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Unable to Login

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I'm in a circular situation. I can't send myself a password and I can't log in. I signed up as a teacher using Gmail and now I simply cannot login in no matter what I do. How do I reset my password so that I can login when I never receive the password reset link in email?


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I decided to abandon Canvas. I will be using my own instance of two other

Learning Management Systems instead. The amount of control that our

institution takes over its in house instance of Canvas is just too much.

On Fri, Nov 18, 2016 at 8:07 AM, <

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13 Replies
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi dfwenigma​...

It appears you may have stumped the members of the Canvas Community with this one since you haven't gotten any replies since August 23rd.  Have you been able to resolve this issue?  If so, what was the outcome?  If you could please come back to post an update, that would be great...thanks!

Community Member

Frankly Chris although my college / university apparently uses Canvas and I had hoped for the best what I'm finding is that Canvas, the company, isn't very useful. When a simple question like this can't be managed by a moderator from Canvas - and when a User Community is left only to the end users I shouldn't wonder that an answer isn't forthcoming. Canvas are the administrators for the Teacher accounts. Thanks for your response. It was very nice, however, I think I need to return to MoodleCloud or BlackboardCloud. I just hope eventually that Canvas realizes that this is how market erosion occurs.

 @khandy , I am saddened to read about your experience; from my observation, it is far from the norm--although I realize that's small consolation.

The Canvas Community is, as you've observed, a place where users of Canvas gather to exchange their tips and tricks about how to use the Canvas platform to design and teach courses. The members here, however, do not have the kind of access that is needed to address your issue; that is the realm of Canvas Support.

You have said that your college "apparently uses Canvas," but if I'm understanding your question correctly, you're using a Free For Teachers account, is that right? (I infer that from your subsequent comment, "Canvas are the administrators for the Teacher accounts.") Free For Teachers have access to Canvas Support, so I'm wondering if you submitted a help ticket directly to Support when you first encountered the problem. You can do this even if you're not able to log in; you will see a Help link on your login screen. It will look like this:


You can then follow the instructions in How do I get help with Canvas?​ by selecting the Report a Problem option from the popup menu.

If you have already submitted a help ticket, a case should be open, and you should have received an email with a case number. Please provide the case number so we can get you the help you need.

Community Champion

dfwenigma​  or is it  @khandy ​?

I see your name twice in the community.

This same condition has been reported at my institution.  As a Canvas admin, I was able to determine that one of two things was happening:

  • The user was mis-typing their email address
  • The user was trying to reset their email address at the wrong Canvas instance, i.e. vs., yes, users are sometimes going to the wrong address.

The root cause of this is due to the behavior of Canvas.

See my idea here: 

When you access the "Forgot password" view, Canvas will tell you that it has sent you a password reset email address.

In other words, even if you are at the wrong Canvas site, and your email address does not exist at that site, Canvas will still tell you that your password has been sent.

I challenge you to try this:

  • Go to this Canvas site:  Log In to Canvas
  • Try to reset your password using a completely ficticious email address that you make up out of thin air: for example
  • Do you get an error message?  Or do you get a success message?

Here's the result I get:


Main point being:  Canvas will NOT tell you that your email is invalid, it always presents you with a success message and never presents you with a failure message.

Regardless of whether or not you are at the correct Canvas site, or at the wrong Canvas site, Canvas will always yell you it has successfully reset your password and sent you an email, even if they don't recognize  your email.

This is very confusing to the user, and so very easy to correct.  Please vote for the change so people will more easily recognize when they are at the wrong site, or using the wrong email address.  Validating a user email before resetting the password is standard operating procedure at other sites.

Community Champion

dfwenigma​ or  @khandy ​ I can speak from first hand experience, that Canvas Support is first class.

Perhaps you don't have a support contract, which would be a choice that your institution made, and is not the fault of Canvas.

The community is just that, a community.  A group of like minded people who have an interest in the platform and who are willing to work together to share what they have learned.  This is a valuable resource for anyone who would like to make the most of Canvas, and I have learned a lot by reading questions/answers, blogs, etc.  I think you are under estimating the value of this community.

It is unfortunate that your question did not get more attention sooner, I certainly would have chimed in sooer if I had seen your post.  But let's be honest, you did post during the launch of the Fall semester and a new school year, perhaps the busiest time of year for many admins.  I for one can tell you my attention at that time was focused outside the community.

I hope you have a more positive experience moving forward.

Thank you  @chofer ​ for poking this question to spark activity, this is an important issue for us.

Community Coach
Community Coach

Wow! No idea this was happening, but it's good to know!

Community Champion

I think the issue is a security one.  if it gave a failure message, it would be clear that the account exists, and therefore a hack (such methods as a dictionary attack or social engineering) can be attempted.  And the password isn't actually changed until the link is clicked in the email.

Community Champion

 @abunag ​ as a technology person, you are probably familiar with GitHub.

They have somehow figured this out, here is the result I get when trying to reset the password for a ficticious email address:


If GitHub can figure it out, I'm sure Canvas can figure it out.

There are many strategies for dealing with dictionary attacks, I don't think that is the problem.

Community Team
Community Team

Hello, dfwenigma, it's been a while since we last heard from you. Did the responses from  @garth  and  @abunag  help you sort this out? And did you contact Canvas Support to pursue a resolution? For now, I will mark this question as "Assumed Answered"; that will not prevent you or others from responding. Please take a moment to update. Thanks!

(And I'm going to use this opportunity to promote Garth's feature idea . At this writing it only has 19 votes; it needs more!)