Canvas student guide

Your Canvas account

Log in to Canvas at the University of Auckland

What is Canvas?

Canvas is the University of Auckland’s Learning Management System. Here you can access information, assignments, grades and resources, related to your courses.

Logging in

Which browser should I use?

Chrome and other browsers, e.g., Firefox, Safari on Macintosh, are supported. Internet Explorer is not supported in Canvas. For the best performance, Canvas should be used on the current or fist previous major release of Chrome, Firefox, or Safari. 

If you have issues with a specific browser, please try an alternative before contacting support. If the issue works in one browser but not another, please report this to our Student Support team as a browser issue.

Clearing browser cache

A browser cache stores copies of web pages you visit which allows the pages to load faster. Clearing the cache helps keep pages updated with the correct information. Please clear your browser cache on your PC or Mac regularly to avoid issues with accessing or viewing content in Canvas. 

Canvas Global Navigation Menu

Learn how to global navigation menu in Canvas

To the far left of your screen you will see the Canvas navigation menu

Your Account

To view or edit your account information

  • click on Account in the top left of your Canvas page.


Your profile contains your Preferred Name as well as your Canvas Avatar. You can create and upload your Avatar. This can be viewed by all in your course. Your Preferred Name and email address are not editable in Canvas

Your email address with be your student email address (

Please note: If you have a staff email ( and a student email, the staff email address will take precedence over the student email in Canvas. If you do not use your staff email address, please contact the Staff Service Centre and request either a forward be set up from the staff email to the student email or request your staff email address be disabled.


    • User files include uploaded assignment submissions and other files uploaded to your personal Canvas file storage area. By default, each user has 50 MB of storage space in Canvas. No other users can view files in your user files.
    • You may have access to files (documents, images, media, etc.) in three different feature areas:
    • User files, located in your user account
    • Course files, located in each course where you are enrolled (if your instructor allows you to view Course Files)
    • Group files, located in each group where you are a member.


You can set up how, and when, you receive notifications via Canvas.

At the University of Auckland, we recommend that you receive your notifications right away so that you do not miss out on important information.

Your Dashboard

The Dashboard is your landing page in Canvas. Your Dashboard lists all active courses in which you are enrolled.

At the University of Auckland, your Dashboard will default to Card View.

  • To change your view click on the Options Menu.
  • Card View: displays course cards for quick access to all your favorite courses (the same courses display in the Courses link from the Global Navigation Menu)
  • List View:displays all course to-do items in an agenda view
  • Recent Activity View: displays all recent activity for all courses

Each course card lists announcements, assignments, discussion posts, and files. Anything new will have a number above it indicating how many types of that item there are.

Your Calendar

Use the Calendar to view course activities which include assignment due dates, test and exam dates etc.

You can also create your own calendar activities, reminders.

  • To access the Calendar click on Calendar.

Your courses

If you don’t have all courses displayed on the dashboard:

  • Click on Courses and All Courses to show all current and past courses you enrolled in.

If you cannot see any courses on your dashboard, and you have verified that you are successfully enrolled in Student Services Online please contact our Student Support team.

Getting Help

Canvas help button

Canvas Help sidebar

Help during your online exam

If you need help during your online exam, please call the Contact Centre for advice. The Contact Centre will be open Monday to Saturday 8:00am – 10:00pm (NZ Time) throughout the exam period.

Phone: (Auckland) 09 373 7513, (New Zealand) 0800 61 62 63, or (International) +64 9 373 7513. If you are unable to call, please email and provide exam details, contact details and a description of the issue. Please note that emailed responses may not be able to be provided before your exam submission deadline so please call in the first instance.

If you face a technical issue with Canvas, live chat is available 24 / 7 with Canvas Support, via the Help button within your Canvas left-hand sidebar. If you are in New Zealand, you can also call the Canvas Support Hotline on 0800 005 205.

Course Navigation menu

Navigating within a Canvas course

Course navigation menu

The navigation menu to the immediate left of your course content shows all navigation links available for the course. Your lecturer can customize what course navigation links display for a particular course.

Course navigation links

Course navigation links


Course navigation links may include:

  • Announcements: all emails from your lecturer and GSM staff will be posted here
  • Syllabus: course information overview
  • Modules: course resources are organised by lecture week and topic
  • Reading Lists: course readings if available
  • Assignments: find a list of assignments and deadlines for the course
  • Discussions: allowing both you, other students and lecturers to start and contribute to as many discussion topics as desired.
  • Grades: find your assessment grades here
  • Files: use this space to store files.

Canvas Student Apps

Canvas student apps on mobile devices

Canvas student app

You can download the Canvas Student app to your mobile device,

Please note:

  • Not all Canvas features are available on the Mobile app.
  • Panopto is not supported on the Canvas Mobile app.