Canvas is continually creating new features to improve your experience. The majority of improvements will be made available as part of our regular release cycle. However, some features may change the workflow for common activities in Canvas during your current term. Because we want you to be able to learn about these features at your own pace, they’ll be placed in your Account Settings as a Feature Option. Feature Options allow you to choose when you want to enable the new feature for your institution. Most institutions will pilot the feature within their institution and then enable it for the entire institution between terms.
This lesson gives an overview of how to manage feature options for an entire account. Features can be activated on account, course, and user levels. On the course level, you can give instructors the option to implement features on a course-by-course basis. Admins and instructors have no control over user-level features.
The majority of features will be available for you to enable at any time. However, some features will only appear after they are enabled by your Customer Success Manager. To view specific feature options available in Canvas, visit the current account features lesson.
Please note that most Feature Options will only be optional for a short period of time. Once a Feature Option is officially released to your production environment, you'll have a few releases (depending on the feature) before the option will be enabled for all Canvas users. Therefore we encourage you to use your beta environment to learn about new Feature Options for your institution, and when the features are released to your production environment, allow them as quickly as appropriate for your institution.
Note: Account-level features cannot be managed in Free-for-Teacher accounts.
View Feature Options
Available features will appear in the Feature Options tab. Some new features may need to be enabled by your Customer Success Manager.
View Types of Features
Once features are available, they will be listed by Account  or Course , depending on the feature's functionality level.
Each feature includes a feature description.To expand the feature box and display the description, click the arrow icon .
View Feature Tags
Feature tags help identify the state of each feature. A feature with no label  means the feature is stable and ready for use in your production environment. Features may also include a beta tag , which means the feature is available for use in your production environment but is still being tested for usability and accessibility behavior. Enabling a beta feature may create unintended behavior within your Canvas account.
Note: Occasionally features may include a Development tag, which means the feature is only available for testing in your beta environment; it is not available in your production environment.
View Feature Access
Each feature displays a feature access status that can be changed according to your preference.
View On Feature
If a feature is turned on, the feature will be grayed out and set to On. Your account will be required to use this feature.
View Allowed Feature
If a feature is made available in Canvas, you can choose how you want to manage the feature for your account or courses in the account, depending on the location of the feature option.
Allowed features display three options:
- On: Toggle this button to turn on this feature, which will be enabled for the account and all subaccounts. Your instructors will be required to use this feature in their courses. This option is good for features that need to be implemented across the account immediately or that have been Allowed for enough time that users have adapted to them (if necessary).
- Allow: Toggle this button to manage the feature for individual subaccounts or courses. This option is good for features that need to be enabled in only specific subaccounts or courses, or features that may need to be phased into the account on a course-by-course basis. If you want a feature to apply to the main account, this option does not apply; you must use the On option instead.
- Off: Toggle this button if you do not want to enable this feature. This option is good for features that you are not yet comfortable allowing, or features that appear within a semester and you do not want to distract instructors from their courses.
At the course level, features default either to Off or Allow, depending on the type and complexity of the feature. Features with low impact may be set to Allow automatically. Hidden features requested to be enabled by a Customer Success Manager are also set to Allow.
Note: Depending on feature functionality, when you enable a feature to Allow or On, Canvas may display a warning message asking to confirm your option, as some account features cannot be turned off once they are enabled.
View Course-Level Features
Instructors can view features you've enabled in the Feature Options tab in Course Settings.
View User-Level Features
Users can enable User-Level Feature Options at the bottom of their Profile Settings.
Note: Admins have no control over user-level features.