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Setting Windows File Associations to Open .JNLP Files Properly

Date Published: Sep 27,2019

CategoryProduct:Help & FAQs; Version:Web Conferencing
Article No.: 000036940
Java and Blackboard Collaborate Launcher
Document Type:
User Documentation

Document Summary:

Blackboard Collaborate Web Conferencing utilizes the Java Network Launching Protocol (JNLP) to launch a web conferencing session.  Therefore, it is necessary for your computer to recognize the JNLP file type and be able to execute the Java Web Start program. 

Each file type on your computer is associated with an application that runs it. Files of type JNLP are run by Java Web Start. It is possible for JNLP files to become associated with another application, causing it to open incorrectly. Because Java Web Start opens your Blackboard Collaborate Web Conferencing sessions, when the JNLP files are associated incorrectly, your session cannot open.

Document Details:

To modify the file association to have JNLP files open with Java Web Start on a Windows computer, follow the steps below:

Windows XP:

  • Click on Start and select Control Panel from the Settings menu (or click Start and select Control Panel).
  • In the control panel, click Folder Options .
  • In the Folder Options window, click the File Types tab.
  • Locate JNLP under the list of registered file types.  Highlight the JNLP file by selecting JNLP file under the Extensions column.
  • Click the Change button.
  • From the Open With window, click the Browse button.
  • From the Open With dialogue window, locate the file javaws.exe:
    • In the C:\Program Files folder, double click the Java folder
    • Double click the jre* folder
    • Double click the bin folder
    • Select the javaws.exe application
    • Click the Open button
  • Click the OK button to close the Open With window.
  • Click the Apply button to apply settings to the Folder Options window.  Click the OK button to close the Folder Options window.


JNLP files will now open, by default, with Java Web Start

Windows 7 and Vista:
  • Click on Start  and select Control Panel.
  • In the top right corner of the Control Panel, select Category from the view by: pull down menu.
  • Click the Programs link.
  • Under Default Programs, click the Make a file type always open in a specific program link.
  • Under the Name column, locate and select JNLP from the list of Extensions.
  • Click the Change program button.
  • From the Open With window, click the Browse... button..
  • From the Open With... dialogue window, (This will typically open in the c:\Program Files directory)
  • Select the Java folder, (If you do not see Java, go back up one level to the c:/ drive and select Program Files(x86), then select the Java folder. If you do not have a Java folder here, you will want to go to and download the latest version before continuing with these steps.)
    • Double click the latest jre folder (example: jre7, jre1.8_25, etc)
    • Double click the bin folder
    • Double click the javaws application

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  • Click the OK button.

  • Click the Close button.

JNLP files will now open, by default, with Java Web Start.

 Windows 8:

  • Open Default Programs by swiping in from the right edge of the screen, tapping Search (or if you're using a mouse, pointing to the upper-right corner of the screen, moving the mouse pointer down, and then clicking Search), entering Default programs in the search box, tapping or clicking Apps, and then tapping or clicking Default Programs.

    User-added image
  • Click Associate a file type or protocol with a program.

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  • Locate .JNLP under the list of registered file types. Highlight the JNLP file by tapping or clicking .JNLP under the Extensions column, then tap or click on Change Program.

    User-added image

  • Tap or Click Java™ Web Start Launcher from the list of programs.
  • If you do not see Java Web Start Launcher listed, tap or click More options then Look for another app on this PC.
  • Tap or double-click on Local Disk (C:) in the left column (located under “Computer”).
  • Tap or double-click Program Files (x86). If you do not see this, select Program Files instead.
  • Locate and select the Java folder.
  • Select the latest JRE folder (JRE6 or JRE7 or jre1.8_*).
  • Select bin.
  • Select javaws.exe and press Open.

JNLP files will now open, by default, with Java Web Start.


Windows 10
  • Close any Collaborate session or recording windows.
  • Open the Windows Control Panel and go into Programs and Features.
  • Check the list of programs to ensure that Java is already installed on the system. If it isn't installed, please download and install Java from before proceeding.
  • Download a new Collaborate meeting or recording file but don't launch the file yet.
  • Locate the meeting or recording .jnlp file in your Downloads folder.
  • Right-click on the file and choose Open with then click Choose another app.
  • If you see Java (TM) Web Start Launcher in this list (you may need to click More apps to expand the list), select it and check the box that says Always use this app to open .jnlp files then click the OK button.
  • If Java (TM) Web Start Launcher is not in the list, check the box that says Always use this app to open .collab files then click Look for another app on this PC.
  • Navigate to the following location:
    • c:\program files\java\jreXXX\bin
    • XXX represents a number that will vary based on the version of Java installed on the computer, for example: jre1.8.0_221.
  • Select the file named javaws.exe and click Open.
  • Going forward, all .jnlp files will open using Java Web Start.

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 © 2020 Blackboard Inc. All rights reserved