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Troubleshooting Collaborate Audio/Video quality issues

Date Published: Mar 31,2020

CategoryProduct:Web Conferencing; Version:Web Conferencing
Article No.: 000053337
Blackboard Collaborate
Document Type:
User Documentation

Document Summary:


This article provides instructions on how to troubleshoot Audio and Video issues in a Collaborate session. Issues may include:
  • No audio or video
  • Poor audio or video
  • Garbled audio
  • Distorted or pixelated video



    The following troubleshooting steps may help resolve issues:

    1. Use a headset whenever possible. Avoid using the computer's built in audio components. This helps prevent environmental noises from being picked up by the on-board microphone.
    2. Check to see that the correct speakers are selected for your OS.
      • Mac go to Apple > System Preferences > Sound.
      • Windows go to Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Sound or search for Sound and select Sound from the Control Panel in the search menu.
    3. Make sure the proper audio device is selected for use by Collaborate.
      • Click on My Settings (your avatar) > Audio and Video Settings > Setup Your Camera and Microphone.
    4. Do you sound bad or far away? Check that the microphone is located appropriately.
      • Placing the microphone directly under your nose will result in breathing being heard by session participants.
      • Placing the microphone too far away from your mouth will result in low audio and the possibility of environmental noise being captured.
    5. Check that the microphone is not muted either by a button or on the computer, check to see if the microphone is picked up by your computer at all. 
    6. Video error - "uh oh, can't access camera" - Not all cameras are supported by Collaborate, for example a camera that only has a 4k or HD resolution. For more information about supported resolutions see:
    7. Make sure that you are using a supported web browser.
    8. Make sure your web browser is up to date. Current browsers have been tested against Collaborate and can include fixes for known issues.
    9. Disable AdBlockers and extensions, refresh your Collaborate session. If necessary try Chrome in an Incognito window or Firefox in a Private window.
    10. Try a different supported web browser. 
    11. Try clearing web browser cache and restarting the session.
    12. Close out of your web browser and reopen it.
    13. Some Anti-Virus applications block webcam and microphone from being accessible in the browser, please make sure your Anti-Virus is not blocking your webcam or microphone.
    14. Reboot your computer.
    15. Check for sustained high CPU usage which is an indicator that your computer is working too hard.  High CPU usage for our intents and purposes is defined as sustained CPU usage of 90% - 100%, meaning the CPU Usage doesn't often fall below that level or frequently returns to that level. High CPU usage is most commonly seen when using an older computer or when too many programs are running.
      • On Windows open the Task Manager (ctrl+alt+delete > Task Manager).  Total CPU usage is shown at the bottom of the Task Manager screen.
      • On a Mac, open the Activity Monitor (Go>Utilities>Activity Monitor).  Total CPU usage is shown at bottom of the Activity Monitor screen.
      • Click here for instructions on how to fix high CPU usage
      • Shut down any unnecessary programs that are running on the computer before starting your Collaborate session. As a general rule, if you don't plan on sharing an application, close it!

    If these steps have been taken and there are still issues, it might be time to evaluate your network connection.  Click here to go to the network troubleshooting guide. 

    The information contained in the Knowledge Base was written and/or verified by Blackboard Support. It is approved for client use. Nothing in the Knowledge Base shall be deemed to modify your license in any way to any Blackboard product. If you have comments, questions, or concerns, please send an email to © 2023 Blackboard Inc. All rights reserved