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How do I link a student to my user account as an observer?

How do I link a student to my user account as an observer?

If you signed up for a Canvas account as a parent, you can add students to observe within the same institution. Additionally, if an institution created an observer account linked to a student for you, you can add students to observe.

To link yourself to a student, you will need to enter a student-specific pairing code. Pairing codes are case sensitive and are valid for seven days. Students can generate pairing codes from their User Settings. Depending on institution permissions, admins and instructors may also be able to generate pairing codes. For more information on pairing codes, view the Pairing Codes - Frequently Asked Questions PDF.


  • You cannot add students whose accounts are not within your same institution (Canvas URL). To observe students in another institution, you must sign up for an account using that institution's Canvas URL.
  • If you are not able to access all of a student's courses, the option to link to additional students is not available to you.
  • Once you have linked to a student from the Observing page, you cannot remove the student. To remove a student, please contact the student's instructor.

Open User Settings

Open User Settings

In Global Navigation, click the Account link [1], then click the Settings link [2].

Open Observing

Open Observing

In User Navigation, click the Observing link.

Add Student

Add Student

Type the pairing code in the Student Pairing Code field [1] and click the Add Student button [2].

View Student

View Student

View the paired student.


i cant see the paring otions in settings

Hi @rgsantana24,

I took a quick peek at your Canvas account and it doesn't appear that you've been given Observer permissions in Canvas, so that's why the Observing link isn't displaying. To fix this, I'd recommend reaching out to your school's IT department or Canvas administrator. 


Are this instructions for the APP? I cant find anything like it on this website

@576519 are you looking for instructions on using the Canvas Parent Apps?  The following may help?

Canvas Parent Android Guide - Canvas Community 

Canvas Parent iOS Guide - Canvas Community 

I have tried 2 different pairing codes and both say "invalid". I am using them immediately after they are created. I am linked to my daughter from years ago, but can't add another student.

I am having trouble creating a parent canvas account. Every time i submit a pairing code it says invalid. I have tried multiple times and each time I get the same invalid code error. 

@amyrc and @Giro0919,

Sorry you are experiencing some troubles with linking to your students using pairing codes. If this problem persists, you will want to make sure your observer account is under the same account as your student and that the pairing is entered exactly as it displays (it is case sensitive). If these do not solve the problem you may want to try 1) having your student's teacher generate a code from their course or 2) using the Report a Problem link in the app or reaching out to tech support at the school.


What does "under the same account" mean? It's the same school district. I even tried to create a new login with a different email account and still got the "invalid pairing code" error.

I'm trying to add a 2nd child to observe and its asking for a pairing code. I thought I did this when I created my Canvas but apparently not. I have twins and one twin I can observe but the other I can not. How do I get a pairing code for the other child?

And where is the "Report A Problem" link? I have clicked Help - and nothing that is there is helpful or marked as "Report A Problem". I have tried to do this from both the canvas website and the mobile app. And yes I am typing in the pairing code as case sensitive.

Hi @amyrc,

"Under the same account" means using the same URL to log in as your student. Your student's courses need to be published/available for you to see them on the dashboard. The Report a Problem link is in the Help menu for your school. If you are not able to see that option, perhaps there is another option for you to submit a help ticket? Or you can visit How do I get help with Canvas as an observer? to see if any of those options work. You may need to reach out to your student's teacher or the school's help desk. Please let us know if you have other questions.


Once generated, the pairing code can only be used to link the student who created the code or had the code created on their behalf. Additional pairing codes must be created for each student that will be linked to you. Please let us know if you have any other questions.

- Alli

I can't see the pairing options either - my school administrator said to contact Canvas because they can't figure it out. Can someone here help me? I have four children and need to get this activated. 

How do I link my kids teachers account to my canvas account within the same system

@JackieRemy I recommend using the Help link in Canvas to contact our Canvas Support team. They'll have much more access to view your account and your children's accounts to help getting them paired. It's also possible that if you don't see the pairing options, your school has disabled this option for parents and you'll need either your school or our Support team to set up those accounts. 


- Nathan

@LynnAniskiewicz I'm not sure I understand what you're asking. There's currently no way to link a teacher's account to your observer account. You can only link your account to your children's account as an observer by following the directions in this guide. Let us know if you have any other questions.


- Nathan


I did send a support ticket in using the help link on Monday and nobody has responded that's why i tried on here.


@JackieRemy I do apologize for the delay from our support team. We've been experiencing a high volume of tickets over the past few weeks. A couple of things to check.

1. Do you see the Observing link when you access the Settings page (as noted in this guide)?

2. Are you generating the pairing code from your student's account? Only students can generate pairing codes.

3. If your students attend different schools they may use different Canvas URLs (the site you go to to access Canvas), in which case you'll need to log in to the same URL that your student is using in order to add the pairing code. 

If those steps don't help resolve the issue you're seeing you'll need to wait until you hear back from support as there's not much more troubleshooting we can do here in the Community.


- Nathan

I don't see any "pairing options" in the Canvas Parent Account Settings???? Help!

@KSantos1 the link isn't called Pairing Options. If your school has enabled this setting, it displays as "Observing". When you click this, you can enter the pairing code generated from your student's Canvas account. Let us know if you have any other questions.


- Nathan

I'm trying to link my second child and when I submit with the generated code it tell me "user not authorized to perform that action". Help

Hi @Lisab4,

Were you given/did you create a Canvas account as a parent? To pair with a student, you'll need to have a Canvas account with observer permissions for the same Canvas instance as your student. Does you second student attend the same school as the first? If not, that may be why you're receiving an error because you'll only be able to link to students within the same Canvas instance (e.g. in which you registered your parent/observer account. If you have any further questions, please reach out. 


I added all four of my kids as an observer, but when I did, the course cards for the my oldest (and first one I added) disappeared!  Only two of the original six course cards that were there (before I added my other kids) are still visible.  There's no second page with more course cards.  They're not even listed anymore in the course list on the left side!  Where did they go?  Did I add too many students?  How do I delete one?  I'd rather have all of my 6th grader's courses back and take my 2nd grader off completely if that's what needs to happen, but I don't even see a way to 'delete' a student being observed.  Help!


Yes it is the same school and yes I have a parent account. I already have one child on but could not add the second. 

I am linked to both my kids Canvas accts but the classes they have on their page don't show up on mine.  I can see one of my daughter's classes but not the rest and none of my son's.  I was able to see them all last school year.  Thanks.

HI @Lisab4@jk68, and @jclinton

This definitely doesn't seem like normal Canvas behavior. I'd recommend reaching out to your school's Canvas admin to let them know what's going on. You can also check out How do I get help with Canvas as an observer?  if you want to report a problem directly to our Canvas Support helpdesk. Our Canvas Support team will be able to review and diagnose the issues your seeing and determine the best next steps to clear it up. 

Hopefully that helps! Please reach out if there's anything further that the Canvas Documentation Team can do. 



I've paired both my children to my parent account.  I am showing that I am observing them both.  However, I only see my daughter's classes on the dashboard and the "courses" tabs.  This is the same on the computer and my mobile device.  When I look under my son on my mobile device it says, "No Courses.  Your child's courses might not be published yet."  Yet, my son can see all his classes when he logs into Canvas.

What do I need to do to see both of my kids classes?

Hi @PD3

This doesn't sound like correct Canvas behavior. Would you be willing to share your user experience with Canvas Support? Check out How do I get help with Canvas as an observer? for information about how to do that. You can also let your school's Canvas admin know what you're experiencing. They may be able to help address the concern as well. 



i am able to add myself as observer and able to see courses for my kids when login to canvas from my pc. I am facing issues when i am trying to login to Canvas parent App on my iphone where it is complaining that "looks like you are not enrolled in any courses as a parent. try one of other app as teacher or student..i have tried QR login and through find school but same results.


Are you logging in the same Canvas instance (URL) on your phone that you are accessing from your PC? If so, you may want to use the Help menu from the web to report this issue to Canvas Support.


Hi @yk_gupt,

I know it's only been a short week since we replied to your comment, but I wanted to reach out and make sure that you were able to log in and if not, that you were able to contact Canvas Support. Please let us know if there's anything else we can help with or if you have any further questions that you think we can help answer. In the meantime, if we don’t hear from you, we’ll eventually archive this comment thread. We do this periodically to keep our guides updated and tidy. We’re always happy to help, though, so let us know if you have any other questions about Canvas.



I do not seem to have the Report a Problem option.



Hi @PD3

What a bummer! So, since you don't have access to report a problem, I'd recommend that you reach out to your school's admin or Canvas admin. Let them know that you're experiencing problems with the app and that you need their help to review the issue and perhaps submit a ticket to Canvas Support.

- Allie 

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