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Allow Students to Change ONLY Display Name

Allow Students to Change ONLY Display Name

Resurrect this feature request, I want to vote in favor of it!

On Profile Allow Students to Change Display Name Only

"It would be great if users had the ability to edit their display names but not their "full names" or "sortable names" in Canvas. We have a lot of cases where a student may go by a nickname or other name but their legal name is something else. This would allow the user the freedom to change their name but would not create confusion for the instructor (in the Gradebook for example). Currently you can either allow users to change all their names (full, display and sortable) which would could be problematic if it is changed to something that isn't easily tied to what's on the course roster."

Community Team
Community Team


Thank you for your Feature Idea submission. We wanted to call your attention to   which was submitted in a different voting period, but archived due to lack of votes or inadequate response. You may want to reference this idea for any insight.

Your idea will be open for vote in the next voting cycle.

In the meantime, help your idea gain traction by posting a link to this idea in the comments of the other, archived idea (which will notify author and anyone who is following the idea) and share your idea to colleagues and peers who you think would be supporters, as well.

Lamplighter II

This is the main reason why we have not enable the full profile. It seems like this should get some attention so all schools can use the full profile. There was some awesome comments on the my " modifiedtitle="true" title="archived request.

Community Team
Community Team

This idea has moved to the next stage and will be open for voting among the Canvas Community, from Wed. November 4, 2015 - February 3, 2016.

Check out this doc for additional details about how the voting process works!


Yes!  Display Names can vary significantly from legal names...doesn't has value for me as an option unless the legal name is the one showing in the Grades.  Allowing students to change both would allow this.

- Melanie

Community Member

Right now when it comes to allowing students to change their names, it's all or nothing. But we, and I suspect many other institutions, synchronize legal names with external student information systems, so allowing users to change their full/sortable names is undesirable. At the same time, we still want to give them the option to change their display name.


If implemented, this needs to be a permission for institutions to choose.  We only allow display name changes as requested for faculty who go by a different name, and for students who have a very special case.  We would not want to have this enabled at our institution by default. 

Community Member

I don't see where students/faculty can change their names at all. Where is this found? Is this somethingi that has to be enabled by the institution?

Community Coach
Community Coach


Yes, this ability can only be enabled by the administrator of Canvas for your institution. If it is enabled, then you change your name by editing your Profile in your personal settings.

You can learn more  @How do I edit my Profile?


Adventurer II

Permit me to quote myself:

"On a different system, when given the option, I've seen use of meaningless nicknames being entered by students. It was rather distracting."

Community Member

That's definitely a common concern. Right now in terms of name changes, Canvas takes an all-or-nothing approach: you can either change all your names, or none at all. Even with this feature implemented, I assume Canvas would still give you an option to turn off name changes entirely.

We want to allow students to responsibly specify their display name, but still keep the full (legal) name untouched for grading purposes. That's why this feature is important to us.