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rebecca_starr
New Member

Where is the button for archiving all messages at once?

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My time is valuable, as is, I am sure, all of yours. So, why must I spend hours managing my Canvas e-mail at the end of every semester? Why must I check and scroll and check and scroll just to move last semester's messages to an archive? Surely Canvas can make this less time-consuming.

Please, if the button is already there and I just missed it, let me know.

Thanks!

1 Solution
Chris_Hofer
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hello  @rebecca_starr  Welcome to the Canvas Community.  Thank you for posting your question.  There is nothing I can think of in Canvas that says you absolutely must archive your messages from your Inbox.  But, I can see where you might want to do this from time to time to "clean up" your Inbox so you don't have older messages in there.  Doing this one by one is certainly not efficient, and there are ways to make this a whole lot faster for you.  Assuming you are on a Windows PC, you can do one of two things:

(Much of this is covered in How do I archive a conversation as an instructor? and How do I archive a conversation as a student?)

  1. Hold down the Ctrl key on your keyboard and individually click on messages on the left side of your Inbox screen.  This will select only the specified messages you want to archive.  Then, when those are selected, just click on the archive button at the top of the Inbox (the icon immediate to the left of the trash can).  If you are on a Mac, I believe you'd use the Cmd key instead.
  2. Hold down the Shift key on your keyboard.  Select the first message that you want to archive from the left side of your Canvas Inbox.  Hold down the Shift key on your keyboard.  While continuing to hold Shift, scroll to the last message you'd want archive, and then click on that message.  This will select your first message, the last message, and all messages between them.  Click the archive button to put them in the archive.

As a side note, these are also standard shortcuts in Windows and Mac environments when moving files around on a computer, so it's great that you can also do this in Canvas.

Finally...you mentioned the term "e-mail"...something that Canvas actually does not have...because you cannot sent e-mail messages to your friends/family from Inside of Canvas unless they are also participating in the same course that you are.  On the flip side, friends and family cannot send you e-mail messages to receive inside of your Canvas Inbox for those same reasons.  You can read an explanation that I provided to another Community member about the terminology that Canvas uses here: Sending email to students.

I hope this information will be helpful to you, Rebecca.  Please let us know if you have any questions about this.  Thanks!

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8 Replies
Chris_Hofer
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hello  @rebecca_starr  Welcome to the Canvas Community.  Thank you for posting your question.  There is nothing I can think of in Canvas that says you absolutely must archive your messages from your Inbox.  But, I can see where you might want to do this from time to time to "clean up" your Inbox so you don't have older messages in there.  Doing this one by one is certainly not efficient, and there are ways to make this a whole lot faster for you.  Assuming you are on a Windows PC, you can do one of two things:

(Much of this is covered in How do I archive a conversation as an instructor? and How do I archive a conversation as a student?)

  1. Hold down the Ctrl key on your keyboard and individually click on messages on the left side of your Inbox screen.  This will select only the specified messages you want to archive.  Then, when those are selected, just click on the archive button at the top of the Inbox (the icon immediate to the left of the trash can).  If you are on a Mac, I believe you'd use the Cmd key instead.
  2. Hold down the Shift key on your keyboard.  Select the first message that you want to archive from the left side of your Canvas Inbox.  Hold down the Shift key on your keyboard.  While continuing to hold Shift, scroll to the last message you'd want archive, and then click on that message.  This will select your first message, the last message, and all messages between them.  Click the archive button to put them in the archive.

As a side note, these are also standard shortcuts in Windows and Mac environments when moving files around on a computer, so it's great that you can also do this in Canvas.

Finally...you mentioned the term "e-mail"...something that Canvas actually does not have...because you cannot sent e-mail messages to your friends/family from Inside of Canvas unless they are also participating in the same course that you are.  On the flip side, friends and family cannot send you e-mail messages to receive inside of your Canvas Inbox for those same reasons.  You can read an explanation that I provided to another Community member about the terminology that Canvas uses here: Sending email to students.

I hope this information will be helpful to you, Rebecca.  Please let us know if you have any questions about this.  Thanks!

This does not work. I cannot get it to mark everything in my inbox. It will only mark one item at a time, and I have hundreds of items. 

Not to argue semantics, but what exactly should Rebecca have called the messages in her Canvas inbox. Why the comment on her word choice? That does not seem to help answer her question at all. 

Hello @ashley_dugas ...

Thank you for your reply.  After reading through my above response from June 2019, I realized that part of my directions were not as precise as they should have been.  I mistakenly put two steps out-of-order, and I can confirm that holding down the Shift key first (before selecting your first message) does not work as I had thought.  So, I have edited my message to indicate that you must first click on the first message to highlight it...THEN hold down the Shift key on your keyboard.  You can then scroll down to the last message ... which should highlight everything.  My apologies for this goof.

As far as the "e-mail" terminology...  when I help answer questions in the Community, I try my best to cover all parts of someone's question...even if there are parts of the question aren't necessarily related to the main question being asked.  It is common for people to think that Canvas has an e-mail system.  But, in all actuality, it is not a full-fledged e-mail application...because of the reasons I've mentioned from my June 2019 response.  So, I wanted Rebecca to have this information as well...just in case she was curious (or if anyone else reading my response also had the same curiosity).

Hopefully now that I've corrected my response from June 2019, this will help clear things up.  Thank you again for the question...as I probably would not have noticed this had you not replied.  Take care, stay safe, and be well.

"you must first click on the first message to highlight it...THEN hold down the Shift key on your keyboard"

Still does not work.

Hello @LawrenceCebula ...

Sorry to read this process is not working for you.  I just navigated to my Canvas Inbox screen.  I clicked on the top message at the upper left corner of my Canvas Inbox (so that it was highlighed in light blue).  Then, I scrolled down that part of my Inbox to messages that were from way back in 2014.  I held down my "Shift" key on my keyboard, and then I clicked on an old message.  It did, in fact, highlight all messages between (and including) the first and the last message that I clicked on.  I am not sure why that would not work for you.  You may need to reach out to the Canvas Support folks if this is not working correctly for you.  They may have some other suggestions.  How do I contact Canvas Support? - Instructure Community

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I was messing around with this too. One of the issues is that each email messages has a checkbox (so that you can select it), but clicking this checkbox using the shift key method will specifically NOT WORK to select all messages. It took me a few minutes to figure this out.

You have to:

1. Select the first message using the checkbox.

2. Hit the shift key.

3. Go to the final message and click ELSEWHERE than the checkbox (I clicked the circle and it worked).

This indeed seems like confusing programming on Canvas's end, but the email utility as a whole is...less than user-friendly, let's say (particularly if you're teaching like 5 classes a semester).

Hope this helps!


This indeed seems like confusing programming on Canvas's end, but the email utility as a whole is...less than user-friendly, let's say (particularly if you're teaching like 5 classes a semester).

Agreed! For example, we cannot set an out-of-office message in the Inbox.




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Good morning, @elawlor ...

You might want to visit the Feature Idea Auto-reply for Canvas messages ... as this is where conversations are happening about the need for some kind of "out of office" feature within Canvas.  You can give it a star rating and also post a reply to that thread letting Canvas engineers know why this would be important to you.  (Give real-world examples.)  Hopefully this will be of some help to you.

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