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Troubleshoot Collaborate Launcher

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

If you are unable to launch Blackboard Collaborate with your .collab file, read the following topics, in order, to troubleshoot your issue.

To find other helpful articles and FAQs, open the Collaborate Knowledge Base and search for "launcher."

Confirm the Collaborate launcher is installed

As a first time user, when you select Join Room on the Room Details page or a recording link in the Recordings table, Blackboard Collaborate prompts you to download the launcher. Your browser tries to detect the launcher to see if it is already installed. If your browser detects the Collaborate launcher, you to bypass the First time using Blackboard Collaborate? pop-up window next time you join a session or play a recording.

However, your browser may not detect that you've already installed the launcher if:

  • You cleared your cache and cookies last time you exited your browser.
  • You are using secure or private browsing.
  • You installed the launcher using one browser but now are launching a session or recording in another browser.

To confirm that the launcher is installed, look for the application on your system:

  • On Windows: The launcher is called Win32Launcher.exe. The default installation location is the following directory:

    C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Programs\Blackboard\Blackboard Collaborate Launcher

    Alternatively, look for the application Blackboard Collaborate Launcher in the Control Panel, under Programs and Features, or in the Start menu.

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

  • On Mac: The launcher is called Blackboard Collaborate Launcher. The default installation location is your Downloads folder. However, when opening a .collab file, you had the option to move it to your Applications folder instead, so check there too.

If you do not have the launcher, install it.

Choose a program for .collab files

Your computer may not know what application is required to open .collab files. Normally, once the launcher is installed, the file association between it and .collab files is already established. However, if the association was not made, you can make it either through your operating system or, if a Firefox user, through your browser.

Operating System

For instructions on making the file association through your operating system, open our Collaborate Knowledge Base and search for "file associations."



Create the file association through your Firefox Options.

  1. From the Tools menu, select Options and then the Applications tab.
  2. For the Content Type Blackboard Collaborate Session, select Use other... in the Action column.
  3. In the Select Helper Application window, select Blackboard Collaborate Launcher.


Create the file association through your Firefox Preferences.

  1. From the Firefox menu, select Preferences and then the Applications tab.
  2. For the Content Type collab file, select Use other... in the Action column.
  3. In the Select Helper Application window, select Blackboard Collaborate Launcher.

Clear the cache

If you installed the launcher and set the file association but are still having problems launching your .collab file, try clearing the launcher's Java cache.

  1. Open the launcher application.
  2. Open the Advanced tab and select Clear Cache.

Reinstall the Collaborate launcher

If all other troubleshooting solutions failed, uninstall and reinstall the launcher.

Uninstall the launcher

Before you reinstall the launcher, uninstall the current instance of the installer.

  • On Windows, open Programs and Features in your Control Panel and uninstall Blackboard Collaborate Launcher.
  • On Mac, open your Downloads folder, or Applications folder if you put the launcher application there, and drag Blackboard Collaborate Launcher to your Trash.

Reinstall the launcher

There are two ways to download the launcher installer: