Tech Support

Check that your browser is up to date

The Essential Physics e-Book has been designed to work on all modern browsers and devices. The most frequent issue we encounter from users occurs when they are using an out-of-date browser. If you are having difficulties with features of the e-Book, first check to see that your browser is fully updated to a recent version.

Most recent version of major browsers:

  1. Firefox: 37.0
  2. Chrome: 41.0
  3. Safari: 7.0 (earlier versions of OS X use version 6.1)
  4. Internet Explorer: 11
  5. Opera: 12/24

Solution: check your browser for the latest version

  1. Mac OS X: In the browser, click Firefox menu (or Chrome/Safari/Opera menus) and then click “About Firefox”
  2. Windows: In the browser, click Help menu and then click “About Firefox” (or Chrome/Internet Explorer/etc.)
  3. Android device: for Firefox for example, in the app click Mozilla then click “About Firefox”

How do I access Essential Physics on my iPad/Android/Mac/Windows/Chromebook device?

The e-Book can be accessed with all modern browsers and devices. Click on this link for a PDF that shows you how to do it with a number of popular devices.

Accessing Essential Physics using an iOS device (such as an iPad)

There are two options for accessing the e-Book using an iPad (or iPhone):

  1. Use the online website along with your access code or
  2. Have your IT department install the e-Book (from a DVD) onto your school's webserver (such as WAMP).

Installing Essential Physics on a school server

If your IT department wants to install the Essential Physics e-Book locally on your school's server, then there are two options:

  1. Install it on a webserver (such as WAMP), which will work with all devices, or
  2. Install it on a file server (such as SAMBA), which will work with all devices except for iOS.

See your IT department for expertise in either approach.

I cannot navigate through the e-Book using the Internet Explorer browser

A surprising number of users have not updated their Internet Explorer browser for quite some time. The e-Book requires Javascript, which is available on more recent versions of Internet Explorer (as well as all other major browsers).

Solution: set up browser for automatic updating

  1. In Internet Explorer browser, click on Tools (the “gear” button) in the upper-right corner
  2. Click on About Internet Explorer. The most recent version is Internet Explorer 11.
  3. Check the box “Install new versions automatically”
  4. Click Close to close the pop-up window

Solution: manually update the browser

  1. In Internet Explorer browser, click on Tools pull-down menu at the top
  2. Click on Windows Update
  3. Follow the instructions to update Internet Explorer

Website won't display with Internet Explorer browser

If you try accessing the e-Book using the Internet Explorer browser and the page appears blank, then this may be a result of blocking access to Javascript by setting your browser's security setting too high.


  1. In Internet Explorer browser, click on Tools (the “gear” button) in the upper-right corner
  2. Click on Internet Options
  3. Click on the Security tab
  4. Set the “Security level for this zone” to be “Medium-High” or “Medium”
  5. Click on OK to close Internet Options window

Sound synthesis does not work in the Chrome browser

Interactive elements requiring sound synthesis (such as sound generators and keyboards) do not work with old versions of the Chrome browser.

Solution 1:

  1. Use the Firefox or Safari browsers instead for interactive elements that generate sound.

Solution 2:

  1. Update your Chrome browser: Options -> About Google Chrome.
  2. Use the latest versions of these interactive elements at

Warning message pops up when launching ErgoBot interactive element with the Chrome browser

When launching an interactive element that controls the ErgoBot using the Chrome browser (version 36 or later), a warning message pops up. Only occurs for the DVD version of the curriculum.


  1. Use the Firefox or Safari browser for launching ErgoBot interactive elements, OR
  2. Use the e-Book at when using the Chrome browser for these interactive elements.

Warning message with Internet Explorer when using synthesized sound interactive elements

The Internet Explorer browser development team has not implemented the HTML5 standard regarding synthesization of sound. (The same is also true of the Opera browser.)


  1. Use the Firefox browser (or the Safari browser on a Mac OS X device).

Microsoft PowerPoint won’t open a PPT file (or tries to repair it)

If you are trying to launch a slide presentation (in PowerPoint format) from the TE using Microsoft PowerPoint software, sometimes the default installation responds with an error, such as asking you to repair the file. (This might happen for installations of Microsoft Office under the Microsoft Windows operating system.)


  1. Open PowerPoint
  2. Click on File
  3. Click on Options
  4. Click on Trust Center
  5. Click on Trust Center Settings
  6. Click on Protected View
  7. Uncheck the box “Enable protected view for files originating from the Internet”.
  8. Click OK to close Trust Center Settings
  9. Click OK to close PowerPoint Options

When viewing e-Book on an Android device, pages are launched into a KingSoft Office spreadsheet

The current KingSoft Office installation in the Android operating system has a bug that causes it to launch for e-Book pages and other functions.


  1. Uninstall KingSoft Office
  2. Install a different office application, such as QuickOffice

I cannot access the e-Book on the SD card of my Android device when using the Chrome browser

The Chrome browser cannot access HTML files when the folder is in certain locations on the Android device—such as on an external SD card or in the Downloads folder.


  1. Move the copy of the e-Book (the EssentialPhysics folder) to the home directory, such as in /storage/emulated/0 (depending on your device).
  2. Launch the e-Book from there.

Nexus 7 tablet and Firefox browser freezes on display of some interactive simulations

The installation of Firefox in Android on Nexus 7 devices has a known bug that prevents writing to two canvas elements at the same time. This can cause the browser display to freeze for a few of the interactive simulations in the e-Book.


  1. Rotate device to unfreeze display
  2. View e-Book in an alternate browser available in Android (e.g., Chrome)

Is your tech question not answered here?

If your tech question is not answered on this page, then please feel free to contact us at