Center for Technology Enhanced Learning

Blackboard Error Messages

Does this look painfully familiar?

image not found

How about this one?

There are several scenarios which can bring this dreaded image to your screen, and we have tips for some:

  • Your students cannot access your course files
  • You cannot view your student's uploaded files
  • When normal attachments aren't working, try uploading to your files area.



Your students cannot access your course files

This happens most often when you have used course copy or export and import to bring your course contents from a course in BB8 to BB9.1. Blackboard sent an urgent notice to the system office to disable the Move Files to Course Files option. Apparently, this can cause problems with future course copies. Sooooo.....

  • The first best solution to make the files visible to your students is to resave them (with fully legal filenames) and reattach them to your course.
  • You are also cautioned not to included non-alpha-numeric characters (eg. : ; "' & % @ #) in Titles to posts in Blogs, Discussion Boards, or Journals.
  • You are further advised to leave the box for Name of Link to File BLANK.

leave blank

If you still have trouble, your permissions are probably broken. The work-around is to use your course files to add file permissionsas follows:

  1. Click on Control Panel > Files > Course ID
    Files Link
  2. Click on the chevron chevronnext to the name of the file you attached and choose Permissions

    File Permissions

  3. Click on Add Course User List
    No All Users Permission

  4. Select Roles: All Course Users and Grant Read Permission

    Choose Users

  5. Click Submit

    All Users
  6. Note: You may save steps by uploading a folder of files and adding the permissions to the folder.



You cannot view files or images attached by students
  1. We have seen this in varied forms. If you cannot view the files, but other students CAN, your first step is to turn off editing, which allows you to see files more as your students view them.
  2. If that doesn't work, try a different browser.
  3. If that doesn't work, the problem is most likely either with the format of the file, or the filename which may have spaces or illegal (non alpha-numeric) characters in them. Ask your student to resave the file according to the file naming guidelines.

Students should be directed to attach files using the Browse My Computer button rather than embedding the file attachment in the text box and to leave the Name of Link to File box BLANK!

Leave name of link to file Blank



An alternate upload method

In some extreme cases, we have found instructors unable to create items by attaching files directly from their computer. If this happens to you, the best approach seems to be:

  • First, UPLOAD the file to your files area

Files area

upload button



  • Go to Content area where you want to post the document
  • Build Content > Create Item
  • Use Browse Course button instead of the Browse My Computer.

    browse Course
  • Locate your file in the files window, select it by clicking the check box, Click Submit.