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How do I log in to Canvas as an observer?

Find your school's Canvas URL

To find your school or institution's Canvas URL, begin typing the name of your school/institution. Results will appear after you type at least 3 characters. For best results be as specific as possible. If you can't find your school, try using any part of your school's name or searching for your school district or state. You may also need to search for the school using the acronym or full name, for example "USU" and "Utah State University".

How do I log in to Canvas as an observer?

This lesson will show you how to log in to Canvas from an internet browser. If you are using Canvas with your student's institution, you will log in either from the institution's webpage or by using their direct Canvas URL. Canvas Network accounts also log in with a Canvas URL. You can also log in to Canvas on the Canvas Mobile apps.

You must have an account to log in to Canvas:

  • If you are observing a student associated with an institution using Canvas and you do not know your username and password, please contact the institution's site administrator.
  • If you do not yet have an account, learn how to create a Canvas account.

Note: If you are having trouble signing into Canvas, please see the troubleshooting section in this lesson.

Login Troubleshooting

If you are having trouble logging in to your account, here are some tips:

  • Verify you are using the correct Canvas URL for your account. You can search for your Canvas URL from the Free-for-Teacher login page at
  • If you use more than one Canvas URL (such as one for your student's institution and one for Canvas Network), make sure you are using the correct login and password for each Canvas URL.
  • If your login and password were given to you by your student's institution and you are having trouble logging in, please contact the institution. (They may have changed your login credentials.)
  • If you do not have a login and password, you may need to create an account.
  • If you have forgotten your password, you may be able to reset your password.

Access Canvas via Institution

Some institutions host Canvas within their website. You may only need to sign into the internal system at your student's institution to access Canvas.

Access Canvas via Canvas URL

Some institutions have you log in to Canvas using the direct link to their Canvas URL. In a browser window, enter the institution's Canvas URL. The institution's Canvas login page will appear in the window.

Note: The URL for Canvas Network is The URL for Free-For-Teachers (FFT) is

Find Canvas URL via Course Invitation

View Course Invitation

You can find a link to your student's institution Canvas URL in your course invitation email by clicking the Get Started button.

Log in to Canvas

Log in to Canvas

The Canvas login screen requires your login [1] and password [2]. Depending on your student's institution, login information may vary.

Click the Log In button [3].

Each screenshot is acknowledged by its respective university for use in this lesson.

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