How do I manage my Canvas notification settings as an observer?

You can receive Canvas notifications for the courses you are observing. Notifications are sent to Canvas contact methods listed in your account User Settings. Canvas includes a set of default notification settings. However, you can change the default settings by setting your own notification settings. Your notification settings only apply to you; your notification settings do not affect course notifications sent to the student you are observing.

Some notifications may not apply to the observer role. To learn more about each notification, default settings, and notification triggers, view the Canvas Notifications resource document.

You can select one of four delivery frequency options for each notification type:

  • Notify immediately
  • Daily summary
  • Weekly summary
  • Notifications off

If you change a setting, the change is effective immediately to your account.

If you reply directly to email notifications from outside of Canvas, your reply also appears in your Canvas Inbox. However, attachments added as part of an external reply are not included with the Canvas Inbox message.


Open Account Notifications

Open Account Notifications

In Global Navigation, click the Account link [1], then click the Notifications link [2].

View Account Notification Settings

On the Notification Settings page, you can manage notification settings for your Canvas account and/or manage notification settings for individual courses using the Settings for drop-down menu.  

By default, the Settings for drop-down displays the Account option [1].  A banner displays stating account-level notification settings apply to all of your Canvas courses, however, any course-specific notification settings override account notification settings [2]. To dismiss the message, click the Close icon [3].

A banner indicates the times when daily and weekly messages will be delivered [4]. To dismiss the message, click the Close icon [5].

View the account-level notification types [6] and your listed contact methods [7].

Each notification has a default delivery frequency setting. To view the current notification delivery frequency for a notification type and contact method, hover over the notification icon [8].

View Notification Details

View Notification Details

To view details for a notification, hover over the notification name.

Manage Notification Settings

To allow or disallow the name of the observed student to display in notifications, use the Show name of observed students in notifications toggle [1]. Currently only grade update notifications include observed student names.

To change a notification delivery frequency for a contact method, locate the notification and contact method. Then click the notification icon [2]. You can select one of four delivery frequency types:

  • Notify immediately [3]: receive these notifications right away. These notifications may be delayed by up to one hour in case an instructor makes additional changes, which prevents you from being spammed by multiple notifications in a short amount of time.
  • Daily summary [4]: receive a daily summary for this notification type.
  • Weekly summary [5]: receive a weekly summary for this notification type.
  • Notifications off [6]: receive no notifications for this notification type.


  • Account-level notification settings automatically apply to all of your courses. However, you may be able to manage notifications for a single course.
  • Twitter notification settings do not support daily summary or weekly summary options.
  • Unregistered contact methods display on the Account Notification Settings page but notifications will not be sent until you confirm the registration.

View Privacy Notice

View Privacy Notice

If you've set a notification setting for an email address that is not associated with your institution, a Privacy Notice may display. To close the warning, click the OK button. Once the warning displays and is dismissed once, it will not display again.