ALEKS - Assessment and Learning

Technical Support

System Requirements

What are the system requirements for using ALEKS?
How do I install and enable Java on my computer?
How do I uninstall or remove Java on my Windows computer?

Troubleshooting

I have tried all troubleshooting steps and enabled Java on Firefox for Windows, and I’m still experiencing problems in ALEKS.
Java is installed and enabled on Google Chrome but the out-of-date plug-in message keeps showing up when attempting to log in ALEKS.
I installed Java 7 on my Mac and ALEKS stopped working.
The ALEKS Plug-in keeps re-installing.
I receive an error message when using ALEKS.
When I use ALEKS, my browser closes or freezes.
Why can't I print the pie charts from my report?
What if I have the SonicWALL firewall, and it won't let me use ALEKS?
How can an incorrect Macintosh network configuration cause problems (slowness, freezing, incomplete loading)?
What happens if I use my browser's Back and Forward buttons in ALEKS?
How do I enable JavaScript in my browser?

Plug-in

What is the ALEKS plug-in? Is it safe to install on my computer?
How do I manually install or reinstall the ALEKS plug-in?
How do I use the ALEKS "streaming" plug-in?
I have a firewall (Norton/Symantec) installed on my system. Can I download the ALEKS plug-in?
What is an ALEKS plug-in upgrade?

Return to FAQs or contact Customer Support for further assistance.

ALEKS runs on many devices with various operating system and web browser configurations. Use the tabs below to identify the system requirements for specific ALEKS course products.

K-12 Higher Ed. Math Higher Ed. Business Higher Ed. Science Higher Ed. Behavioral
Desktop and Tablet Compatibility
All Elementary School courses Info Prep for SC Algebra 1 EOC Examination
All Middle School courses Info Prep for SC HSAP Mathematics
All High School courses Info Prep for TX - STAAR Algebra 1
Math Intervention Prep for TX - STAAR Geometry
Mastery of SAT Math Math Prep for TAKS -- HS Exit Exam
Math Prep for California High School Exit Exam Math for College Readiness
Prep for FL Algebra 1 EOC Assessment Math for College Success
Prep for FL Geometry EOC Assessment Math for 4-Year College Success
Prep for IN Algebra 1 ECA Prep for GED Mathematics
Prep for LA Algebra 1 EOC Assessment AP Chemistry
Prep for LA Geometry EOC Assessment Prep for AP Chemistry
Prep for MN Mathematics GRAD Math Review for AP Physics
Prep for PA Algebra 1 Keystone Exam  
System Requirements
  Windows(1) Macintosh  Chromebook  iPad  Android Tablet(2)
Operating System XP+ OS X 10.4+ Chrome OS iOS 6+ Android 4+
Screen Resolution 800x600 + 800x600 + Any Any 8.9"
Browsers Chrome
Explorer 8+
Firefox 10+
Chrome
Safari 4+
Firefox 10+
Chrome Safari Chrome

(1) Windows based Microsoft Surface tablets require the use of the touch cover keyboard.
(2) At this time only Samsung Galaxy tablets have been tested.

Java + ALEKS plug-in no longer needed, except for instructors and administrators using the Advanced Instructor Module ("IM1") for which Java and the ALEKS plug-in must be installed.

Desktop Compatibility (Java + ALEKS plug-in required)
AP Statistics (Quantitative) Fundamentals of Accounting (Corporation)
High School Prep for Statistics Fundamentals of Accounting (Sole Proprietorship)
Business Math  
System Requirements
  Windows Macintosh      
Operating System XP+ OS X 10.4+      
Screen Resolution   800x600 + 800x600 +      
Browsers Chrome
Explorer 8+
Firefox 10+
Chrome
Safari 4+
Firefox 10+
     

Java + ALEKS plug-in required.

Java and the ALEKS Plug-In

For course products requiring Java and the ALEKS plug-in:

  • Java: View instructions for installing and enabling Java on your computer.

    Oracle has set the Java Security baseline to Java 7 update 51. We strongly recommend that you use this version. If you can't upgrade to the latest version of Java, you will need to lower your Java Security to Medium to be able to use ALEKS.

    Firefox on Windows: Java 6 updates 25 through 29 and Java 7 have been known to cause stability problems with Firefox on Windows.

    The issue has been reported to Oracle. When running Firefox on Windows, please make sure to use the latest version of Java 6, that is update 30 or later. Please visit the FAQ for details.

      
  • ALEKS Plug-In: Install the ALEKS plug-in on your computer. If your computer lab has security safeguards in place, your LAN administrator, system administrator, or lab technician must install the ALEKS plug-in.

Troubleshooting

To check your current configuration and to get answers to the most common questions, view our troubleshooting page.

 

You can install Oracle Microsystems' Java VM from our Web site at http://www.aleks.com/support/sun_jvm.

Then, enable Java using these steps:

FOR WINDOWS OPERATING SYSTEMS

For Internet Explorer 7, 8, or 9:

  1. Click on Tools > Manage Add-ons > Enable or Disable Add-ons… > Enable all Java Entries.

Note: For Internet Explorer 7, you may need to change the “Show” filter from default “Add-ons currently loaded in Internet Explorer” to "Add-ons that have been used by Internet Explorer”.

Note: For Internet Explorer 8 and 9, change the “Show” filter from “Currently loaded add-ons” to “All add-ons”.

  1. Close your browser and restart your computer before using ALEKS.
  2. (Optional if it exists) On Internet Explorer 7, go to Tools >Internet Options > Advanced tab.
    1. Scroll halfway until you see Java (Oracle).
    2. Make sure that the box below it is checked.
    3. Close your browser and restart your computer before using ALEKS.

For Firefox 3.6+:

  1. Start Mozilla Firefox browser or restart it if it is already running.
  2. For Firefox 4 or 5, press the "Alt" button on your keyboard to enable the top menu bar.
  3. Select Tools > Add-ons.
  4. Dialog box: Add-ons.
  5. Click Plugins > Click on any Java entries and "Enable".

Note: Firefox 3.6 and later require Java version 6 update 10 or later.

For Firefox 3-3.5:

  1. Start Mozilla Firefox browser or restart it if it is already running.
  2. Select Tools > Options.
  3. Dialog box: Options.
  4. Click Content > Select Enable Java.

 
FOR MAC OPERATING SYSTEMS

Safari 6.0.4+:

  1. On Menu Bar > Safari > Preferences.
  2. Click on "Security" and make sure that "Enable Java" is enabled.
  3. Click on the "Manage Website Settings..." button.
  4. Select "Allow Always" for the website "secure.aleks.com".

Safari:

  1. On Menu Bar > Safari > Preferences.
  2. Click on "Security" and make sure that "Enable Java" is enabled.

For Firefox 3.6+:

  1. On Menu Bar > Firefox > Tools > Add-ons. 
  2. Click Plugins > Click on any Java entries and "Enable".

For Firefox 3-3.5:

  1. On Menu Bar > Firefox > Preferences.
  2. Click on "Content" and make sure that "Enable Java" is enabled.

Notes:

To uninstall Java from Windows 7, Vista, or Windows XP, check the "How do I uninstall Java on my Windows computer" instructions from Oracle.

Java 6 updates 25 through 29 and Java 7 have been known to cause stability problems with Firefox on Windows. The issue has been reported to Oracle. Please make sure to use the latest version of Java 6, that is update 30 or later, or use another web browser such as Google Chrome or Internet Explorer.

In general, this message will appear if you are using an older version of Java. To update your Java plug-in, click "Update plug-in" from the message. Otherwise, clicking on "Run this time" will allow you to continue without upgrading to the latest version.

To learn more about this topic, check the Google Support article "Out of date plug-ins".

Java 7 requires browsers to run in 64-bit mode. Java 7 does not support browsers running in 32-bit mode. Follow the steps below to switch Safari or Firefox to 64-bit mode:

  1. Open Finder on the dock at the bottom of your screen
  2. Click on Applications
  3. Click on Safari or Firefox while holding down the CRTL key button (a pop-up window should appear)
  4. Click on Get Info
  5. Uncheck the "Open in 32-bit Mode" check box
  6. Close the Info window
  7. Quit Safari or Firefox

Network shared environments:

If you had previously installed the plugin at /System/Library/Frameworks/JavaVM.framework/Versions/CurrentJDK/Home/lib/ext/ you will need to manually reinstall the plugin at /System/Library/Java/Extensions/. Please see Manual Installation of the ALEKS plug-in on MacOS X for details.

FOR WINDOWS OPERATING SYSTEMS

Most likely, a Firewall or Anti-virus program is preventing the ALEKS plug-in from installing onto your computer.

Please click on the link below to try our manual installation of the ALEKS plug-in:

http://www.aleks.com/downloads/win_jvm

FOR MAC OPERATING SYSTEMS

The installations of the ALEKS plug-in can run into a cycle if your browser is not fully reset after the initial download and install of the plug-in.

While the browser window is open, click on Safari or Firefox (located in the top menu bar), then choose “Quit.” This will fully shutdown the browser session, allowing the ALEKS plug-in to complete its installation.

FOR WINDOWS OPERATING SYSTEMS ONLY

If you receive the following error message when loading ALEKS:

An error occurred during installation. This installer is not allowed to write files in your Java Plug-in lib/ext directory.”

This error appears if you are not logged in as the Administrator on your computer or if you are using ALEKS at the public library or school lab environment, where you are restricted from installing programs. Please log in to your system as a Windows Administrator to install ALEKS.

If you continue to receive the above error message after speaking with your Windows Administrator, please contact ALEKS Support for additional assistance.

FOR WINDOWS OPERATING SYSTEMS

Having multiple versions of Java installed on your computer may cause minor conflict with one another therefore Java may perform in an unstable manner. We recommend uninstalling or removing all current versions of Java and only installing the latest available version.

To uninstall all versions of Java, please click on the link below:         

http://java.com/en/download/uninstall.jsp

Please click on the link below for instructions on how to install the latest version of Java:

Download Java

FOR MAC OPERATING SYSTEMS

Macintosh does not require you to uninstall Java manually, but simply perform a Software Update on your machine.

Please click on the Apple icon and then select “Software Update.” Make sure all of the updates are applied.

If the issue persists, please try resetting your browser.

Safari

  1. Open the Safari tab > click on reset Safari > make sure all items are selected > click reset Safari.
  2. Open a new Safari browser and try to log in again.

Firefox

  1. Close all Firefox browsers.
  2. While holding down the “option” key, double click on the Firefox icon.
  3. Check the box next to “Reset all user preferences to Firefox defaults”.
  4. Click  “Make Changes and Restart”.

If you are able to see the pie charts displayed on the "print preview" screen that comes up when you click on "Print," but do not see them on your printed copy, then your printer driver software may need to be upgraded.

  1. Ensure that Java is installed and enabled on your computer.
  2. The following are links to a few of the most common manufacturers' sites. The newest drivers will be available for free on the manufacturer's website for your printer.

Hewlett Packard: http://welcome.hp.com/country/us/en/support.html

Canon: http://www.usa.canon.com/html/conCprTSIndex.jsp?app=download

Lexmark: http://downloads.lexmark.com

If your system makes use of SonicWALL and you are running ALEKS on MacOS X, then the following procedure will be needed to ensure full access to ALEKS.

  1. Log in to SonicWALL via your web browser: Navigate your browser to http://xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx/diag.html (substituting your firewall IP address or DNS name for xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx).
  2. Scroll down and uncheck "Enforce Host Tag Search with for CFS."
  3. Click "Apply" at the top of the page.

If this procedure does not resolve your problem, please contact ALEKS Corporation Customer Support at http://support.aleks.com or (714) 619-7090.

In MacOS X, each user's home directory contains that user's preferences in the Library directory. In a network environment this home directory is on the server and is not copied to the local hard drive. If the computers share user names, they are writing and rewriting to the same files in these directories. If, for example, a cache file used by one student's ALEKS session is overwritten by another student's ALEKS session because they are sharing the same directories, the first session will not be able to find needed data and will become unresponsive. If somehow the ALEKS plug-in is being shared in this way, similar (or worse) degradation will result. If the computers are all configured to use individual accounts, the problem should be resolved.

When using ALEKS on Macintosh computers in a lab or network situation, each computer should have its own network account. If different computers use the same network account, files will be shared between them, including temporary files affecting the speed and reliability of network access. This is true even if the configuration instructions seem to indicate that the files will be "local."  In particular, "mobile accounts," which make local copies of files, are also essentially network accounts and will cause this problem. The magnitude of the problem varies with the number of persons using the network, and with the kind of web-based programs in use. There may be no problem evident at low levels of use, but if there is a lab full of persons accessing ALEKS concurrently, the degradation will be serious.

So, the rule is to have a separate network account for each computer.

Students using ALEKS should never use the "Back" or "Forward" button on their browser.  (These may also appear as arrows pointing respectively left and right.)  They should only use the navigation buttons and links within ALEKS itself.  Some students may have the idea of looking at an ALEKS explanation, then clicking "Back" to return to the original question and enter the answer given in the explanation.  If they do this, ALEKS will treat the answer as correct, since it would be potentially misleading to the student to do otherwise.  It will NOT, however, credit that answer toward the student's mastery of the topic; in other words, a student doing this will never be able to add the topic to their pie chart unless they stop doing it and begin answering the questions honestly.  Students who try this technique realize very soon that it is not working for them and stop doing it.  We suggest that teachers simply let their students know at the outset that they should not use the browser "Back" or "Forward" button in ALEKS.

JavaScript must be enabled in your browser in order to use ALEKS. Normally, it is enabled and you do not need to do anything to make it work. If for any reason it is not enabled, here are the steps to follow.

Internet Explorer

  1. At the top of the Explorer window, on the menu bar, click on the Tools menu, and select Internet Options.
  2. In the Internet Options window, select the Security panel.
  3. If you do not have to customize your security settings, click Default Level, then OK.
  4. If you have to customize your security settings, click on the Internet zone, then on Custom Level. In the Scripting section, click Enable for Active Scripting, then OK. Click OK again at the bottom of the Internet Options box.

Firefox for PC

  1. At the top of the Firefox window, on the menu bar, click on the Tools menu, and select Options
  2. In the Options window, select the Content panel.
  3. Check the "Enable JavaScript" box, then scroll down and click OK.

Firefox for MAC

  1. At the top of the Firefox window, on the menu bar, click on Firefox, and select Preferences
  2. In the Preferences window, select the Content panel.
  3. Check the "Enable JavaScript" box, then close the window.

Safari

  1. At the top of the Safari window, on the menu bar, click on Safari, and select Preferences
  2. In the Preferences window, select the Security panel.
  3. Check the "Enable JavaScript" box, then close the window.

Chrome

  1. To enable JavaScript, go to Chrome ->Click on Wrench Icon -> Options -> Under the Hood Tab -> Content Settings
  2. On Content Settings -> JavaScript tab -> enable “Allow all sites to run JavaScript”

The ALEKS plug-in is used by your browser when you are logged on to ALEKS. It is inactive at other times, and does not do anything except provide functionality for ALEKS. However, if you remove the ALEKS plug-in from your computer, you won't be able to access ALEKS on that computer until you re-install it.

Installation of the ALEKS plug-in is automatic. If you attempt to access ALEKS, it will automatically check to see if the current plug-in is installed on your computer. If it isn't, the plug-in will be downloaded. You will then be asked for your permission to install the plug-in on your system. This is a safe operation for your computer.

FOR WINDOWS OPERATING SYSTEMS

Below are instructions on how to manually install the ALEKS plug-in without having to disable your security software:

  1. Log in as the administrator/owner of the computer.
  2. Go to http://www.aleks.com/downloads/win_jvm.
  3.  Follow steps 1 through 4 to manually download and install the plug-in.
  4. Please remember to restart your browser.

FOR MAC OPERATING SYSTEMS

Please click on the link below for instructions on how to manually install the plug-in:

http://www.aleks.com/downloads/mac_jvm

The ALEKS "streaming" plug-in can be used to access ALEKS at home or in a public library where software installation is difficult or prohibited.

Important: The "streaming" plug-in should NOT be used in a school or college computer lab, or any other location where more than one person is using ALEKS at the same time. In any educational lab setting, the regular ALEKS plug-in MUST be installed. If the "streaming" plug-in is used in a lab setting, it may disrupt the functioning of the network.

To use the "streaming" plug-in, follow these steps:

  1. Go to http://www.aleks.com/plugin and simply log in to or register with ALEKS as you normally would.
  2. Upon first log in, ALEKS will automatically retrieve the ALEKS plug-in from our systems and run it in the current window. Do not grant any special user rights or writing privileges on a computer for this installation.
  3. The plug-in will continue to be available until the browser window is closed.
  4. Important: When restarting the browser and returning to ALEKS, it will be necessary to go back to http://www.aleks.com/plugin before logging into ALEKS.

The word, "/plugin" must be added to the end of the URL, otherwise ALEKS will attempt to install the standard ALEKS plug-in instead of using the streaming version of the ALEKS plug-in.

Download time:

  • Up to 1 minute on a fast connection (DSL, Cable modem, LAN).
  • Up to 10 minutes on a 56K modem.

Minimum Requirements:

  • The system requirements are the same as for the standard ALEKS plug-in.
  • "Cookies" must be enabled on your browser.

Do you have Norton Internet Security or other firewalls installed on your computer?  Sometimes a security program will block the ALEKS plug-in from loading. You may need to temporarily disable the security program for the initial download of ALEKS. After downloading the ALEKS plug-in you may re-enable your security software.  This only needs to be done once.

To temporarily disable Norton Internet Security or Norton Personal Firewall:

1. On the desktop, double-click the Norton Internet Security icon or the Norton Personal Firewall icon.
2. Click Status & Settings (System Settings, System Status).
3. Click Security then click Turn Off.
4. Click Personal Firewall, then click Turn Off.
5. Click Intrusion Detection, then click Turn Off

If you do not wish to temporarily disable Norton Internet Security, you may follow these steps to add ALEKS to its list of trusted sites.

1. Find the "Norton Internet Security" icon in the bottom right
corner of your screen (located to the left of your system time clock).
2. Right-click on the Norton icon and choose "Open Norton Internet Security."
3. Next, choose "Privacy Control". This is located on the main screen.
4. Click the "Configure" button in the lower right corner.
5. In the "Privacy Control" window that appears, click the "Advanced"
button located on the lower right corner.
6. In the "Advanced" dialog, click the "Add Site" button in the lower
left corner of the "Web Content Options" tab.
7. Type aleks.com in the "New Site/Domain" dialog box, then click the
"OK" button.
8. Select aleks.com in the list of domain names in the left pane. Once selected, choose the "User Settings" tab located at the top right.
9. Under "Pop-up ads," uncheck "Use Ad Blocking settings," and select "Permit."
10. Click "OK" to save your changes and close this window. Click "OK" again to save changes under the "Privacy Control" window.
Close Norton Internet Security. Open a new browser window and try to log into ALEKS.

If the page remains on loading the plug-in and does not go beyond that, please disable the firewall (Norton Internet Security, Privacy and Firewall for Zone Alarm) and/or any popup blockers.

If the download process repeats two or more times, or if you receive an error message during loading, please refer back to the instructions on how to download Java. 

If you have any further questions, contact ALEKS customer support.

If your computer resides behind a school firewall, and it does not have the ALEKS plug-in, please use the ALEKS streaming plug-in, or ask your system administrator for assistance.

Upgrading the ALEKS plug-in means re-installing the current version of the ALEKS plug-in. Please note that the current version of the ALEKS plug-in has no necessary relation to the current versions of any course products; these are two separate things, although sometimes you need a new plug-in to use a new course product version. The ALEKS plug-in can be upgraded or re-installed simply by going to the ALEKS Home Page:

http://www.aleks.com

and clicking on the button marked "Downloads" toward the upper right-hand corner of the page. For lab installations, it is sometimes convenient to use the MSI file provided:

http://www.aleks.com/downloads/win_jvm

There are frequent improvements to ALEKS which depend on the current plug-in version (modifications to the interface or system tools, etc.), so we generally advise re-installing the plug-in at least once a year, even if there is no new course product version that requires it. Changes to the plug-in do not always mean that the version number of the plug-in has changed. We do our best to time changes to the plug-in so that users can re-install it around the new year or mid-summer.

Sometimes, a new course product version requires a particular version of the plug-in. In this case, we will communicate this dependency to users when the new course product version is announced. If you upgrade to the new course product version and need a new version of the plug-in to support it, re-installation of the plug-in will be initiated automatically when you try to use the course product. Obviously, it is preferable to do the plug-in re-installation ahead of time when a new course product version requires it.