Skip navigation

Computer Checklist image

Computer Checklist

Is your computer ready? Find out if your computer is ready for online courses by taking our browser test. Make sure to turn off pop-up blockers for this site first.

image of key requirements

The following is a list of basic computer hardware and software minimum requirements needed to successfully take courses online. Please check the syllabus of individual courses for additional computer hardware and software requirements.

PC Platform:

  • Operating System: Windows 8.1 (32-bit/64-bit), Windows 8 (32-bit/64-bit), Windows 7 (32-bit/64-bit)
  • Processor: 1.4GHz Intel® Pentium® 4 or faster processor (or equivalent) for Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 8.1
  • RAM: 512MB of RAM (1GB recommended) for Windows 7 or Windows 8
  • Free Hard Disk Space: 200 MB required
  • Audio: 16 bit Sound Card and USB Headphones with microphone required
  • Video: NVIDIA GeForce 6600 or better, OR ATI Radeon 9500 or better, OR Intel 945 chipset
  • Webcam: Built-in to laptops or external
  • *Software: Google Chrome, Microsoft Internet Explorer 8, 9, 10, 11; Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge; Windows Media Player 12 or better (free version available), Acrobat Reader, Adobe® Flash® Player 11.2+
  • Java (for Collaborate): Java SE 6U13 or higher, Java SE 7, Java Access Bridge 2.0.2 (Windows Vista, 7, 8) on Java website.

Macintosh Platform:

  • Operating System: Mac OS X 10.7.4, 10.8, 10.9
  • Processor: 1.83GHz Intel Core™ Duo or faster processor
  • RAM: 512MB of RAM (1GB recommended)
  • Free Hard Disk Space: 200 MB
  • Audio: USB Headphones with microphone required
  • Video: ATI Radeon 9200 and above, OR ATI Radeon X Series, OR NVIDIA GeForce 2, GeForce 4, OR NVIDIA GeForce 5000 Series and above

  • Webcam: Built-in to laptops or external
  • *Software: Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, Windows Media Player Components for QuickTime (free version available), Acrobat Reader, Adobe Flash Player 11.2+
  • Java (for Collaborate): Apple Java 1.6.0_07 (J2SE6-64 bit) Oracle Java 1.7 on Java website.
  • *For the best Blackboard Collaborate experience, use Google Chrome

Screen Readers

  • JAWS 13 and 14 support both 32-bit and 64-bit OSs/JVMs
  • For the best Blackboard Collaborate experience with your screen reader, use Internet Explorer® and Jaws on a Windows® system. On a Mac® use Safari® and VoiceOver.

Adobe Connect Meetings

  • Meeting Attendees: Bandwidth of 256 Kbps (512 Kbps recommended) for participants, meeting attendees, and end users of Adobe Connect applications. USB Headphones with microphone required.
  • Meeting Hosts: DSL/cable (wired connection recommended) for Adobe Connect presenters, administrators, trainers, and event and meeting hosts. USB Headphones with microphone required.
  • Adobe Connect users can test their computer readiness here for their Connect sessions

Blackboard Collaborate Meetings

  • Blackboard Collaborate Ultra sessions no longer require the user to install Java.
  • Complete system requirements for Collaborate can be found here.
  • First time Collaborate users learn more by visiting Collaborate’s Basics page.
  • Macintosh operating systems are not fully supported at this time, check this site for supported browsers. For the best Blackboard Collaborate experience with your screen reader, use Internet Explorer® and Jaws on a Windows® system. On a Mac® use Safari® and VoiceOver.

Mobile Devices header
  • Adobe Connect Meetings: Host, present, and participate in a Adobe Connect meeting on any mobile device, including iPhone, iPad, Google Android, and BlackBerry PlayBook. To download Adobe Connect Mobile App for your mobile device and list of Adobe Connect features supported by the app visit Adobe Connect website.
  • Presentations: To access online course presentations on iPad download Adobe Presenter Mobile app at Apple iTunes website. For the best experience in taking an online course Puffin browser is highly recommended. To download Puffin browser for your mobile device click here.
  • Blackboard Collaborate: To participate in a Blackboard Collaborate session you can download the free iOS app at App Store. For your Android device the App can be downloaded at Google Play. You can also connect directly from NIU Mobile App. Blackboard Collaborate Mobile is available on Amazon Kindle Fire, and Blackberry App World.

Proctor U header


Microsoft recently announced it will no longer support older versions of Internet Explorer after Jan. 12, 2016. Browser versions prior to Internet Explorer 11 will still work, but they may not have the latest security updates.

  • ProctorU’s technical requirements may be found here.

  • Google Chrome is the preferred browser for proctoring sessions, Mozilla Firefox is another reliable alternative and Safari is available for Apple users.

  • If you have any questions, please contact us today using live chat on, emailing or calling 855-772-8678.


Related Links

Browser Test



Download Puffin Browser and Adobe Connect Mobile app for your device

Puffin Browser for iOS Devices button

Puffin Browser for Android Devices button

Adobe Connect app for iOS button

Adobe Connect for Android button

Adobe Connect for Blackberry button