Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

How do I use the Inbox as an instructor?

How do I use the Inbox as an instructor?

The Inbox is split into two panels and displays messages chronologically. You can view and reply to conversations and sort them by course or inbox type. The Inbox itself does not have any file size limits; however, attachments added to a conversation are included in the sender's personal files.

Learn more about the Inbox.


  • If you right-click or option-click on the Inbox link, you can open your Inbox in a new browser tab to keep it handy while you are doing other tasks in Canvas.
  • Users display in the Inbox once they have an active enrollment in the course, and users cannot join a course unless it is published.
  • Once a course has concluded and its term date has passed, you can no longer message students in that course.

Open the Inbox

Open Inbox

In Global Navigation, click the Inbox link.

If the Inbox link includes a numbered indicator, the indicator shows how many unread messages you have in your Inbox. Once you read the new messages, the indicator will disappear.

View Toolbar

The toolbar includes global message options. To load conversations, filter your messages by course or group [1] and type [2]. Filtering by type lets you filter messages by Inbox, Unread, Starred, Sent, Archived, and Submission Comments. You can compose a message at any time using the compose icon [3].

You can also search for conversations by user in the Search by user field [4].

Once you have selected a conversation, you can use the other options in the toolbar to:

  1. Reply to a conversation
  2. Reply-all to a conversation
  3. Archive a conversation
  4. Delete a conversation
  5. Forward, mark a conversation as read or unread, and star conversations

View Inbox Panels

View Conversations Panels

Conversations for your selected course and Inbox filter appear in the left Inbox panel.

View Conversations

View Conversations

The Inbox is organized chronologically from newest to oldest with the newest conversations appearing on top [1] and the older conversations at the bottom.

You can manually mark a conversation as read or unread by hovering over the conversation and clicking the circle to the left of the conversation [2]. To star a conversation, hover over the conversation and click the star to the right of the conversation [3].  

View Conversation Thread

When you select a conversation [1], all messages in the conversations thread appear in the right Inbox panel [2].  

Manage Conversation Thread

Within each conversation, you can reply, reply-all, forward, or delete the entire conversation thread [1]. You can also hover over an individual message and use the same commands within the individual message [2].  

Select Multiple Conversations

To select multiple messages to archive, delete, mark as read, mark as unread, or star, click the check box for each message [1]. You can also press the command key (Mac) or the control key (Windows) while clicking each message you want to select. In the Inbox toolbar [2], click the desired option.

To select all messages, click the command + A keys (Mac) or the control + A keys (Windows).

To select a range of messages, click the first message you want to select, hold down the Shift key, and then click the last message you want to select. All messages between the first and the last messages will be selected.

Note: You can also click the message check box or use the same keyboard command to deselect a message.


I don't see a "print" function if I need a hard copy of an individual message or thread.  Where is the print function?  The video did not mention it.

Hi @Jalemany,

There is no functionality within Canvas itself for printing Inbox messages. Depending on your browser, you could highlight the text, right click, and select the option to Print.

Is there anyway to prevent Canvas from automatically sending a notification to my students (enrooled in a course) that a completed Zoom cloud recording is now available?  I want to have access to the recording, but not necessarly annouce to my students everytime a recording is saved to the cloud.

Hi @swilliamsathens,

Unfortunately,  we do not manage Zoom or any notifications that might come from it. If you are using the Zoom LTI, you will need to refer to them for information on that tool.

If you are referring specifically to Canvas Conferences (and not Zoom), students can manage their notifications from their Notifications Preferences or the course notifications page.


I used to receive all emails from Inbox in my SMC account. But, I recently noticed that not all the Inbox emails get transferred to my SMC account. How do I fix that?


Please manage your notification preferences so they are enabled to notify you of Conversation messages.


These comments are posted to the global Canvas Community,

NOT your Canvas course.

  • Have a question about using Canvas? Visit the Q&A page.
  • Have an idea to improve Canvas? Visit the Idea Conversations space.
  • 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).
Version history
Revision #:
8 of 8
Last update:
Updated by: