Desktop Computer Setup

To ensure security during MAP Growth testing, students on Windows or Mac desktops use a secure browser from NWEA. This browser restricts access to outside resources. You will download the browser from NWEA, and then install or distribute it to each computer.

The tasks are:


Local vs. Network—The secure browser should run on each computer locally. Do not run it from a server because testing will be too slow. However, you can install or distribute the browser over the network.

Update Frequency—If updates are required for the NWEA browsers, they typically occur during summer, ahead of the standard school year. However, there may be optional upgrades available mid-year to support new versions of operating systems or browsers.

Computer User Accounts for Testing

As a best practice, create a dedicated computer user account for use during MAP Growth testing and apply the following account settings. In fact, you may want two accounts: one with accessibility features disabled and a separate account for those students who need accessibility features enabled. Choose the option that best fits your student population. Set up the account (or accounts) in your Windows or Mac group policy.

Alternatively, you could temporarily apply the following settings to your standard student accounts.

User account settings

  • Disable virus and malware scanners because they can interfere with testing.
  • Prevent screen savers because they can interfere with testing.
  • Disable automatic updates to software and the operating system.
  • Disable system notifications, such as email alerts.

  • Extend the time for power-saving sleep mode to at least 30 minutes.
  • Disable any pop-up blocker software tools.
  • Disable assistants like Siri and Cortana, as well as voice dictation.
  • Disable screen readers that are not supported, such as ChromeVox and VoiceOver. Only use JAWS® 2021 or 2022 for those students who need it—see Screen Reader Guidelines.

Download Secure Testing Browser

For desktops, you first need to download the secure browser from NWEA using the following links:

You can also download from the homepage of the MAP site (MAP login required):

The MAP Growth Information Center, highlighting the links under NWEA Secure Browser App

Windows Setup

For Windows computers, use the NWEA PC Version browser, available from the MAP home page ( It includes an installation program.

To install individually on a PC:

  1. Log in to the computer with an account that the student would use or with an administrator account.
  2. In a browser, log in to
  3. From the home page, download the PC Version.
  4. Either run the installation at the download prompt, or save the file and then double-click the downloaded file, located here by default: 

    /Downloads/Setup Lockdown Browser.exe
  5. If prompted, Remove the previous version.
  6. When prompted, accept the default installation directory or choose another location.

  7. To start the NWEA browser, look for the following icon on the computer desktop:

To check the installed version:

If you encounter issues, contact NWEA support, and let them know the version number of the installed NWEA browser. On the PC, launch NWEA Secure Testing Browser from the Start menu and type: Ctrl+Alt+V.

To push installation over the network:

Network vs. Local—Although you can push the browser executable over your network, the executable itself should run on each computer locally. Do not run the executable from a server because testing will be too slow.

The following steps require administrator privileges:

  1. In a browser, log in to
  2. From the home page, download the PC Version.
  3. At the download prompt, save the file, located here by default: 

    My Documents/Downloads/Setup Lockdown Browser.exe

  4. At a command prompt, change to the download directory.
  5. Choose the installer that works best with your software deployment tool, and then continue with the appropriate step:
    1. Option A = NWEA installer
    2. Option B = Microsoft Installer Package (MSI), together with your software deployment tool (not compatible with the Microsoft Group Policy Object tool)
  6. Option A: To use the NWEA installer, use this syntax in your software deployment tool:

    "setup lockdown browser.exe" /v/qn

    Note: There's no space in the parameter /v/qn. You can also choose to run in silent mode by adding the /s parameter, which prevents the installation prompts:

    "setup lockdown browser.exe" /v/qn /s
  7. Option B: To use the MSI package, first extract it from the download.
    1. At a command prompt, change to the download directory and type the extraction command:

      "setup lockdown browser.exe"/b"./
    2. Cancel the InstallShield prompt.
    3. Use this syntax in your software deployment tool (not compatible with the Microsoft Group Policy Object tool):

      MSIExec /i "NWEA Secure Testing Browser.msi" /qb ALLUSERS="1"

      Note: If you are overriding an existing installation, first uninstall the Lockdown Browser:

      MSIExec /x "NWEA Secure Testing Browser.msi" /qb ALLUSERS="1"

Mac Setup

You can set up the NWEA secure browser one device at a time or through a device management tool (see Option 2: Distribute across the network).

Note: The setup includes steps to grant permission for accessibility settings on the device (under the Security & Privacy settings). These steps are needed to suppress keyboard shortcuts during testing.

Option 1: Set up one device at a time

  1. Open the .dmg file you downloaded.

  2. Drag the NWEA Secure Testing Browser icon into the Applications folder.

    Note: If prompted, choose to overwrite any existing files with the same name.

  3. For other Mac devices, you can save a step by copying the NWEA Secure Testing Browser app from the Applications folder on this device to same folder on other devices.

    Alternatively, if you have automated tools, you could push the app across the network.

Initial start and Mac settings

In the following steps, you will grant permission to suppress keyboard shortcuts under the accessibility settings.

Note: These steps require administrator privilege on the device.

  1. Start the NWEA Secure Testing
  2. If you receive the following message, click Open to allow it.

    Prompt stating NWEA Secure Testing Browser is from the internet, are you sure you want to open

  3. At the following prompt, click Open System Preferences.

    Prompt stating NWEA Secure Testing Browser would like to control accessibility features

  4. In the Security & Privacy window, click the lock icon, enter your user password, and then select the NWEA Secure Testing Browser app:

    Security settings with lock icon, Accessibility section, and apps you grant permission, including the NWEA app

    Note: If the app was already selected, you probably have an older version that you must first disable. Select the NWEA app and click the minus button. Close the window and repeat these steps.

  5. Close the Security & Privacy window.
  6. Restart the NWEA Secure Testing to ensure all the prompts are dismissed.


Option 2: Distribute across the network

These example instructions are based on the device management tool Jamf®.

Prepare package file

The .dmg file from NWEA will not install over a network, so you must convert the .dmg file into a package file (.pkg). In Jamf, you would use the Composer tool. Once the package is ready, add it to your distribution point.

Prepare configuration profile

To automatically grant access to required device settings, you need to create and distribute a configuration profile. An easy way to create the configuration profile is using the Privacy Preferences Policy Control (PPPC) Utility.

  1. Download the PPPC utility from Github:

  2. Open the PPPC Utility on a computer with the NWEA secure browser installed.
  3. Drag the NWEA Secure Testing to the left column labeled Applications in the PPPC Utility.
  4. Under Properties, change Accessibility to Allow.

    PPPC Utility with Accessibility set to Allow

  5. Click Save.
  6. Upload the saved profile to the Configuration Profiles section in Jamf.

Checking Desktop Computer Readiness for Testing

Check each computer to ensure it is ready for MAP Growth testing. Allow time after checking the computers to resolve any issues before the first day of testing.

First, check that you have the most recent version of the NWEA Secure Testing Browser installed.

To check the version on Windows:

If you have previously installed the testing browser, you can check the version number by starting the browser and typing: Ctrl+Alt+V. You can also use the following steps:

  1. Navigate to C:\Program Files (x86)\NWEA\NWEA Secure Testing Browser (newer computers) or C:\Program Files\NWEA\NWEA Secure Testing Browser (older computers).

  2. Right-click on the file NWEA Secure Testing Browser.

  3. Select Properties.

  4. Select the Details tab. File Version is listed under Description.

To check the version on Mac:

  1. Open the Finder and click on Applications.

  2. Navigate to NWEA Secure Testing and click once to highlight it.

  3. Check the application details on the right. The version number is at the bottom of the list.

To check a student computer for readiness:

  1. Click the following icon on the computer desktop:

  2. Observe one of these results:
    • Success: The Join Session page appears.
    • Failure: The page identifies the computer components that failed. Make a note identifying the computer and its failing components.

  3. Close the browser by clicking the "X" in the upper right corner.
  4. Resolve all failures or report them to your device manager.