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Inbox Overview (All Users)

Inbox Overview (All Users)

In this video, you will learn how to view, manage, and send direct messages to individuals or groups of people using the Inbox.

Last updated 2023-06-01

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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.

Inbox Overview (All Users) Video Script


In this video, you will learn how to view, manage, and send direct messages to individuals or groups of people using the Inbox. 

To open the Inbox, click the Inbox link in Global Navigation. The Inbox displays the toolbar, the Inbox panel, and conversation threads. You can manage your messages using the Inbox toolbar. To filter messages by course or group, click the All Courses drop-down menu. Then select your course or group name. In the Inbox drop-down menu you can view all unread, starred, sent, archived, or submission comment messages. In the Inbox toolbar, you can create a new message by clicking the Compose button. When a conversation is selected, you can view more ways to manage the conversation in the Inbox toolbar. You can reply to a user or all users in the conversation, archive the conversation, or delete the conversation. Archived messages can be retrieved in the Inbox drop-down menu, however deleted messages cannot be retrieved. Click the Options icon to mark the conversation as unread, or to forward, or star the conversation. To locate and view messages from a user, type the user’s name in the Search by User field. You can also locate users to message from a course, group, or section by clicking the Address Book icon.

The Inbox panel displays a list of individual conversations listed in chronological order from newest to oldest. Each conversation displays the most recent communication date, a Read or Unread icon, the names of individuals included in the conversation, the number of responses in the communication thread, and the conversation’s subject and contents. You can also star individual conversations or select multiple conversations you may want to archive or delete.

To view an individual message, click the conversation. The communication thread displays on the right. Threads with multiple messages display the newest messages at the top. To reply to a conversation, click the Reply button. For additional ways to manage a conversation, click the conversation’s Options icon. You can reply all, forward your conversation to other users, archive the conversation, star the message, or delete the conversation from your inbox. You can also reply to a threaded message within the conversation by clicking the Reply button. The Options icon in each threaded message allows you to reply all to the threaded response, forward the threaded response, or delete the response.

To send a new message, click the Compose button. To filter users by course or group, click the Course drop-down menu and select the course or group. Add recipients to your message by typing one or more names in the To: field. As you type, matching users’ names generate below the field. You can also add recipients by clicking the Address Book icon, and filtering users by course, role, section, or group. Next, enter your message subject in the Subject field. By default, messages that include multiple users send a message to the collective group. To send a message to users individually, click the Send individual message to each recipient checkbox. Type your message in the text box. To add an attachment to your message, click the Attach button. To record or upload video or audio to your message, click the Media button. To send your message, click the Send button.

Thanks for watching this Inbox overview video. To learn more about Canvas, ask questions, or engage with other Canvas users, please visit

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