Storyline 3, Internet Explorer and HTML5

May 08, 2017


We have started testing and uploading HTML5 only content to our LMS' and have found some disturbing problems.

Looking at task manager, as the courses progress, the amount of memory used is astronomical - by chapter 3 of a 4 chapter course it is using over a gig of RAM in IE, assets start to not be displayed and the course crashes.

The problem is not present when run in Chrome, only in IE11.

The course isn't particularly large, just 120mb, and is fine when run locally or on an online server - only when on an LMS does the problem manifest itself.

Has anyone else encountered this problem? Obviously a solution is to suggest to clients to use Chrome, but we would rather not restrict ourselves any further as many of our clients still enforce the use of IE in their workplaces.

We are currently looking at methods to reduce the file size in case this is in fact the problem, will update as we learn more.



20 Replies
Jose Martinez


I have the same problem.
When I launch my project, the amount of memory used is very big.

Also, the videos of my project don't work and I only can see a green screen.

I have tried with a home made garbage collection in javascript, but when I try to remove audios and videos the amount of memory doesn't fall and the course is broken.

Have you had problems with the videos?

Thanks and I hope to found a solution.

Leslie McKerchie

Hello Jose and welcome to E-Learning Heroes :)

Is your issue only happening within your LMS and in IE as Jake mentioned above or are you seeing something else?

You did mention that the videos are not working, so how are you publishing/viewing your course when seeing this error? 

If you're able to consistently replicate, please feel free to share the .story file for us to take a look.

Jake Hurt


To update this, we have tried with courses as small as 30mb and the problem is still present, it seems to be IE's inability to deal with HTML5 and there doesn't appear to be anything in Articulate that can get around it. It works fine in Edge.

The only solutions we have found are:

1: Wait for IE to patch itself - probably not happening

2: Recommend to clients that they use Chrome - this is what we are doing, as Chrome is the most used browser

3: Publish to HTML5 with Flash backup - it will run the HTML5 version in Chrome and the flash version in IE unless flash is disabled on that machine



Frédéric BELEME


we experience the same problem with most of our clients since since several weeks.

The memory used in the navigator increase dramatically while playin a course, and after about twenty slides, the module starts to freeze, and sometimes even Internet Explorer crashes.

Most of big companies only use Internet Explorer, so there is no chance to escape the problem with jake's Solutions (Thanks Jake anyway) as the clients also refuse to use the Flash version anymore. Anyway, when we make a project in html 5, it's not automatic that it works in flash...

So, we have a big issue as clients are now aware of the problem and wait for a solution to diffuse the Storyline courses. As it's impossible to go back to SL2, all the recent projects are impacted.

If anyone has any solution untill Articulate publish a release, thanks in advance !


Marcus Miller

Hi Jake,  

we encountered the exact same issue. Our client has a lot of computers with IE11 only and our eTraining-content crashed on computers with 4 GB of RAM or less due to the issue you described.

For publication, we are now using 'Flash with HTML5-fallback'. This works very smoothly and if you have Chrome installed, the HTML5-path is used. We were lucky of course that Flash is installed on the computers of our client. 

Kind regards,


Jake Hurt

Hi Marcus,

We are unfortunately in a position where many of our clients are disabling flash for security reasons. We also want to be prepared for when flash is completely disabled.

Publishing to flash with fallback or vice versa also gives us the problem of having to review courses twice - once for flash and once for HTML5. Articulate isn't very consistent at how some things work although it is getting better.



Frédéric BELEME


just to let you know, at this point, we experimented that the problem is focused on Internet Explorer.

Probably due to saturation of RAM, Explorer Crashes after the RAM increased up to 1 or 2 GO (the maximum possible in a 32 bit software) even if the module itself is less than 20 Mo.

Even if our local retailer of Storyline reconized the problem, Articulate has for the moment no answer to give, except compressing the videos. This has been tried already and have no effect on the RAM.

We're still looking for a solution and I'll give you updates. 


Knut Jackowski

To answer bluntly: you can't have the cake and eat it.

Flash was (and still is) a technology to make things possible inside the browser, that are not possible through means of HTML + CSS + JavaScript.

"Recent" developments (usually called HTML5, but in practice also meaning CSS3 and current versions of JavaScript) make these things possible without Flash.

Internet Explorer does not support the full HTML5 standard from 2014 and will never evolve to do so, so every program that generates HTML 5 output for IE will have to compromise.

So building for an IE audience will mean compromise too. Either in features or in bringing in Flash.

The best solution (also probably far from realistic for many companies) will be to not use IE anymore and instead begin to transition into a culture of using current technology.

Frédéric BELEME

The best solution we've found is to get back to S2 in html5. It works well, so I don't think the problem comes from IE and html5 technology...

We're still waiting for the answer from Articulate (they already said they don't have any for the moment).

We've also tried to put the video's in web objects in SL3, and it's seems to be a good solution...

What we've found is that if the RAM memory used by IE to run a SL3 projects comes to 900 Mo, IE crashes. And if you put many videos in SL3, you will go up to 900 Mo very quickly...


Katie Riggio

Hi all,

I'm excited to note that we just released update 3 for Storyline 3! You can view all the new features and fixes here.

One of the fixes addresses an issue where course playback in IE (HTML5) would consume high memory and sometimes crash.

Here’s where you can download and install the latest version of Storyline 3. Let us know if you have any questions!

johan gouy

Hye I work with F B and i can say that the problem is always here. We are waiting an agreement of our customer to send you our file. What we can see, is that each slide the browser save in memory the weight of each asset, and never lose it. If you make a course with 200 slides with 12 layers/slides with differents graphics and audio assets, the course reach at the middle way, more than 1.5Go of memory. I.E crash from 950Mo. If you retry your course without quiting your session, you visit again the same slide and the memory weight still grows up. Only if you quit the module and you come back, you can begin again your course with an acceptable memory (250-400Mo) and if you go on, the memory grows up. Thanks to fix an issue please.

Jake Hurt

You are of course correct that it is a problem, and I am not sure if it is HTML5 or Articulate where the root of the issue is. However, it can be fairly easily avoided with forward thinking and storyboarding.

It is generally good practice to avoid making courses longer than about 15 minutes given the adult learning attention span. Frequent breaks are essential!

If you have a long course, split it up into many smaller modules, you not only reduce this issue, but allow for simpler edits and lower publishing time, and also concurrent work to be made on the modules by more than one person.

Finally, IE is pretty terrible at handling HTML5 anyway, so publishing to Flash with HTML5 backup will avoid that issue altogether in IE - at least until flash gets turned off next year. But that is an entirely different beast to tackle.

Frédéric BELEME

Thanks Jake for you advice !

I think we can say that flash is not an option anymore. None of our client wants to hear about flash.... Im' sorry to say that, but It's over. The force of Storyline is precisely  to give one of the best alternatives in html5 today.

Cutting the module in chapters can sometimes be an option (an a good practice, you're right) but it's not always a solution, especially when you have tree scenarios with shared scores and badges. And we have to deal with the clients expectations. Not always so easy to apply :-)

 IE is still used by most of big companies today as default navigator. The problem of the memory is unfortunately a limitation we have to face... We really hope Articulate will find a solution...

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi FB,

If you're using the latest updates of Storyline 3 or Storyline 360 and still experiencing some memory issues with IE11 and the HTML5 output, I'd love to get one of those sample courses into the hands of my team. If you can upload it using that link, our Support Engineers can take a look at replicating the crash and continue to look into other ways we can fix this.

Thanks in advance for your help!

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