Technical Requirements

Computer Specifications for Using Canvas


Canvas and its hosting infrastructure are designed for maximum compatibility and minimal requirements.

Screen Size

  • A minimum of 1024x600. That is the average size of a netbook. You probably won't want to view Canvas on a smaller screen than that.

Operating Systems

  • Windows XP SP3 and newer
  • Mac OSX 10.6 and newer
  • Linux - chromeOS

Mobile OS Native App Support

  • iOS 5 and newer
  • Android 2.3 and newer

Computer Speed and Processor

  • Use a computer 5 years old or newer when possible
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 2GHz processor

Internet Speed

  • Along with compatibility and web standards, Canvas has been carefully crafted to accommodate low bandwidth environments.
  • Minimum of 512kbps

Screen Readers

  • Latest version of JAWS for Internet Explorer 9 & 10 and Firefox
  • Latest version of VoiceOver for Safari
  • There is no screen reader support for Chrome


Supported Browsers


Because it's built using web standards, Canvas runs on Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, or any other device with a modern web browser.

Canvas supports the last two versions of every browser release. We highly recommend updating to the newest version of whatever browser you are using as well as the most up-to-date Flash plug-in.

As of August 22, 2013, we support the following desktop browsers and Flash versions:

  • Internet Explorer 9 and 10
  • Chrome 27, 28, and 29
  • Safari 5 and 6
  • Firefox 21, 22, and 23
  • Flash 9, 10, and 11 (if you want to use the audio/video recording or viewing feature or upload files)

Some supported browsers may still produce a banner stating "Your browser does not meet the minimum requirements for Canvas." If you have upgraded your browser but you are still seeing the warning banner, try logging out of Canvas and deleting your browser cookies. Click here for help with clearing your cache.

If you are using an unsupported browser, you can update your browser, or you can dismiss the warning banner during the duration of your browser session. For instance, testing centers can dismiss the banner and it won't appear until the next browser session.

Required Components


Flash is required in several places in Canvas: media recording/streaming and viewing as well as uploading files to a course or an assignment. Other than these features, Flash is not required to use most areas of Canvas.

The Java plug-in is required for screen sharing in Conferences. Therefore you must have it enabled in your browser. Otherwise, there are no other browser plug-ins used by Canvas.

Update Your Desktop Browser


There are a couple of different ways to update your desktop browser.

1. Every time you open your browser, it will check to make sure it is using the most current version. If it is not updated, your browser will prompt you with a notification and walk you through the update process.

2. Download the latest version of your desktop browser directly. Click the name of your browser below to visit your browser's download page:

Browser Privacy Settings


Some browsers may occasionally make modifications to privacy settings to protect users from possible insecure content. If you are using a browser that is affected, please be aware of possible restrictions. We recommend following any browser security policies established by your institution, especially if you are using Canvas on a computer provided by your institution. You may want to use Canvas in another browser instead.

The following are known issues in specific browsers that may block content within Canvas.

Chrome Security


Chrome Security

Google Chrome verifies that the website content you view is transmitted securely. If you visit a page in your Canvas course that is linked to insecure content, Chrome will display a shield icon in the browser address bar.

You can choose to override the security restriction and display the content anyway by clicking the shield icon and then clicking the Load unsafe script button.

Chrome Media Permissions


Chrome Media Permissions Zoom

Chrome has its own media permission within the browser. To use your computer camera and microphone within any Canvas feature, you will have to approve two permissions:

  1. Allow access to Canvas via the Adobe Flash Player Settings [1]. This prompt appears in the center of the video and audio pop-up windows, or the center of the browser if you are accessing Conversations.
  2. Allow access to Canvas via Chrome's media permission settings [2]. This prompt appears just below the address bar. Click the Allow button.

Firefox Security


Firefox Security

Firefox verifies that the website content you view is transmitted securely. If you visit a page in your Canvas course that is linked to insecure content, Firefox will display a shield icon in the browser address bar [1].

You can choose to override the security restriction and display the content anyway by clicking the shield icon, clicking the Keep Blocking drop-down menu [2], and selecting the Disable Protection on This Page option [3].

Canvas on Mobile Devices


The Canvas UI was optimized for desktop displays, so using small form factors such as phones may not be a pleasant experience in using Canvas. We recommend trying our Mobile Apps for supported phones and tablet devices.

Since Canvas uses small elements of Flash, not all Canvas features may be compatible with mobile devices, especially on iOS.

Mobile Browsers

Visit the Apple store or the Play store to download mobile browsers.

The following major browsers are compatible with iOS:

  • Safari (default browser that opens from Canvas)
  • Chrome
  • Photon Flash Player (supports Flash)

The following major browsers are compatible with Android:

  • Internet (default browser that opens from Canvas)
  • Firefox
  • Chrome