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 LockDown Browser"

  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!

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.

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

What's next?

Get some more tips on keeping assignments secure and successful!

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