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What is the Canvas test environment?

What is the Canvas test environment?

The Canvas test environment allows admins and instructors to test real data without affecting the production environment, such as adding users, testing course content, and/or troubleshooting issues. The test environment can also be configured with production-ready features, such as access to an institution's login authentication system.

Note: The test environment may not be available at your institution. If you cannot access the test environment, consider using the Canvas beta environment for testing purposes.

When are new features added to test?

The test environment inherits new and updated features added to the production environment as part of the production release schedule. For details, please see What is the Canvas Release Schedule?

How do I access the test environment?

Canvas admins and instructors can access the test environment by adding test in their Canvas URL (e.g. The test environment includes certain limitations as noted in the Canvas guide for each user role:

Note: The test environment may not be available at your institution. If you cannot access the test environment, consider using the Canvas beta environment for testing purposes.

What happens to my content in the test environment?

The test environment is updated every three weeks after the production release. Any content added to or modified in the test environment will be overwritten by content in the production environment on the same day as the production release. Test is not available for use when the environment is being refreshed.

Although the test environment is stable and can be used at any time, please note this environment is offered as a courtesy and does not maintain the same availability and uptime as provided for the Canvas production environment.

How do I find out about new features available in test?

If you want to keep up on the latest production features in Canvas, visit the Release Notes page in the Canvas Community. 

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We consult for around 40+ clients 

can I confirm all canvas clients simply add .test (as instructed in this article) in between their URL to access their test environment? 

are the user logins / passwords the same as the production environment? 

best regards 

Chris Hall 

Hi Chris,

Yes, the naming convention for test instances is the same for all clients.  Also, yes to people logging into test instances using the same credentials they use to log into production instances, providing they have sufficient rights to be able to log into test instances in the first place.


I'm going to add one caveat to  @scottdennis ‌'s reply.  It may not work the same way depending on your authentication.  At my previous school using SAML for authentication, when you'd go to Test or Beta after login it would re-direct you to the production environment.  This made it difficult for the average user to ever get into the Test and Beta environments.  My current school also uses SAML and it works fine.  So as Scott said it should work but it's possible that things could be a little weird when using an external authentication system; if it's not configured correctly.


Thanks  @scottdennis ‌!

thanks Rick!

 @chris18 ‌, I'll add that we purchase and promote a vanity URL to access Canvas that matches our campus website. We can also use the standard URL provided to access our site and that is the URL we edit to access test and beta. 

I am tasked with ensuring our systems comply with privacy policies at our organization. Our SIS, CRM, and marketing systems are configured such that real PII is not copied into the test environments of those systems. Canvas routinely copies student names and emails from PROD to TEST and BETA.

How do schools address this? Are there options or features for our accounts that could change the way that this data copy occurs to obfuscate/anonymize student names and email addresses?

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