U036 – Using Widgets in Safe Exam Browser

Safe Exam Browser (or "SEB" for short) is a free browser environment for secure digital assessments. The software temporarily converts the user's device into a secured environment that regulates and limits access to services and external applications. Restrictions may be imposed on system functions, and other websites or programs. As such, SEB can prohibit the consultation of course materials during an exam. More info can be found on the Safe Exam Browser website.

Safe Exam Browser is not a BookWidgets product. Our support staff cannot guarantee being able to help regarding questions or inquiries related to Safe Exam Browser. For information regarding future updates, please visit their website.

Safe Exam Browser is not available for Chromebooks. We suggest COOL Check as an alternative. Please note that this program, in contrast to Safe Exam Browser, is not free. More info can be found on the Cloudwise website.

This article covers the following topics:

  1. General information
  2. Installing Safe Exam Browser
  3. Settings
  4. Known multimedia issues

General information

How to use widgets within SEB:

  1. SEB needs to be installed on every student's individual device. SEB is available for iOS, Windows and macOS;
  2. In the editor of your widget, enable General > Safe Exam Browser;
  3. Widgets must be shared inside a supported LMS integration (e.g.: Google Classroom, Microsoft Teams, Canvas…).

The SEB option is available for the following widget types:

  • Quiz
  • Worksheet
  • Split Worksheet
  • Video Quiz

When SEB mode is enabled for any of the above widget types, students can only open the respective widgets inside Safe Exam Browser. When trying to open such a widget, students will be redirected to a signin procedure in which they confirm that they want to run Safe Exam Browser. A startup password will be prompted. When entering the password correctly, Safe Exam Browser will launch and load the widget. From that moment onwards, the student will be locked inside Safe Exam Browser until they submit the widget. Only then, they will be able to click a link for exiting SEB again.

If Safe Exam Browser is not installed on the student's device, they won't be able to open the widget. This will be indicated by a black screen with a prohibition symbol.

How to install Safe Exam Browser

SEB can be downloaded from the Safe Exam Browser downloads page.

Widget Settings

Basic Settings

SEB can be enabled in General > Safe Exam Browser. The following 2 parameters have to be configured:

  • Settings password: the password students require for being able to start the exam
  • Quit/unlock password: a password that can be used to exit Safe Exam Browser without submitting the exam. Exam supervisors should have this password available in case of technical issues. It should not be handed to students.

Advanced Settings

The menu Advanced lets you upload an .SEB configuration template for SEB-specific settings.

The file you upload may not be an encrypted file.

Visit de SEB website for more information regarding the setup of config files for Windows or Mac.

Lastly, a few practical tips regarding config files, with .SEB template download links!


If you embed YouTube clips in your exam, by default the video will generally feature a "YouTube" button in the bottom-right corner. This button offers students a way out of SEB. You can remedy this with a correct config file.

  1. Open the .SEB config file.
  2. Open the "Browser" tab.
  3. For the option Links requesting to be opened in a new browser window, choose get generally blocked.
  4. Click here to download an .SEB config template with these settings.


SEB can be made to work with screen reader software. If so, students with screenreader software installed on their device can access it immediately after having started the exam. Students who don't have the software installed will have to close up to 3  pop ups with warning messages. After that, they will be able to start the exam without screenreader software.

Clik here to download an .SEB config template with Sprint compatibility.

YouTube + Sprint

Click here to download an .SEB config template that contains the settings for both of the above.

Known multimedia issues

It is generally a good idea to double-check that every student is working with the most recent version of Safe Exam Browser. Notably in situations where some students experience issues while others don't, updating SEB to its most recent version may already solve the problem.

There are a few issues that BookWidgets users have reported where Safe Exam Browser exhibits bugs with particular types of multimedia. The following issues are known to the BookWidgets team.


Screen reader error: No voice available for [language]

Make sure that text-to-speech voices are installed on the device for the selected language. The language pack by itself isn't sufficient.

For its text-to-speech options, BookWidgets borrows its voices from the browser. If the browser is Safe Exam Browser, then in turn, voices are borrowed from the device's operating system. This means that in order for text-to-speech to work inside Safe Exam Browser, a voice must be installed on the device. Notably Windows distinguishes language packs from text-to-speech languages. Technical details can be found here:


Video playback issues

File type (self-uploaded videos)

If you upload a video into a widget from your device and enable SEB mode for it, the ability for SEB to play the video files depends on a combination of the file format and the operating system:

  • SEB on Windows devices cannot play .mp4 video files.
  • SEB on iOS (Mac) devices cannot play .webm video files.

This means that if your students use Windows devices, the video files you upload to your widget ought to be in .webm format and vice-versa. If your students are on mixed devices, consider uploading the video to your widget (using "Switch to rich text" options) twice: once in every format, so that every student will be able play one of both videos.

Embedded YouTube videos

In the second half of 2023, BookWidgets users started reporting issues playing embedded YouTube videos inside Safe Exam Browser. YouTube videos may sometimes refuse to play inside Safe Exam Browser if the video quality is too low. If you are the owner of the YouTube video, try re-uploading it in 1440p or 4K video (in YouTube). Technical details can be found here:


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