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Community Participant

Can student notification settings be locked by an admin?

Is it possible to turn off students' ability to change their notifications? We had a student adjust her notifications and miss an important assignment.

Can the default notifications for students be locked so they can't be changed?

7 Replies
Community Coach
Community Coach

 @jcarter1 , on the front end of Canvas, no, this isn't possible. On the back-end using some type of programming, possibly. Because of this, I've shared your question with the‌ group in the Community to see if they can help.

Yet, I would urge to not try and lock these settings and instead use it as a teachable moment with this student and for your students in general. Let students know that they are responsible for getting their work done and then make sure they know how to set/adjust the notification settings to best suit their needs, as well as best practices for staying informed about their coursework. 

Community Participant

Thanks Kona.

On Mon, Jun 26, 2017 at 12:43 PM, <>

Community Champion

We've had this conversation a lot as we've moved through our adoption year.  There is a magical belief among some that if an email is sent, the communication was successful.  Of course, email is no more a guarantee that the recipient has paid attention than was a paper flyer or some other archaic method. 😉 

One thing I like about Canvas Notifications is that users can set them so information shows up in venues the user will pay attention to.  Opting to "keep all course communications within Canvas" is an entirely viable option. However, users -- students and instructors and support staff -- have to be responsible for paying attention. 

Bravo,  @rake_9 , many of us have had this discussion and similar ones in the Community for years - building it is no guarantee they will come.

I found from the beginning of our use of Canvas five years ago, that one thing I respected was that Notifications belong to the user. Because they belong to the user and the user can set them as they please, they are more inclined to be engaged with making use of that wonderful tool.

Instead of locking up choice, I always advocate for training the user to make better use of their choices.

Agent K

Community Contributor

Our faculty ask the same question in nearly every Canvas training we offer. They want to know how they can be assured the student received and read the notification.

I cheekily ask them how many of them read our recent Canvas system-wide announcement about Best Practices for the Start of a Successful Semester. Without fail, none of them have. I remind them something similar to  @kmeeusen ‌'s philosophy - notifications belong to the user, along with the choice whether or not to pay attention to them.

Community Champion

One of the features of a previous LMS we used at our school that I miss in Canvas is "User Notifications Override" on course-level announcements. It is purposed to prevent this very concern. However, if you are concerned about students missing the communication of an important assignment then you need not worry; Canvas displays this in multiple places including

  • the Dashboard "To-Do" list

       -- in Course Card view: at far right when in full screen view. Smaller screens moves the To-do list under the course cards

       -- in User Activity view: same position

  • the "Coming Up" list - things that are on the horizon for students

       -- simply below the "To-do" list in both views mentioned above.

  • inside of the course

        --  in the course to the right you'll see both the To-do and Coming Up lists there as well.

  • Calendar Tool

        -- if students aren't sure if something is due they can always check the calendar tool turning on and off different course calendars as they need to read the calendars relevant to their success.


Just a small reminder for the teacher role with all of the above: discussions, assignments and quiz tools posted on these areas only if the teacher remembers to put a due date in the discussion, assignment or quiz tool settings. 


So even if a student has these notifications turned off, there are plenty of ways for students to find the due date information just by looking at their screen when they log in or visit the course.



PS -- I'm not that sure of the age of the student but another option you might want to explore if there is a supportive family life is helping the family create an observer account for the student. This way, as you help the parent/guardian create this you can make sure they set up their notification settings correctly to have Canvas send THEM upcoming due dates and even announcements if the student doesn't have these set up correctly.

Community Coach
Community Coach

 @jcarter1 ,

We are giving the Canvas Admins area a little bit of love (especially questions that are really, really old) and just want to check in with you.  This will also bring this question new attention. 


Were you able to find an answer to your question? I am going to go ahead and mark this question as answered because there hasn't been any more activity in a while so I assume that you have the information that you need. If you still have a question about this or if you have information that you would like to share with the community, by all means, please do come back and leave a comment.  Also, if this question has been answered by one of the previous replies, please feel free to mark that answer as correct.