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Community Member

Can you hide student names in the Inbox?

In a course I can hide/disable the People tool if I don't want students see other students in People, but they can still see each other if they go to the Inbox and go to create a new message.  Is there a way to hide the students so other students don't know or can't see other students in a course?  We need this option for some remediation and probationary courses.

10 Replies
Community Coach
Community Coach

I don't believe this is possible. The only thing I can think of is if you don't allow students to message other students, but this is a global permission and would impact all courses, not just the couple you want it to impact. I wonder if you could create a custom role based on the student role, but block this role from messaging other students. Then for the special courses you could add students via this role. 

Community Participant

Is this something that can be set at a sub-account level?

Community Champion

We were never able to find a way to make this happen.  Any solution short of moving probationary / remediation activities to another venue altogether was impossible or horribly messy.

Community Coach
Community Coach

 @johnson ,

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.



Community Participant

We would like to be able to shut down this feature by course, instead of having it be all or none.

We also have distance students with a need for privacy, so it would be great to have a privacy flag option for individuals to hide their names from other students in the Canvas inbox rosters.

I had heard at one time that when messaging updates, it will be completely different, but that it isn't on the road map currently. 

Just want to keep the ideas alive for when it does come into the light.

Community Contributor

 @meichin ‌

Hi- any work arounds that you've found?  We have the same request- A need for one distance course to have email disabled.

Community Participant

Hi - not really.  The inbox doesn't actually show emails, but you can still send a message via Canvas to the email attached to their accounts.  The only way we could hide a student name from the rest of the class would be to create a new section with just that person.  Then that person couldn't participate in discussions or groups, so that really wouldn't work.  

Community Champion

At our business school, we have one sub-account where we keep remedial online courses which need students to be denied this course role permission normally held by students:

  • Conversations - send messages to individual course members

We also configure course navigation in those courses to hide the People tab.

Community Member

Another reason to have this feature would be to preserve privacy in an all-online course in a case where there may be a no contact order or other conduct issue that would dictate a need to keep students from seeing or contacting their classmates.