How to "email" an announcement to all students

Community Team
Community Team
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In response to a question posted in a comments section elsewhere, QC99.tsilvius​ crafted this elegant response. Since this question comes up so frequently, I'm reproducing Todd's advice to preserve it for posterity. Smiley Happy

ann.jpgPlan A. Creating an Announcement that your students can get in their email.

  1. Click Announcements in your class, on the class menu, at left.
  2. Click the "+ Announcement" button, top-right (pictured at right)
  3. Type your message, include links, etc and click Save button at the bottom.
    • Additionally, you can attach a file or schedule your announcement to send off to your students (even if you're not logged into Canvas) with the delay posting feature.  Click here to learn about the Announcement tool from this Canvas Community help doc.

The only "downfall" of this system is that every user has the freedom to turn-off their Announcements in their account Notifications. This means if your students have done this, they'll never get that course Announcement in their email.

byyou2.jpgPlan B. "Email an Announcement to all of my students"

  1. Be sure your Canvas account Notifications are set for you to receive Announcement created by you (see pic at right).
  2. Create and Save your course Announcement using the directions and doc above.
  3. When you receive the Announcement you made in your email, use the forward option in email to send to all of your students. Students with access to your course will be able to access links and attachments in the Announcement email that you forward to them.

If you know that students have clicked the "X" (Do not send me anything) option for Announcements in their Notifications and want to insure that your Announcement communication reaches their email inbox you can use this approach. This is also helpful just in case your students did not set up their Canvas profiles with a primary email address and you know they indeed do have an email address.

  • For example, our SIS integration with Canvas does not provide student email addresses because student email addresses are not available in our school district's SIS. IOW, student emails do not automatically populate in student (auto-created) Canvas accounts.

indi.jpgPlan C. Using the Canvas Internal Messaging for your announcement.

You can also copy/paste the email you get from Plan B above into a new (Conversation) message sent using the internal Canvas messaging system.

  • If the students' default Notifications are untouched for Conversations they should receive an email that they got a message.
  • If they don't own an email account their Canvas "Inbox" icon will display a new message indicator in their global navigation icons. (see pic at right)
  • Here are doc directions for sending a message in Conversations​.
Community Member

Folks, this really does nothing for us.

There has to be a quick and easy way to do the following:

For an account admin to message the whole roster of users for that institution - overriding all custom user communications.

For an account sub-admin to message an entire sub-account -- overriding all custom user communications.

For an instructor to e mail the whole class (to all e mail addresses listed), - overriding all custom user communications.

We can not reach our students for emergencies. Canvas can do this, there's no reason for it to protect privacy over need to communicate. Our students agree to receiving communications from us through their contractual obligation agreed to by their enrollment in a class and corresponding payment. What you're protecting by all these custom communication settings is the darkness our students fall into when they need to know something and we can't get to them.

It's not a feature, it's bad design. Please fix this.



Community Team
Community Team, Canvas Admins generally leverage the Global Announcements feature to post alerts to all students or to specific roles within an account or subaccount, and you can read more about that at How do I create a global announcement in an account?

Canvas Conversations is a messaging system, and is not intended to replace or replicate an email service. Instructors have the ability to send a message to all enrolled students; students will receive notifications of those messages according to the notifications preferences they've set for themselves. Many instructors include verbiage in their course syllabi to the effect that students must have their notifications preferences for messages sent to "right away," and hold students responsible for staying on top of message content.

That said, if you'd like to see changes to Canvas functionality, or new features added, the place to start is in Canvas Studio‌, after reading How does the feature idea process work?‌ and How do I create a new feature idea?


> "How to *email* all students: Since this question comes up so frequently... <

The frequency of requests is a hint to your design team. Fix this. Let professors and admins easily *email* students from your platform, using their campus email addresses (From and To). Not Canvas Announcements, not Canvas Messages, not Canvas anything -- just one click in Canvas and send an email (one that shows up in your campus-email Sent box, and students' Inboxes). With as many separate attachments as the user wants. Anything less than this and your product gets a "D", and the disparagement it deserves for this. C'mon, this is basic. 

> Folks, this really does nothing for us. There has to be a quick and easy way ... For an instructor to e mail the whole class (to all e mail addresses listed), -- overriding all custom user communications. It's not a feature, it's bad design. Please fix this. <

Amen, Emin!

Thank you. 

Community Member

Not only is this a terrible solution (to a problem that shouldn't exist), but it doesn't work, or maybe is just outdated. I cannot find a "Notifications" (Plan B) in my settings. In the meantime, I thought my students were getting my announcements.

Community Team
Community Team, you'll find Notifications in your Account Settings. This is where the notification for "Announcement Created By You" can be enabled. 


Details about customizing notifications are in

Community Member

After a period of inactivity, I was wondering if there have been any adjustments to these features? I agree it is vital we are able to email our student population with a few clicks! 

Community Member

I believe we resorted to using global announcements for most of the critical stuff. But an ability to do a "forced" overrride e mail to all would still help us.


There are three teachers on a team, but only one teacher's announcements are being emailed out to parents.  I cannot figure out why the other two teachers' announcements only post in their course, but don't get sent out in an email.  Anyone have any ideas as to why or how to fix the problem?  Parents have their email notifications checked to receive so it's not on their end.  

Thank you!


I'll jump in.....Blackboard can do this by simply clicking a box when creating an announcement. By doing so, we up the chances of a student actually seeing an announcement. There is NO valid reason why this can't be - it's not a privacy issue, it's purely a choice Instucture made when they modified Moodle.

You can add this know you can....come on....even Blackboard has this feature!