Canvas Student App - Mobile and the Web Version of Student Canvas

Last modified 5/21/2024

This guide is for the mobile app for students. There is a different guide and app for professors here.

There are a number of differences between the Mobile and Web versions of Canvas. Although the view may be different on these two devices, the overrall feel and content will still be the same.  There are some things that the Web version of Canvas that the Mobile version cannot do that will be outlined here. There are also some devices and versions that will not have the same access as others which will be identified. For a full list of devices, their versions, and what they can access please visit: Canvas Student Mobile Features - Instructure Community (

Student Use Suggestions

The Canvas student app provides a good experience for:

  • Reading or reviewing course content (syllabi, calendar, course readings)
  • Looking at your grades
  • Using discussions for low-stakes (un-graded) conversations

Use your device browser for the best experience on high-stakes activities including:

  • Taking a quiz
  • Submitting an assignment
  • Graded discussions
  • Discussions that involve attachments
  • Using an external homework system, such as MyLab

iPad users should use the Chrome mobile app for external tools or use a browser on a desktop or laptop.

General Tips (All Users) 

  • Use nicknames, favoriting, and reordering to customize how your courses appear on the Canvas dashboard; this is especially important for the small screen environment of the Canvas apps.
  • Be sure to unfavorite courses at the end of the semester.
  • On the iPad, use Safari rather than Chrome for browser access. On laptop / desktop systems, all modern browsers are supported.
    All versions of Internet Explorer are deprecated and not supported.

Why Use the Mobile Apps?

The mobile apps allow you to more easily navigate Canvas while using a mobile device.

With the Canvas Student app, students can do the following:

  • View the Syllabus, Pages, Announcements, and Grades
  • Read and download PDFs or Word documents
  • Turn in submissions, including file uploads, media recordings, text entry and online URLs
  • Take Quizzes, though this is not recommended on a mobile device
  • Participate in Discussions
  • Type and send messages through the Canvas Inbox

Table of What Devices and Versions Can Use the Mobile App and What They Can Use

Logging in to Canvas

How to Get Help

Technical assistance is available through the Illinois State University Technology Support Center at:

Instructional assistance and knowledge for Canvas are available through the Illinois State University Center for Integrated Professional Development: