How do I lock viewer's ability to use their Mic/Webcam/Chat/ Shared notes in Conferences in Canvas - Faculty and Staff

As a moderator you have the ability to restrict or "Lock" viewer's ability to access media and other components of the BigBlueButton interface in Canvas.

In some cases you may want to restrict the viewers from accessing features or media within the BigBlueButton interface. Some common examples include:

  • Restricting access to the public chat to encourage attendees to use their microphones/verbalize.
  • Locking the private chat to reduce back channel communications, such as online testing.
  • Restricting viewer's ability to share their webcams; reduces bandwidth and focuses viewer attention on uploaded content.
  • Locking the shared notes to reduce back channel communications or to use as moderator notes (only moderators would be able to access) 

It is important to note that the following lock settings do not apply to other moderators in the session.

Applying the lock settings


The lock settings are found via the Moderator Control menu located in the users list (cog wheel). 


Locate and select the Cog Wheel and choose Lock Viewers from the drop down menu.


The available lock settings include:

  • Webcam [1]: restricts viewer's ability to share their webcams.
  • See other viewer's webcams [2]: when enabled, only the moderator's incoming webcam will be visible to viewers, while all viewers' webcams are still visible to the moderator - this setting also reduces the bandwidth for individual viewers. 
  • Microphone [3]: restricts a viewer's ability to share their mic. If there are already mics joined in the session when this lock setting is applied, all joined mics will be automatically muted and locked restricting a viewer's ability to unmute.
  • Public Chat [4]: restricts viewer's ability to post to the public chat.
  • Private Chat [5]: restricts viewer's ability to send private chat messages to other viewers unless a moderator sends a private chat. Viewers can reply to private chat messages from moderators when the private chat is locked. 
  • Shared Notes [6]: restricts viewer's ability to open and contribute to the shared notes.
  • Users List [7]: restricts viewer's ability to see other attendees/number of attendees in the users list. When enabled, viewers will only see their own users icon and the moderator. 

Select the specific media, feature, or combination that you would like to restrict from viewers and be sure to lock the function and select apply.


Once applied, the users list will show that the viewers have been locked. 


To temporarily unlock an individual viewer, select their avatar from the users list and choose Unlock


To reapply the lock settings to the individual viewer, select their avatar from the users list and choose Lock.

This information was provided by BigBlueButton and can also be found at:

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