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Frequently Asked Questions

We are receiving an "Unhandled Exception" error (Console 8)

This is a generic error with multiple causes. Clicking yes will provide you with details specific to the error, however there are many variations. The error will persist each time Console 8 is launched until fixed. This error is most commonly seen immediately after running updates when Console 8 closes and reloads.

First you will see the error “An unhandled exception has occurred. Would you like more information?”. If you click “no”, you will get a prompt asking if you want to relaunch Console 8 and if you click “no” again it will close. If you click “yes”, it will provide you with the specific details. See below for solutions.

    • Error due to lack of Admin Rights and/or Technical Requirements: This error is primarily caused by either not having full Windows Admin Rights on the exam workstation, having group (network) policy restrictions in place, or non-compliance with our Technical Requirements (including prerequisites/third-party add-ons).
    • Error after Updating: When this error occurs after performing updates, you can fix this by repairing Console 8. This is done by running the Console 8 setup executable over the current installation without performing any uninstall* (with full Admin Rights). This is preferable because you are able to keep all of the product updates and do not need to re-download any exam content. If for some reason this does not address the issue a clean uninstall and reinstall will be necessary.*Note: This is not a total repair and when running the executable you will not see any repair message, just the normal installation screens. However, this will restore critical Console 8 system files. Ensure that you do not have any instance of Console 8 running when running the setup file as a repair. After setup completes you will need to log in as an Organization Admin to set the test center ID again, and you will see the one required update in red just like a clean install. Run the required update and reconfigure any Console settings needed such as Admin Credentials, Proxy Server, and LAN settings.
    • Error due to Antivirus: In some scenarios we have also seen Antivirus software as the cause of this error. If you suspect the Antivirus then check the quarantine area/logs for conflicts and then either temporarily disable the software during install and use, or set an exception for Console 8 by allowing all executables in the “Certiport” folder to run via the Antivirus settings.

We are receiving a "Failed to initiate the Console Pre-Loader. Please contact Customer Services" error (Console 8)

This error can appear after changes have been made to the Admin Credential settings in Console 8. Normally you would need to close and re-launch Console 8 before these settings will take effect. If for any reason Console 8 is unable to authenticate the new settings then you will receive this error. To resolve please check any settings that may have recently changed:

  • Admin Credentials Setting: Ensure the credentials provided are correct. The admin credentials used here are served up so that Console 8 can run with full admin rights with no group policy restrictions, but still allowing the user that initially logged in to Windows to be a limited account. These are Windows Admin credentials and not the Certiport Org Admin or other credentials. The Domain section is generally not required and should be left blank unless you are very familiar with your network setup.

Once these settings have been changed you will need to completely close Console 8 and then re-launch it to ensure that you are no longer receiving the error.

We are receiving an "Exam Failed to Complete Successfully" error (Console 8)

This error is generally seen after the Proctor enters their credentials and the candidate attempts to launch the actual exam. This may occur before or after the exam tutorial, which shows up immediately after launch but prior to the exam timer starting. Review the following solutions when encountering this error:

    • Microsoft Office Installation Issues (MOS Exams only):
      • Microsoft Office has not been Activated or opened for the first time: After the Microsoft Office software is installed, there could still be first-time/one-time prompts that appear after launching each title (e.g. prompts for registration, updates, cloud file syncs, add-ons, etc.). If Console 8 is launching the software for the first time, it is not designed to deal with these prompts and will hang up or produce an error. To address this, launch each Office program individually after a fresh install (and prior to testing for the first time or after a long break in testing) to ensure that the software opens to the default project screen.Note: Some of these prompts are per Windows User profile. If you use multiple profiles ensure that you have opened and addressed any applicable prompts before testing.
      • Microsoft Office has not been set up to run locally from the hard drive:Ensure that the Office suite is installed on the same local/native drive/partition as Console 8 in the default path.
      • Two Office versions are present: You can only have one Office version on an exam delivery computer at one time. Uninstall any old versions and ensure the only version matches same version year of the MOS exams you wish to administer. After old versions have been uninstalled, perform a repair to restore any applicable paths, registry entries, or shared files.
      • Office software may be corrupted: It’s possible that Office itself is in need of repair. Initiate a repair from the Windows Control Panel in the “Programs & Features” item. If a repair does not fix the issue, you may need to do a clean uninstall and reinstall.
      • Add-Ins: Certain Add-Ins have been known to cause issues with MOS testing. Launch the affected Office program, enter the options, go to “Add-Ins” then click the “Go” button next to “COM Add-Ins” and disable anything that is checkmarked.
      • When testing with Outlook: Outlook requires additional setup. Please refer to the Quick Reference Guide prior to testing with Outlook.
      • When testing with Access: Due to nature of Access, if it should crash during testing it could be trying to relaunch in safe mode and you will not be aware this is happening via the Console 8 software alone. To ensure that you are launching in normal mode, exit Console 8, restart the computer and then launch Access directly to confirm it is launching normally.
      • Office 2010 in 64-bit mode: 64-bit versions of Office are supported in all version years except Office 2010. If you have installed 2010 64-bit you will need to completely uninstall and reinstall the 32-bit version.
    • Corrupt install of Console 8: If the Console 8 software is suspect it could be stemming from a previous version of Console and/or iQsystem that were not properly uninstalled, or became corrupted over time by some other means. To address this issue please perform a clean install by removing all Console and iQsystem (if present) software via the Control Panel, then delete the local “Certiport” folder and all its contents – which is located by default in the root of your primary HDD (i.e. C:\Certiport\*.*). Then proceed to install Console 8; please refer to the Console 8 Install & Setup Guide for more information.Note: This option will delete any exams that are “in-progress” on the affected computer. The exam session itself will stay open for 7 days, but progress within the exam will be lost and this process will remove all exam content updates which will take significant time to download again depending on how many programs your CATC is administering with respect to your available bandwidth.
    • Administrative Rights: Having a limited Windows User account or Group Policies in effect can inhibit or prevent exam delivery. Please refer to the FAQ on Administrative Rights for more information.

We are receiving errors when trying to download or apply updates (Console 8)

When trying to perform system and/or exam content updates via the Console 8 Update Services you may experience errors. Please consider the following:

    • Windows Admin Rights: Admin rights are needed for all phases of exam delivery: acquisition, install, setup, updates, and testing. Please refer to the Admin Rights FAQ for more information.
    • Certiport Whitelist: Please ensure that the entire list of our required IP Addresses and Ports are allowed through any applicable firewall or filter. The list of required items can be found under the Console 8 section in our Technical Requirements.
    • Corrupt install of Console 8: If the Console 8 software is suspect it could be stemming from a previous version of Console and/or iQsystem that were not properly uninstalled, or became corrupted over time by some other means. To address this issue please perform a clean install by removing all Console and iQsystem (if present) software via the Control Panel, then delete the local “Certiport” folder and all its contents – which is located by default in the root of your primary HDD (i.e. C:\Certiport\*.*). Then proceed to install Console 8; please refer to the Console 8 Install & Setup Guide for more information.Note: This option will delete any exams that are “in-progress” on the affected computer. The exam session itself will stay open for 7 days, but any Test Candidate would need to begin again on the same computer after the issue is resolved as the progress is stored locally, or move to another computer if time is a factor. Also note that this process will remove all exam content updates which will take significant time to download again depending on how many programs your CATC is administering with respect to your available bandwidth.
    • Antivirus Software: This is not commonly an issue when performing updates however, some AV software can be used not only to scan the computer but to manage the local firewall settings or even implement some local policy restrictions. You may need to set exclusions or temporarily disable when performing updates.

The in-exam documents or other content required to complete the exam are not present/visible (Console 8)

This can be a problem with any Live-in-the-App exam if there is an issue with the Windows Documents folder or access to it because these exams not only rely on the locally installed software, but often external files placed by Console 8 that are needed during the exam as well.

    • Windows Admin Rights: Admin rights and Group Policies can affect access to the Documents/My Documents folder. Console 8 makes temporary changes to the Windows registry during an exam and by not having full Windows Admin rights, or by having Group Policies in effect, this access could be limited or prevented. Please see the FAQ on Admin Rights for more information. Any registry settings or folder access are reversed when the exam completes successfully.
    • The Documents folder has been moved, renamed, etc.: If the Documents folder has been moved, renamed, or redirected for any reason this could prevent access to these external files. Console 8 was designed to access the Documents folder in its default location and that location must be restored, or a new, unaffected Windows profile must be utilized for exam delivery. Please contact your IT helpdesk if you suspect the Documents folder has been altered from its default location or behavior.

We are receiving "A communications error has occurred" (Console 8)

This is a generic error related to MOS 2016 exams and is similar in resolution to the “Exam failed to complete successfully” error. This typically has something to do with the install/setup of the Office software, Admin Rights, or adherence to our Technical Requirements. For solutions related to the installation of the Office software, please refer to the FAQ on “Exam Failed to Complete Successfully”. For requirements, please see our Technical Requirements page.

We do not have Administrative Rights (all delivery systems)

Full, local Windows admin rights are required for all Certiport delivery systems and solutions. In addition to that, no Group Policies should be in effect. Please see below for a breakdown:

    • Console 8: Full, local Windows Admin rights are required to both install and use this delivery system (including updates). For CATCs with limited access, an Admin Proxy can be utilized to store the credentials and only apply them to the Console 8 software when in use. Please see the Console 8 Install & Setup QRG for more information.Note: The Admin Proxy feature only allows temporary access when launching or using the installed software. For new installs or reinstalls, you must always be logged in under an Admin account.
    • Online Exams for Windows: Browser Lockdown should be installed under a Winodws Admin so it is available to all users. Any additional permissions will come in the form of internet access and browser permissions. Please see the Online Exam Install & Setup QRG for more information.


  • Mac Launcher: The Mac Launcher software should be installed under a Mac Administrator account. Any additional permissions will come in the form of internet access and browser permissions. Please see the Certiport Mac Launcher Install & Setup QRG for more information.

Note: Not having the appropriate Admin rights in place could result in a variety of undesired errors or exam disruptions.

Our browser/exam is saying that Active X is not installed (Online Exams for Windows only)

This message could appear when a dependency is missing or out of date. Ensure you meet or exceed the Technical Requirements for the Online for Windows delivery system and that you have set up Browser Lockdown correctly. Click here to review the Online Exam Setup Guide.

Our exam is freezing (all delivery systems)

Unfortunately a wide variety and/or combination of items could be causing this to occur (see below):

    • Soft Freeze (only the exam delivery program is frozen): Attempt to force close the program by launching the Task Manager in Windows (ctrl+alt+del), or by using Force Quit in Mac OS (cmd+opt+esc). If neither of these options work, then proceed with the Hard Freeze procedure outlined below.


  • Hard Freeze (Windows or Mac OS itself is frozen): In this scenario the only recourse is to perform a cold reboot of the computer. Hold down the power button until it completely shuts off, wait 10 seconds, and then reboot the machine. Launch the Certiport exam delivery system again and resume the exam that is shown as “in-progress”. All exam sessions will be saved, and the Test Candidate will pick up from where they left off as long as they are resuming the exam from the same computer in which it was launched. The only exception to this would be MOS 2013 Access exams, which will always start over with full time remaining.

Solution: If the software or operating system freezes a single, isolated time you can probably write it off as a one-off event. However, if you receive persistent freezing it is probably indicative of a greater problem. Ensure you are meeting or exceeding the Technical Requirements, and that you have closed all non-essential software prior to testing. Frequent freezes with the OS could indicate the need to repair or reinstall it. Please consult your local IT helpdesk should this occur.

We are receiving an error condition related to the "Windows Installer" and cannot launch the exam

Windows Installer is a service that the operating system requires when software installations or updates are being performed. The call to start the service could originate from either a local, network, or internet based source. In any case, Certiport exam delivery cannot begin if the windows installer service is currently running.

For Console 8, the “Running Processes” window should appear when trying to launch the exam if the windows installer is also running. Click resolve to attempt to have Console 8 try and terminate the process.

If the problem is persistent you will need to work with your institution’s helpdesk staff to identify and eliminate the source program that is causing the conflict, or you will need to temporarily turn off the Windows Installer service during exam delivery.

To turn off the Windows Installer service you can perform the following steps (this process requires Windows Admin privileges):

  • Click the Start button and open the Control Panel.
  • Click on Administrative Tools.
  • Click on Services.
  • Scroll down the list of services, locate “Windows Installer” and double-click the item.
  • If the functionality is currently in “started” status, click the Stop button then change the “Startup Type” to Manual. This should stop the service and allow the exam to proceed. In extreme cases you could also try changing the “Startup Type” to Disabled.

Note: Changing these settings could affect other programs and services on the computer and should be reverted back to their original settings after exam administration has completed.

Our Outlook profile has not been configured correctly or we are having other issues related the administration of the Outlook exam (all version years, Console 8)

We have a quick reference guide that covers the configuration of Outlook for MOS exam administration, please click here to view it.

How do I access my transcripts and certificates?

Log in to www.certiport.com and change your role to Test Candidate. Mouse over the “My Certiport” tab and click on the dropdown for “My Transcript”. Here you can view your Score Reports, or print online copies of any certificates that are fulfilled by Certiport. For additional information on transcripts and certificates please click here.

How do I apply for ADA Accommodations?

Please review the procedures and conditions outlined on our Accommodations Page.

I have lost my Username and/or Password, how can I recover them?

Please use the Login Assistant by clicking here. If you need additional help, please contact Customer Service.

Proctoring an exam: How do I become a Proctor? How do I proctor an exam? Who can proctor me? Where do I view the Proctor Agreement?

Please refer to the following:

    • Becoming a Proctor: Please click here.
    • Proctoring an Exam: Click here to view the Quick Reference Guide.
    • Who can Proctor: Any member of the CATC who has been designated as a Proctor and has agreed to the terms of the Proctor Agreement may administer a Certiport exam to a Test Candidate.
  • Viewing the Proctor Agreement: Log in to the Certiport website and change your role in dropdown to “Proctor”. At the bottom of the page, click the link to “View Proctor Registration Page”.

How do I locate my MC ID (Microsoft Certified Identification) and Access Code?

Please refer to the MC ID Quick Reference Guide by clicking here.

Can I stop an exam and then resume it at a later time?

Yes. Your exam session remains open for 7 days from the exact date and time in which the exam was started. Most exams will resume from the same question and the same time remaining if resumed on the very computer in which it was started. To resume an exam, launch it as you would normally but choose the exam marked “in-progress”. Should you exceed the 7 days you must begin the exam again with a new voucher, license, or piece of inventory – no extensions can be granted.

How do I view our remaining Vouchers, Inventory, and/or Licenses and their expiration dates?

To view the items available to your CATC please perform the following:

    1. Log in to www.certiport.com as an Organization Administrator or Organization Member.


  1. Mouse over the My Certiport tab and click on the dropdown for Inventory, Vouchers, or Licenses.

What are Certiport's policies on Exam Retakes, Exam Security, and Exam Scoring?

Please click here to be redirected to our Exam Policies page.

My Retake Voucher is not working, what might be the cause?

Please click here to view specific details about retake vouchers.

Note: For individual retake policies per exam program, please see our retake policy page.

I am a Test Candidate inside the U.S., how do I locate a Certiport Authorized Testing Center?

Please use the CATC Locator tool by clicking here.

I am a Test Candidate outside the U.S., how do I locate a Certiport Authorized Testing Center?

Please contact the Certiport Solution Provider in your area by clicking here.

What are the Technical Requirements for Certiport's exam delivery systems and solutions?

Please view our Technical Requirements page by clicking here.

Where can I find the number of questions and time limits for each exam?

Please view our Exam Lengths page by clicking here.

Can the expiration date of licenses, inventory, or vouchers be extended?

No. Once the expiration date is reached, new vouchers, inventory, or licenses must be purchased. Please review our Voucher Policies page, or contact your Territory Representative for more information.

How do I purchase vouchers, inventory, and/or licenses for certification exams and/or learning products (practice materials)?

There are several options depending on the product and customer:

    • For Test Candidates inside North America: If you are looking to purchase a voucher you may do so at our Shop Site.
    • For Test Candidates outside North America: If you are looking to purchase a voucher please contact the Solution Provider in your area.
    • For CATCs (Certiport Authorized Testing Centers) inside North America: After an initial order you may purchase additional products through the Certiport website under the Organization Administrator role by clicking on the “Purchase” tab. You may also contact your Territory Representative and place the order directly.
  • For CATCs (Certiport Authorized Testing Centers) outside North America: Please contact the Solution Provider in your area.

Can we purchase the software required for "Live-in-the-Application" exams from Certiport (e.g. Microsoft Office, Adobe, or Autodesk)?

No. Certiport does not sell any of the software titles that our certification exams or learning products rely on for concurrent (live-in-the-app) exams.

How do I get to Certiport's web store or to access store pricing information?

To view the purchasing options for certification exams and learning products from Certiport please click here.

If you are a CATC in North America looking to purchase in higher volume, please contact your Territory Representative.

How do I print a voucher?

There is no method for printing out an official paper version of an online voucher code, but there are ways you could look up voucher codes in order to screenprint them, or to copy and paste into another program such as Word or Excel, see below:

    • For CATCs: Log in to www.certiport.com as an Organization Administrator or Organization Admin, mouse over the My Certiport tab, click on the dropdown for vouchers, and a table will appear with all vouchers purchased by the CATC. This list will show vouchers whether they are assigned to a Test Candidate or not, and whether they have been redeemed or not. You may also click on the detail button to see who they were assigned to.
  • For Test Candidates: Log in to www.certiport.com as a Test Candidate and your vouchers will show at the top of the page just under the support contact information. Please note that only vouchers that have been assigned will show up here.

What is the difference between the MOS 2010, 2013, and 2016 exams?

Our new project-based testing that began with MOS 2013 provides industry-leading assessments of skills and knowledge by giving students and professionals real-world exercises to appraise their understanding of Microsoft Office.

With task-based exams like MOS 2010 and prior, it was question after question of relatively isolated individual skills that the exam was attempting to chalk up and measure. In most cases, one question did not necessarily have anything to do with the next, other than that they were in the same program.

Beginning with MOS 2013, project-based exams eliminate the pool of questions in favor of a single project for 2013, or multiple smaller projects for 2016. The Test Candidate then employs all their skills to create a Word document, Excel spreadsheet, Access database, etc., from scratch. Provided with a set of guidelines, this serves to mimic more of what they would actually face when using the program in the real world.

How do my students access their vouchers when taking a test?

There is no direct interface between our exam delivery software and any vouchers a Test Candidate may have unless they have pre-assigned it. The best practice would be to pre-assign the voucher, or to have the voucher code printed or written down prior to sitting for an exam.

Note: The exam delivery software can be minimized as long as an exam is not in progress, which would allow you to navigate to www.certiport.com and look up a code.

Do I have to register the testing center for each certification program?

There is not a separate registration process, but each CATC must be individually activated for the programs they wish to administer. When a CATC is first registered, this is something that can be set up with your territory representative. If at a later time you wish to begin administering exams in additional programs, you will need to call your representative to activate it.

What does a CATC need for a successful certification program?

While there are many successful components from start to finish, they would all revolve around the following primary elements:

  • Knowledgeable and motivated instructors.
  • Courseware and curriculum that maps to our certifications.
  • Practice Exams.

Note: Practice tests alone are not intended as devices for students to learn the subject matter, but rather to get the Test Candidate prepared for the scope of objectives covered, the nature of how the questions are asked and answered, as well as to simulate being up against the clock. There are no substitutes for learning via instructor, utilizing courseware, and having real life experience with the software/subjects in which the examination is based on. For more information on Learning Products available from Certiport please click here.

Can a CATC assign vouchers to a Test Candidate on their behalf?

No, not in real time. You must provide the code to the Test Candidate and have them assign it to themselves individually from under the Test Candidate role.

The only other method would be via the Bulk Registration process. However, using that process would only be applicable at that specific time, and only for an initial set of vouchers. If you would like to learn more about Bulk Registration please refer to the QRG.

How do we run usage reports on exams delivered?

There are no reports that simply detail the amount of inventory, licenses, and/or vouchers used. However, there are several reports available to Certiport Organization Administrators for exams administered. To access these reports, log in to www.certiport.com as an Org Admin and click on the Reports tab. For example, the “Results 264” and “264 Plus” are both detailed reports on exams administered.

Additionally, you may also view the real-time usage of any inventory, site licenses, or vouchers by simply scrolling down on the landing page of the Org Admin role (requires login), or by mousing over the My Certiport tab and clicking the dropdown for either “Exam Inventory”, “Vouchers”, or “Licenses”.

How do we look up a Test Candidate's ID?

While there is no direct method, Organization Administrators have the ability to look up information such as the Test Candidate’s Username, or the optional Student/Employee ID. Both of these items can be found under the “Results 264 Plus” report by clicking on the Reports tab under the Org Admin role.