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Technical help

If you have difficulty accessing any of the websites recommended at Usborne Quicklinks, read the following topics for help.

Web browser settings

Your web browser, e.g. Internet Explorer, Safari or Firefox, is the software that enables your computer to display webpages. You may need to adjust your web browser settings to enable the browser to open the recommended websites.

Browser security settings


If you cannot see any links at the Usborne Quicklinks website your web browser security settings may be too high so your browser will not display links to external websites. To check the security settings in Internet Explorer, click on "Tools" in the menu at the top of your browser, then "Internet Options". Click on the "Security" tab and set the slider to "Medium High".

Pop-up blocker

Quicklinks recommended websites open in new windows, or "pop-ups", when you click on a link. You may need to change your web browser pop-up blocker settings so the recommended websites can open.

To change the settings in Internet Explorer, click on "Tools" and then "Pop-up blocker" in the menu at the top of the browser. If the pop-up blocker is turned on, you will be able to click on "Pop-up Blocker Settings". In order to allow Quicklinks to work properly, set the pop-up blocker to Medium.

To change the settings in Firefox, click on "Tools" and then "Options". In the pop-up window, click on "Content" and then click on "Exceptions" next to the "Block popup windows" option. Here, you can add the web address "" to the allowed sites list so pop-ups will work on Usborne Quicklinks.


Plug-ins are small, free programs that enable your browser to display video, animations, sounds and 3-D images. If you visit a website and you don't have one of the plug-ins you need, there will usually be a message on the site, and a button to download the plug-in. Make sure you have the latest versions of plug-ins, so you can view the most recent material on the internet.

Some plug-ins, such as Flash, do not work on tablets and smartphones, so even though you may get a message telling you to download the plug-in, this will not be possible. For this reason, most websites with interactive or animated content will not work on a mobile device.

Here are the most common plug-ins you may need, with links to download them. When you download a plug-in for the first time, you will usually need to save the file to your computer, and then find the file and run it.

Adobe Flash

Displays animated website content.
Download or update Adobe Flash Player

Adobe Reader

Enables you to read and print out documents in Adobe pdf format. As usual, make sure you have the most up-to-date version.
Download or update Adobe Reader


Displays animated multimedia features programmed in Shockwave or Flash.
Download or update Adobe Shockwave Player


Plays video, music, sound, animations and 3-D scenes.
Download or update Quicktime

Windows Media Player

For watching video clips and playing audio files. If you are using Windows you should already have this media player.
Download or update Windows Media Player

Encyclopedia of World History"These internet links would have taken me ages to source, this book has done it all for you."

Review of The Encyclopedia of World History from Shirley, The Curriculum Choice

Laptop and books

QR codes

To scan QR codes you need a smartphone or tablet with a rear-facing camera, and an app called a QR reader. You’ll find lots of free QR reader apps on your device’s app store. Look for one with good reviews. Some free QR readers have embedded advertisements, so if you prefer not to have adverts, choose a paid-for app. (Children – ask an adult before downloading apps.)

Follow your QR reader’s instructions for scanning a QR code. The weblinks will open in your device’s web browser.

Can't reach a QR link?

If you have difficulty reaching one of the links, we recommend that you try using a different web browser on your smartphone or tablet. You can download browsers from your app store. To view YouTube clips, make sure you download the free YouTube app.

Using WIFI

The QR codes link to websites with video clips and other multimedia. We recommend that you visit them on a WIFI, rather than a mobile connection, so you do not use up your mobile data allowance.

Keeping your computer up-to-date

To keep your computer (or phone or tablet) secure it is essential to regularly download the free software updates provided by the manufacturer of your computer's or device’s operating system, e.g. Microsoft or Apple.

Updating a PC

Click on the "Start" button, then choose "Help and Support". Click on the link for "Windows update" then follow the online instructions.

Updating an Apple Mac

Choose "Software Update" from the Apple menu, then review and install the latest downloads for your computer.

Websites to visit for more information

BBC WebWise
The BBC Webwise site has useful information to help you get connected and develop your online skills. (Click on “Digital skills”.)

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