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Allow account admins to set default course navigation menu

Allow account admins to set default course navigation menu

It would be great if we could set a default course navigation menu to hide additional tools unless instructors wanted to use them.


With the increasing number of additional Canvas and third-party LTI integrations that add items to the course navigation, it can quickly grow to be daunting and intimidating. It would be great if we could set these items (Roll Call Attendance, SCORM, Lecture Capture and Publisher LTIs, etc.) to be automatically disabled in the navigation, but instructors could go in and enable them if they want to use them.


I would suggest to to be able to set some Course Defaults in the main- and sub-accounts Settings. Perhaps a new tab named Course Defaults, containing:

This could also be taken to a next step:

  • to be able to create multiple course defaults settings, give it a name and save it as a template you can select in the settings of each course
  • in the (sub)account make it possible to select the default template to apply when a new course is created, either manually, via CSV or via API.

I think this would solve all different perspectives described in this thread Smiley Happy

If this concept would work for you, please click the thumbs up Like!

Community Member

Somehow our "Attendance" course navigation tool became disabled on ALL of our courses (we are new to Canvas)...and I either have to try and walk all instructors through enabling it or go and enable it for each course as an administrator (over 80 courses).  It would be nice as an Administrator to be able to universally enable/disable this function.

Explorer II

I know this is on the radar and all, but I just feel the need to add a comment. We just found that we have to reinstall our Kaltura integration. (Long story having to do with URL blocks that keep the video from showing up on the mobile app.)

Anyway, those instructors who use Kaltura have added it to their navigation menu already and are  happily plugging along.  After we reinstall our integration, that menu item will be disabled. Not very friendly to do in the middle of the term- and we will send notices out to our 4,000+ instructors to tell them they unfortunately have to add this back, but for the many who don't pay attention to our announcements it will just end up being frustrating to the students and instructors.

We were hoping we could get a list of all the courses with Kaltura enabled - but the reporting just says,  "LTI tool" not the name of the integration.  

We tried Blueprint - thought this was going to be our savior - but it isn't granular enough for our needs. Update all or nothing - we certainly don't want to update all if instructors have made individual changes. That would just make things worse. We do create templates with the navigation items that we feel are  necessary, but we don't want to add Kaltura, Pearson, Norton, Reef, etc. when they won't be used by the majority of the courses. We all know that too many navigation items goes against UDL and accessibility guidelines. That's what we LOVE about Canvas - that we can have a sleek navigation menu that is student-friendly. Instructors, however, don't have time to adjust their navigation if we have to reintegrate, and often don't have time to really think about how accessible their menu is. If we had that ability at our fingertips globally, with alteration ability for groups of courses, that would help us help them help our students.

So, what we would love is to be able to trump all this somehow with the power to create a default navigation, update the default for a number of classes (those that use Kaltura in this case so we can add it back in) and help instructors create navigation menus that are best for the students.  

Learner II

Does anyone set course navigation upon course provisioning (rather the course shell is created, which appears to not be possible)? Can anyone point me to a group or relevant thread on provisioning using templates at the account and sub-account levels?

Community Team
Community Team

The Radar idea stage has been removed from the Feature Idea Process.  You can read more about why in the blog post Adaptation: Feature Idea Process Changes.


This change will only impact the stage sort of this idea and will not change how it is voted on or how it is considered during prioritization activities.  This change will streamline the list of ideas 'open for voting', making it easier for you to see the true top voted ideas in one sort, here.


FWIW You can change tool defaults via the API. Copying and pasting this into a javascript console (e.g. in Chrome) would do the trick.

// disable a tool in course navigation
var accountid='1'; // replace with your account
var toolid='2753'; // replace with the tool ID in the account->settings->apps listing
var url='' + accountid + '/external_tools/' + toolid;
   url: url,
   type: 'PUT',
   data: 'course_navigation[default]=disabled',
   success: function(data) {
      alert('Tool was disabled by default in course navigation.');

I realize I'm necroposting by responding to something from last year... but we had this exact need (finding who'd used an LTI that needed to be removed and replaced) and did it by going through the Requests table from Canvas data (pulling it down through the command line interface, then doing a find at the DOS prompt for the "external_tool/1234" string to narrow down the file, then going through that for the course IDs) because we figured, "if it's being used in a course, someone must've clicked on it, right?"  Not perfect but it narrowed the issue down from "we have no idea" to "we're pretty sure we need to reach out to at least this clump of people..."


I agree it would be useful to have an API to configure the course navigation menu items. In addition, the feature to allow account admins to set default course navigation menu items needs to not only configure external tools but enable, disable, and sequence the built-in menu items as well.

We use Zoom integrated via LTI and would like to globally enable Zoom and disable Conferences, but leave Conferences available to enable if someone needed it for legacy reasons. I'm told that , right now, the only way to globally disable Conferences from the course navigation would be to turn it off for our institution entirely.


This deserves a bump, as it seems like it should be a standard institution or global setting for administrators to set a default course navigation for any courses that are created.  Having a consistent look in an easy to use format from the "Admin" side of Canvas would help students know where content and tools are located more easily.  I am still for faculty/teachers being able to customize their navigation, but this would help with consistency across our college.


This is a good idea. In addition to customizing what is on the menu (which we have some control over currently either via our CSM or via LTI settings), it would be nice to customize the default order of the items


I wonder if we have a solution for this yet? Thanks


I just asked to turn on the Rubrics course navigation menu item (new feature) and this is painfully missing because it defaults into all courses as enabled.


Replying to my own comment, but I guess this is because this "feature" removes the button from the Outcomes screen. Still annoying.


This is brilliant.  Thanks for this.


I would love this so much as it would save me a ton of time.

Learner II

Please make this happen.  We have the blueprint set, but then faculty go in and make a mess of it.  Would be nice to not let them make changes to the defaults we put in place - with only maybe two exceptions.   I would like to lock down the course navigation completely from the admin side.  


Yes, please!

Surveyor II

This feature would be really helpful. Even if we had that ability to do this via API it would go a long way. Both the current options have flaws. In particular the blueprint option maintains that live connection with associated courses which is an unnecessary risk for using blueprints to achieve a one-time template setup. There is clearly some sort of underlying default template at play here, so even if this was just controllable at the root account level that would be great. 


Hi all, I wonder if this feature has been enabled yet?

We have been using the Live API for single course and Postman script for External tools but wonder if there is a way for tabs like People and Assignment to be disabled as default?



I have been coming back to this for a couple of years and the ability to set a global or sub-account default course navigation would be extremely helpful to our institution.  It would greatly improve our course design and help faculty to standardize the look and feel of their courses within a program.  Please make this an option for the institution and Admin!