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Change default notifications for new users?


We're having an issue on one of our courses where the students feel that they are being spammed too much by Canvas (it has a lot of assignments that can be solved quite rapidly, resulting in them receiving 8 e-mails after working for 1-2 hours). 

I know they can alter their own notification settings, but is there any way for me to change the default settings for new users? It would be nice if I could just set it to a weekly update as default instead of immediate e-mails so new users don't have to get their head around the notification settings (which are extremely numerous and filled with terms that they do not understand). 

4 Replies
Community Advocate
Community Advocate

Hi Michael,

While Canvas does not provide a way for us to setup notification preferences for new users via the GUI, it does allow us to modify notification preferences via their API's.

Notification Preferences - Canvas LMS REST API Documentation 


Hello Brian,

I looked into this and I've been trying to make it work. While I could easily change it for just one user using this method, I can't figure out how to scale the solution up.

The issue is the "communication_channel_id". While it would be easy enough to pull a list of all the users and type in which preferences I want to alter in a CSV file, the communication_channel_id parameter makes it impossible... because I basically need a list of:

user_id from users in a specific course > these users e-mail communication_channel_id to match with the user_idnotification preferences...

Do you know of any way to pull such a list? 


Hi Michael,

I am not sure there is a way to do this via a CSV file.  The way I did it was through coding to call an the api‌'s necessary to get the ID's needed to perform the update and then call the notifications‌ api‌ to update the preferences of the user. 

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.