from Windows

This help topic documents the Blackboard Collaborate Launcher available in versions 4.4 and later of the Blackboard Collaborate Building Block.

Watch a video to set up Collaborate

Check out this video to learn how to host or join a Collaborate session in just a few steps.

Video: Launch Collaborate on a Windows computer.

Windows 8.x users: If you are currently in the Metro view, switch to Desktop view so that you can follow the instructions provided.

Install the launcher on Windows

  1. On the Room Details page, select Join Room or select a recording link from the Recordings table. Blackboard Collaborate prompts you to download the launcher installer.
    • If this is the first time you are using the launcher, select Download Launcher in the First time using Blackboard Collaborate? pop-up window.
    • If you already installed the launcher, your browser may not detect it, and you'll 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. Select Launch Blackboard Collaborate nowto bypass the download and then open your .collab file.
  2. A pop-up window reminds you to install the launcher. Don't select OK yet. You will after you install the launcher.
  3. Open the Blackboard Collaborate setup wizard. 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 & Chrome: save the Windows installer BlackboardCollaborateLauncher-Win.msi file. The default save location is your browser's Downloads library. Open the Downloads library and open the downloaded file to start the Blackboard Collaborate setup wizard.
    • Internet Explorer: Run or save the Windows installer BlackboardCollaborateLauncher-Win.msi. Select Run to start the Blackboard Collaborate setup wizard.
  4. Start the setup wizard. If you see the Modify, Repair, or Remove installation screen, the launcher is already installed. Select Cancel to exit the setup wizard. When finished, 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, select OK to confirm you installed the launcher.
  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.

Join a session or play a recording

  1. To join a session, select Join Room on the Room Details page. To play a recording, select a link in the Recordings table.
  2. Collaborate can prompt you to do different things if you're a new or returning user.
    • If this is your first time using the Blackboard Collaborate Launcher: Download and install the launcher.
    • If you installed Blackboard Collaborate Launcher: Open the meeting.collab file.
    • If you installed the launcher but Blackboard Collaborate prompts you to download it: Select Launch Blackboard Collaborate now.
  3. Your browser prompts you to open the .collab file. How you open the file depends on which browser you are using.
    • Firefox asks you what to do with the .collab file. Select Open with and then Blackboard Collaborate Launcher from the drop-down list. If there is no drop-down list, select Choose and open your Downloads folder to select Blackboard Collaborate Launcher.
    • Internet Explorer asks you what to do with the .collab file. Select Open.
    • Chrome downloads the .collab file and presents it at the bottom of your browser window. Select the file name to open it.

      If you want future session files to open automatically, select Always open files of this type from the menu and then open the file.

The Blackboard Collaborate session opens.

Open .collab files automatically

To automatically open .collab files next time you launch Blackboard Collaborate, use Chrome as your browser.

When you download your .collab file, Chrome displays the file at the bottom of your browser window. Open the menu and select Always open files of this type and then open the .collab file name to launch your session or play your recording. The next time you download a .collab file, it automatically launches Blackboard Collaborate.