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Surveyor II

Student App network error

Has anyone encountered this issue on their EDU WiFi network?

For iOS devices only users on our EDU WiFi network are experiencing a Server Error - "401 - Unauthorized: Access is denied due to invalid credentials" error as soon as they look up the school. They never encounter the log on screen. The issue persists even after uninstalling and re-installing the app, rebooting the iPhone, and quitting and restarting the app itself.

Some takeaways from our troubleshooting so far:

  • Android devices appear to be working
  • Using a cellular network iOS devices can log on without issue
  • iOS users on other WiFi networks (like mine at home) can log on fine with the student app.

Instructure Support responded that the issue is not related to the iOS Student App but to the local WiFi network. Our network team has checked logs and firewall settings but nothing that shows up that explains the error message. 

Any suggestions that you have are welcome!

Joe Fahs - Eastern Nazarene College - 9-9-19

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5 Replies
Community Coach
Community Coach


I have never heard of this issue. Personally, I would look at the local Wifi as well. If this was a common or even somewhat common issue, I would think there would be more posts about it in the community.  

So? Students see this as soon as they try to access the login page for the school? I have seen some issues with 401 errors with tokens, which the mobile app does produce, so I would think that happens after log in. I'm not sure if it would help, but it might be nice to see a small video of the process and the error. 

Keep us updated and I'll dig around myself. Thanks!

0 Kudos

Hi Ryan,

Thank you for responding and sorry for being late in providing an update. Although not confirmed yet, it appears that the error is related to Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS) authentication process on campus, which works differently than off-campus. We added Microsoft Azure authentication (to be implemented as the default in the near future) in our test of Canvas and that works for mobile devices having the issue (on campus).  

I will provide more updates as they become available.



Interesting. Thanks for the update and that does make sense. Can't wait to hear you final report. 

0 Kudos
Community Coach
Community Coach,

Were you able to find an answer to your question? I am going to go ahead and mark this question as answered because there hasn't been any more activity in a while so I assume that you have the information that you need. If you still have a question about this or if you have information that you would like to share with the community, by all means, please do come back and leave a comment.  Also, if this question has been answered by one of the previous replies, please feel free to mark that answer as correct.

How we keep your questions flowing!



Surveyor II

Hi Robbie,

Although we did not narrow down specifically the cause of ADFS errors on mobile devices trying to authenticate on campus, the switch to MS Azure resolved the issue.  

Joe Fahs (3-3-20)