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Account Structure (Admins)

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Account Structure (Admins)

In this video, you will learn how you can structure your Canvas account’s organizational hierarchy using Accounts and Sub-Accounts. You will also learn how to add and manage Sub-accounts.

Last updated 2019-04-05

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Video overviews reflect current feature functionality in Canvas; they are updated based on workflow changes, not on minor or non-functional interface enhancements. Depending on your institution's Canvas theme, the Canvas interface may display differently than shown in this video, but the functionality is the same.


Account Structure (Admins) Video Script


In this video, you will learn how you can structure your Canvas account’s organizational hierarchy using Accounts and Sub-Accounts. You will also learn how to add and manage Sub-accounts.

In Canvas, the term Account refers to an organizational unit. Every instance of Canvas has a top-level or root Account. Within the root account, sub-accounts are often used to manage permissions and organizational hierarchy within an institution. You may create as many sub-accounts and sub-accounts-within-sub-accounts as necessary. Additionally, you can add admins to accounts and sub-accounts, allowing them to configure resources such as courses, user roles, and question banks, that may differ from one account to another. By default, account settings and user privileges set at an account level flow down to sub-accounts. However, settings and user privileges set at a sub-account level will not flow back up to the account level.
Account Structure with Sub-Accounts

To create your account’s organizational structure with sub-accounts, click the Sub-Accounts link in Account Navigation. On the Sub-Accounts page, you can view a list of the existing Sub-Accounts within your account. 
Ask yourself the following questions before creating sub-accounts: 

  • First, Do you want your account structure to mirror your institution’s organizational structure?
  • Second, Are there data or reports that benefit you if you view them from the sub-account level?
  • Third, Whom do you want to have admin access and where?
  • And lastly, What types of shared resources, such as outcomes, rubrics, grading schemes or question banks, do want your users to have access to and at which level?

To add a new sub-account to your account or to an existing sub-account, click the Add icon, and enter a name for the new Sub-Account. Press return or enter to save the newly created Sub-Account. 

From the Sub-Accounts page, you can also view a sub-account by clicking the account name, edit a sub-account name, and delete sub-accounts. Please note that sub-accounts with courses cannot be deleted. To expand or collapse the list of sub-accounts on the Sub-Account page, click the expand or collapse icons.

You've now completed this tutorial video on Account Structure. For additional information on this or any other topic about Canvas, please visit You can also ask questions and engage with other Canvas users by visiting

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