Formative and Respondus have teamed up to provide you with the power to quickly and easily create secure testing environments with just a few clicks!

What is LockDown Browser?

LockDown Browser is a custom browser that is created and licensed for use by Respondus. It locks down the testing environment within Online testing. When students use the LockDown Browser they are prevented from printing, copying, opening new tabs, going to other URLs, accessing other applications, or screen capturing images. Once a formative with a LockDown Browser setting has begun, students are locked into it until they submit (or use a "Quit Password" provided by their teacher).

How do I know if I have access to LockDown Browser?

If your school or district purchased the Respondus LockDown Browser Add-On, the option for the secure browser mode in your assign settings will be enabled. You can also reach out to your school or district admin to inquire whether this Add-On has been purchased.

Installing LockDown Browser on Student Devices


  • Download the Windows setup .exe file from this link LockDown Browser Windows

  • Open or Run the .exe file and then follow the instructions in the installShield setup


  • Download the Mac setup .pkg file from this link LockDown Browser Mac

  • Open or Run the .pkg file and then follow the instructions in the setup wizard

  • The app can be deployed to managed devices by using Apple Configurator.


  • The LockDown Browser by Respondus (iPad version) is available for download from iTunes.

  • The app can be deployed to managed devices by using Apple Configurator.


  • For Managed Chromebook devices please refer to our Chromebook Administration Guide. Reach out to your dedicated Client Success Manager to get this guide.

How to assign a Formative with Respondus LockDown Browser

From within the formative, go to the "Assign" tab

  1. Choose the class(es) to assign the formative to

  2. Click "Additional Settings" and from the "Secure Exam Browser Mode" dropdown menu, choose "Respondus (recommended)"

  3. Add a Quit Password by toggling on the button and entering the password into the text bar (**see below for additional information)

  4. Proceed to adjust any other assign settings you need

  5. Click the Assign button

**Quit Password

A Quit Password allows a student to exit the LockDown Browser mode if extenuating circumstances require it for example, if an issue with the student's device is preventing them from completing the formative, or in a case of emergency.
In these special cases, the teacher can either share the Quit Password with the student, or enter it directly into the appropriate browser field on the student's device.

Enabling and defining a Quit Password is highly recommended as an additional layer of test integrity, since the existence of a Quit Password will disable all options to exit the LockDown Browser mode other than by either submitting the formative or using the Quit Password.

Please note: Quit Passwords are supported on Windows, Mac and iPad devices only. They are not supported on Chromebooks.

What does the student experience look like?

When students open the formative assigned with the Respondus LockDown Browser mode, they will see a prompt to open the LockDown Browser.

If your students have not yet downloaded the file, they will be prompted to download the Respondus LockDown Browser file before being able to enter the formative.

Any application running in the background that need to be shut off will produce a prompt to shut down the application, and only then the LockDown Browser will launch the formative.

Students can still use the links and embedded materials you may have added into the formative in LockDown Browser mode, however if a student attempts to open a link that is beyond what you have added into the formative they will receive a notification that the tab was blocked.

As student work on a formative secured in a LockDown Browser mode, they still have the ability to communicate with their instructor via the in-app messaging system; and responses will still come in live, enabling you to act on real-time data from a secured environment!

Please note, that as an additional layer of protection against cheating, when using the Respondus LockDown Browser students' ability to use a file picker to upload files from their devices will be disabled. This includes removing their ability to:

  • Add Images into Show Your Work

  • Upload Image/Video/File into Free Response questions

  • Add Image/ Video into Feedback Messaging with the teachers

The video below will walk you through how to use Respondus LockDown Browser within Formative:

How do I learn more about obtaining this Add-On?

Reach out to your school or district's dedicated Client Success Manager for more information! Not sure who your Client Success Manager is? Email us at, state the district you work for, and ask to be connected with the Success Manager assigned to it.

Common Q&A and Troubleshooting Tips

My student(s) are not being prompted to open the LockDown Browser, what can I do?

  • Check that the LockDown Browser has been properly installed on the student(s) device(s).

  • Check your formative's assign settings and ensure the Secure Exam Browser Mode dropdown is set to "Respondus LockDown Browser".

My student(s) LockDown Browser is not launching properly, what can I do?

  • Check for any updates on the Respondus software. You can use the installer to check for most recent version and update from there.

  • If your student(s) are using Chromebooks make sure they launch LockDown Browser by selecting “Formative” from the Apps link on their login screen (see screenshot below). When the Formative App starts, the login page will appear and the student can login and navigate to the exam. During an exam, the student will be locked into the testing environment until the assessment is submitted for grading. Once the exam is complete the user must restart the Chromebook to fully exit the exam.

My student(s) are unable to exit the LockDown Browser, what can I do?

  • Check to ensure they have clicked the "submit" button in their formative, and that the formative has been submitted (Note: if there's a required question on the formative that has not been answered, the student will not be able to submit until an answer is provided to that required question).

  • If the formative has been submitted and your student is still experiencing an issue existing the LockDown Browser, provide them with the Quit Password.

  • Students can also completely restart their devices in order to fully exit the the lockdown browser.

  • If your student(s) are using Chromebooks, please ensure that they restart the Chromebook to fully exit the exam.

I'm assigning a formative via LMS and my students are unable to access

  • If you have assigned a formative via LMS such as Canvas, Schoology, Blackbaud, etc. and toggled on the "Require Launch from [LMS]" button, it will conflict with the requirement to launch the formative on the lockdown browser. You will need to remove the requirement to launch from the LMS in order to require the launch from the lockdown browser, and vice-versa.

Can I pass grades back if I assigned the Formative via an LMS (Canvas, Schoology, Blackbaud) and the students took it with the lockdown browser?

  • Grade pass-back is not optional in this case because the formative will not be launched from within the LMS, it will be launched from the lockdown browser

I've assigned a lockdown browser required formative via the Formative Add-on in * Google Classroom, where can I see the students' responses and grade them?

  • Since students launched and completed the formative from the lockdown browser, and not from within the Add-on in Google Classroom, their responses will not appear in the Add-on modal but will be registered on the Formative website. To review their responses and grade their submissions please go to your Formative account at , locate the formative in your Formatives page and click into it.

Can I pass grades back if I assigned the formative via the Formative Add-on in Google Classroom?

  • No. Grade Pass-back is not optional when using the Formative Add-on in Google Classroom. Grades will need to be entered manually regardless of launch method.

Can I pass grades back if I assign the formative from within Formative itself, but use the "Assign & Post to Google Classroom" option?

  • Yes. In this case, students will launch the lockdown browser where they will be prompted to login to their Formative accounts and complete the formative there. The scores will be captured on the Formative website, and Grade Pass-back will be optional.

What's next?

Get some more tips on keeping assignments secure and successful!

Did this answer your question?