SecureClient troubleshooting

SecureClient is a delivery app with offline test support and built-in protections against internet and device failure. For general information on SecureClient and the Surpass test driver, see the Test Delivery section of the Surpass Help Site.

This article will provide information on some of the common troubleshooting issues that may be encountered using SecureClient for each operating system and offer advice on how they can be fixed.

If you have tried the steps outlined in this article and are still having issues with SecureClient, or you are encountering any issues with SecureClient not listed here, contact

Table of Contents

SecureClient for Windows

TIP: It is recommended that SecureClient is always installed with administrative permissions on Windows devices. For information on installing SecureClient, read Installing SecureClient.

The following details how to troubleshoot issues specific to the Microsoft Windows operating system.

Antivirus software

If you are experiencing general test performance issues, particularly concerning files being opened during a test (for example, opening a PDF file), this may be due to interference from antivirus software installed on your device.

The following instructions detail how you can whitelist SecureClient to be excluded from antivirus protection.

Error 821: SecureClient core

When an Error 821 message is shown it means there was an error trying to decrypt an item for the current question.

This is caused by an on-access virus scan preventing SecureClient from reading or writing files.

Error 827: Error validating keycode

When a candidate enters a keycode for an online test, they may encounter an Error: 827 message:

  • Error: 827 Secure Client Core – OFFLINE – There was an error validating the keycode

This means SecureClient is being forced into an offline state where it cannot communicate with the database and validate the keycode.

Error 8008: Source material does not open in SecureClient

If your device’s settings are improperly configured, you may see an Error: 8008 message when attempting to open source material in SecureClient.

This error is caused by an incompatibility with the Trusted Documents setting in Microsoft Office.

In Progress/User disconnected tests

After a candidate has taken a test, tests appear as In Progress/User disconnected in the Invigilate screen despite the tests actually having been completed.

This is caused by a lost or slow internet connection when the test was submitted by the candidate.

Installing SecureClient on a locked-down laptop

When trying to download SecureClient, issues may be encountered because test centres might have restricted permissions on laptops.

SecureClient Update Loop

When SecureClient is launched it can get stuck in an update loop.

Updates are invalid

When SecureClient is launched, it initially checks the Surpass server for any updates made to the software. If the error message Updates are invalid appears, this means SecureClient has tried to check for updates but has been prevented from doing so.

The most common cause of this block is a proxy server. Alternatively, updates may have been found, but there are not enough local user permissions on the PC to write to this directory.

SecureClient for iPad/Mac

While the common troubleshooting issues found on desktop devices are not applicable to tablet devices, there are some issues exclusive to SecureClient for iPad and Mac.

Audio Capture question types

Audio Capture question types are not supported in SecureClient for iPad/Mac tests due to the way responses are stored. For more information on Audio Capture questions, read Creating an Audio Capture (HTML subjects).

Caliper tool

The caliper tool does not open in SecureClient for iPad/Mac tests. For more information on the caliper tool, read Using the Caliper tool in the test driver.

File Attach question types

File Attach question types are not supported in SecureClient for iPad/Mac tests. For more information on File Attach questions, read Creating a File Attach question.

This includes the simulated Word and Excel editors enabled for Managed File Attach XLSX and DOCX files if Requires BYOD Mode is enabled in Test Creation. For more information on BYOD mode, read ‘Setting up BYOD mode‘ in Configuring a test for SecureClient.

High-fidelity image viewer

The high-fidelity image viewer is not supported in SecureClient for iPad/Mac tests.

For more information on the high-fidelity image viewer, read Using the high-fidelity image viewer.

Highlight/strikethrough text

Text in question stems/answer options cannot be higlighted or striked through in tests taken on iPads like they can in tests taken on desktop devices. For more information on highlight/strikethough, read Using the highlighting tool in the test driver and Using the strikethrough tool in the test driver.

NOTE: This is a limitation of iPadOS devices and there is currently no fix for this issue.

LOFT/Adaptive tests

LOFT/Adaptive tests cannot be delivered using SecureClient for iPad/Mac. In LOFT/Adaptive tests, an external optimiser section uses the LOFT algorithm to generate items based on predefined rules. For more information on LOFT/Adaptive, read About the LOFT/Adaptive screen.

Media and source material file types

Only the following media and source material file formats are supported in SecureClient for iPad/Mac tests:

  • BMP
  • GIF (static)
  • JPG
  • MP3 (media only)
  • MP4 (media only)
  • PDF (shared resources only)
  • PNG
  • SVG

For more information on what media and source material file types are supported in other delivery methods, read ‘Supported file types’ in Importing files to the media library.

Microsoft fonts not displaying correctly

Microsoft-specific fonts revert to the closest available Apple font family on SecureClient for iPad/Mac.

NOTE: This is a limitation of iPadOS/MacOS devices and there is currently no fix for this issue.

Test feedback

Feedback shown to candidates at the end of tests is not supported in SecureClient for iPad/Mac tests. For more information on test feedback, read ‘Test feedback’ in Creating a test with the Test Wizard.

Test session states

Tests delivered using SecureClient for iPad/Mac only display as Ready in the Invigilate grid, until they are Finished. Their state is otherwise not reflected in the Invigilate grid (for example, if the User disconnected) and test sessions cannot be manually affected by an invigilator (for example, Paused). For more information on test session states, read About the Invigilate screen.

NOTE: These limitations also mean candidates cannot switch device during a test session.

Videos not autoplaying

For items with MP4 video attached, the media does not autoplay in SecureClient for iPad/Mac tests. The Media Player Mode setting uses the Standard setting regardless of whether it is set to Autoplay. Candidates must manually start video playback.

NOTE: This is a limitation of iPadOS/Mac devices and there is currently no fix for this issue.

For more information on video player options, read ‘Additional options’ in Adding video to an item.