Support: Instructor Support

Many of the most common questions are described below. If you don't find what you're looking for, our Math Media Educator Support Team is ready to help.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Search our Online Knowledge Base for answers to a comprehensive set of questions. The Knowledge Base lets you search by category, keywords, or phrases. You can even subscribe to articles to receive email notifications when they are updated.

Tips on using the Browser Check and Installation Wizard

Your computer needs to be properly configured to run your MathXL course. Depending on your course, you will either need to run the Installation Wizard or the Browser Check to install the components you need to view exercises and multimedia content in your course.

Where do I find the Browser Check or Installation Wizard?

It's best to run the Browser Check or Installation Wizard from inside your MathXL course. When you log into your course, you will see a Browser Check or Installation Wizard link on the Announcements page.

You can also run the Browser Check or Installation Wizard from this Support site.

  1. Go to the Browser Check or Installation Wizard page.
  2. Select the textbook for your course from the drop-down menu.
  3. Click Submit. Either the Browser Check or the Installation Wizard appears in a new window, depending on which tool is used in your course.

Note: Before running the Browser Check or Installation Wizard, you should review the information below. You must have administrator rights to install software on your computer. You will also need to confirm pop-up blocker and cookie settings. If you are unfamiliar with these topics, the information below will give you guidance.

Administrator Rights

Administrator rights allow you to install software on a computer. Before running the Browser Check or Installation Wizard, make sure you have full administrator rights on your machine. If you are on a lab computer or a computer at an institution or business, you probably do not have administrator rights and you cannot install courses components from the Browser Check or Installation Wizard. In this case, you need to contact your lab administrator, network administrator, or the owner of the computer so that person can run the Browser Check or Installation Wizard to install plug-ins and players for you.

To check for admin rights on a Windows system:

  1. Right-click the Windows Start button.
  2. If you see the text “Explore All Users,” you have administrator rights.

To check for admin rights on a Macintosh system:

  1. From the Apple menu, choose System Preferences.
  2. From the View menu, choose Accounts.
  3. Under My Account you should see your computer user name. If you have administrator rights, Admin appears directly below your user name.

If you try to install components using the Browser Check or Installation Wizard without administrator rights, you may see a message saying that you are missing a key component. If you click the link to install the component, nothing happens.

Managing pop-up blockers

Pop-up blockers or ad-blockers may prevent you from installing components and from using your course. You should configure these programs to allow pop-ups from before running the Browser Check or Installation Wizard or trying to use any part of your course.

Commonly used pop-up blockers:

How to allow pop-ups from specific locations:

Most popular pop-up blockers let you allow pop-ups from specific locations. For example, if you are using the Google toolbar pop-up blocker, you can click the Popup Blocker button on the toolbar when you are using the Installation Wizard. The button text will change to read “Allow site popups,” indicating that the Popup Blocker is disabled for the MyMathLab site. For specific instructions, please refer to the online help for your pop-up blocker.

Tips for managing pop-up blockers:

How to disable pop-up blockers:

If pop-ups are still blocked after you configure your pop-up software, you should temporarily disable your pop-up blockers. You can temporarily disable many pop-up blockers by clicking the program's icon in either the Windows System Tray or in the browser. You can re-enable the software when you are not using your course.

In extreme cases, you may need to uninstall a pop-up blocker completely. If the pop-up blocker is not part of your browser, you probably can remove it using the Add/Remove Programs in the Windows Control Panel.

If you still need help, contact Product Support. (Contact information is at the top of this page.)

Configuring your browser's cookie settings

To use MathXL, your browser must accept cookies, which are used to keep track of who you are when you move from one web page to another.

To enable cookies for Internet Explorer:

  1. From the Tools menu, select Internet Options.
  2. In the Internet Options window, click the Privacy tab.
  3. Click Advanced.
  4. Set your cookie handling as follows:
    • Select Override Automatic Cookie Handling.
    • Accept 1st party cookies.
    • Accept 3rd party cookies.
    • Select the checkbox Always allow session cookies.

To enable cookies for Firefox:

  1. From the Firefox menu, choose Tools > Options (PC) or Firefox > Preferences (Mac).
  2. In the Options window, click the Privacy tab.
  3. In the Cookies section of the window, make sure “Accept cookies from sites” is checked.
  4. From the “Keep until” dropdown list, choose either they expire or I close Firefox.
  5. Click OK to save your settings.

To enable cookies for Safari:

  1. From the Safari menu, choose Safari > Preferences.
  2. At the top of the window, click the Security lock icon.
  3. Under Accept Cookies, make sure Only from sites you navigate to is selected.
  4. Dismiss the Advanced window.

If you still need help, contact Product Support. (Contact information is at the top of this page.)

Changing your QuickTime settings if videos won’t play

If you are having trouble playing the videos in your MyMathLab course, you may need to adjust your QuickTime settings. Click the links below for instructions:

Enabling ActiveX for your browser (Installation Wizard courses only)

The Installation Wizard requires you to download the MathXL Player, which uses an "ActiveX control" to display homework, tests, and practice exercises.To install the MathXL Player, ActiveX must be enabled in your Internet browser. The Installation Wizard tells you whether you need to enable ActiveX.

If your browser’s Internet Options are set to block ActiveX, you will see a warning message alerting you that ActiveX is disabled. For example, if you have Windows XP Service Pack 2, a message like this appears along the top of the Installation Wizard screen:

ActiveX message

For Windows XP and Windows 2000 XP1 users, a message like this appears:


If you get any type of error message telling you that ActiveX is disabled, follow these instructions to enable ActiveX:

  1. From the Internet Explorer Tools menu, select Internet Options.
  2. Click the Security tab.
  3. Click the Internet icon on this tab; then click Default Level.
  4. Under "Security Settings for this zone", adjust the slider to Medium.
  5. Click OK to save your settings and close the window.

Now you can return to the Installation Wizard and install the MathXL Player.

If you still need help, contact Product Support. (Contact information is at the top of this page)

Tips for Windows XP Service Pack 2 users

If you are using the Browser Check or Installation Wizard on a system running Windows XP Service Pack 2, you may see a yellow/beige information bar located just below the title bar that looks like this:


Click this information bar and accept the installation of the required component. If you do not, the component required for your course cannot be installed.

If you still need help, contact Product Support. (Contact information is at the top of this page)

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How do I create a new course in MathXL?

See the Getting Started section for instructions.

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How do I create my own exercises using the MathXL Exercise Builder?

The best way for you to begin learning about the features available in the MathXL Exercise Builder is to access your MathXL course and click the Help link. Then click the Online Instructor Help link to open the Help system. The Help system provides detailed information about how to use this new feature.

If you need additional guidance, you can sign up for a training session with our MyMathLab/MathXL trainers. You can learn more about available training sessions in the Tours & Training section.

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Why can't I run MathXL in my browser?

In most courses, you and your students can use recent versions of Internet Explorer, Firefox, or Safari to work in your course. A few older courses, however, are only available using Internet Explorer. If your course uses the Installation Wizard, you must use Internet Explorer 6 or 7 to work in your course. If your course offers the Browser Check, you can use any of the three standard browsers.

Some Internet providers, such as AOL, offer their own proprietary browsers, which are not compatible with MathXL. To work in your course, you must minimize the proprietary browser and open a standard browser supported for your course.

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Contact Educator Support

Additional Resources

Helpful information on using MathXL can also be found in the following sections:

Getting Started

Take a Tour

Online help is also available from within your MathXL course.