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How do I generate a pairing code for an observer as an instructor?

How do I generate a pairing code for an observer as an instructor?

If you have the correct permissions from your administrator, you may be able to generate a pairing code that an observer can use to link to a student. For more information on pairing codes, view the Pairing Codes - Frequently Asked Questions PDF.

An observer can enter this pairing code in their User Settings Observing tab. Linked observers can can view and participate in certain elements of the student's Canvas courses.

Depending on permissions, you also may be able to link a student to an observer from the People page. Linking from the People page will only allow the observer to view information from the course where they were linked.

Note: Pairing codes can only be generated from the web version of Canvas. Pairing codes cannot be generated from the Canvas mobile apps.

Open People

Open People

In Course Navigation, click the People link.

Open User Details

Click the student's Options icon [1], then select the User Details link [2].

Pair with Observer

Click the Pair with Observer link.

Note: If you cannot view the Pair with Observer link, the permission to generate pairing codes has not been enabled for your role, or self-enrollment has not been enabled for your course.

Copy Pairing Code

Copy Pairing Code

Confirm the name of the student [1].

Copy the six-digit alphanumeric pairing code [2]. You will need to share this code with the observer who will link to the student's account. The pairing code will expire after seven days or its first use.

To close the window, click the OK button [3].

Note: Pairing codes are case sensitive.

Export Pairing Codes

Export Pairing Codes

You can also export a list of new pairing codes for all students in your course. Click the Options icon [1], then select the Export Pairing Codes link [2]. Canvas exports a CSV file with one pairing code for each student in your course.

View Pairing Codes

View Pairing Codes

Locate and open the pairing codes CSV file on your computer. The CSV file displays the first and last name of each student, the student's pairing code, and the date and time at which the pairing code will expire.


As an admin, I turned on the permission to allow teachers to generate pairing codes for their students but teachers can still not see the option.  

Hi @adale654,

That is very strange. If the Users - Generate observer pairing code for students permission has been enabled for instructors in your account and the Pair with Observer button isn't display for instructors, I'd recommend reaching out to Canvas Support. Canvas Support can take a look at your specific Canvas instance and troubleshoot possible causes and solutions. For steps on how to contact Canvas Support, check out How do I get help with Canvas as an admin?


These comments are posted to the global Canvas Community,

NOT your Canvas course.

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  • Need to reply to a course discussion? Log in to your Canvas course and add your comment there (Tip: Visit your school's website to log in to Canvas).
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