Troubleshooting external links in Blackboard

The following article dicusses the behavior of blackboard external web links, and how to work around the External URL notification message.


When clicking an external link (website address) inside a Blackboard/MySCU site, a notification message displays (Figure 1). 

Figure 1: External link notification message

Why does this message appear?

This notification alert is a security message built into Blackboard which notifies students that they are navigating to an external website. Hackers and scammers use external links to direct users to malicious websites that appear as if they're from a trusted site. 


There are two ways to address this problem.

Click on the external link.

As directed by the notification message, click on the link below the notification message, which states
"The target page can not be opened within the content frame due to security reasons. Click the link below to open the page in a new window."

Teach Students about external links

You should explain to students that this behavior occurs on external links, and how they can click the link underneath the notification message.

Make the external link in open a new window.

The Blackboard page can be edited to make the external link open in a new window - which bypasses the notification message.

  1. Make sure that Edit Mode is turned ON.

  2. Edit the Blackboard item that contains the external link, by clicking the down chevron arrow and choosing Edit.

  3.  Right-click on the web link and choose Link.

  4. Change the Open link in..  to New Window. 

  5. Click on Save to apply the changes to the external link. Repeat the above steps for any other links.
  6. Click Submit to save the changes.

(Please note - it's better to refer to the Online version rather than export, as it's always up to date)