Canvas FAQ for Students

Getting started with Canvas (for students)

Students who are new to using Canvas can read the Student Quickstart Guide, search the comprehensive Canvas Student Guide, or choose a how-to video from the list below.

Minimum Technology/Computer Requirements

View the Minimum Technology Requirements for supported software

Frequently Asked Questions about Canvas
Who do I contact if I'm having problems with Canvas?

If you are having basic how-to or navigation problems call Student Technology 575-646-4857 during regular business hours (8 am – 5 pm Monday through Friday). You can also use the ICT computer lab computers if you are on the Las Cruces campus.

For all technology questions contact the ICT Help Desk by going to the ICT Help Desk website, calling at 575-646-1840 or email

If you have a problem accessing content, (i.e. a page, link, quiz, assignment, etc.) contact your instructor. If your instructor cannot resolve the issue, they should contact Academic Technology at 575-646-5125 or during regular business hours.

Who do I contact about Canvas if I'm not taking classes at the NMSU Las Cruces campus?

Alamogordo Campus

Learning Technology Center (LTC)
Phone: (575)-439-3851
Email:   Location: CB102
Additional Info:

Carlsbad Campus

Learning Technology Center
Phone: (575) 234-9261
Email:   Location: LTC, Room 211, Main Bldg

Dona Ana Campus

Virtual Learning and Instructional Technology Office
Phone: (575) 528-7007

Grants Campus

Computer/IT Services
Phone: (505) 287-6647
Additional Info: Grants Computer/IT Services

Can I change my display name in Canvas?

In 2016 the Administrative Council approved a new Preferred Name Rule (see ). A preferred name will be used in lieu of an individual’s legal first name on certain documents. This will include such forms of identification as: email display name, Canvas, NMSU phonebook, class rosters and advisee lists. You can update your preferred name through the personal information link at .

To update your records to reflect a legal name change, contact the Registrar’s Office at 575-646-3411 or

Why can't I see my courses?

First, check to see that you are registered for the course in myNMSU.

Second, contact your instructor to make sure that the course is using Canvas, and that the course has been published.

Third, make sure the term date has started. Courses are made available seven days before each academic semester/term (fall, spring, and summer). You can find the NMSU Academic Calendar here.

*Note: if you are in a mini semester, you may not see your course at the start of the regular semester. Your mini semester course should appear once the instructor has published the course.

If the above criteria are met, follow the instruction links below to view and customize your course list.

How do I view my Canvas courses?

How do I customize my course list?

I can't log in to Canvas, what do I do?

You can log in to Canvas two ways: by logging in to myNMSU and selecting the book icon, or you can log in directly by going to

If you enter your username and password incorrectly 8 times, the system will lock you out for 10 minutes. You can try to log in again after the 10 minute waiting period.

If you are still unable to log in, you will need to contact the ICT Help Desk at 575-646-1840 or for password assistance.

Canvas Notifications going to Clutter in NMSU email

Clutter moves your low priority messages out of your Inbox so you can easily scan for important messages. Clutter analyzes your email habits, and based on your past behavior, it determines the messages that you’re most likely to ignore. It then moves those messages to a folder called Clutter, where you can review them later.

To turn Clutter off:

  1. Log on to your NMSU mail.
  2. Click on the Gear icon in the top right corner of the page.
  3. Choose: Options.
  4. In the Mail section on left, expand Automatic processing and click on Clutter.
    This direct link should take you there as well.
  5. Select whether you want to turn Clutter on or off:
  • On: Separate items identified as Clutter.
  • Off: Don’t separate items identified as Clutter.
  1. Press the Save button in the top left corner.
  2. Press the Back button in front of Options in the top left corner to return to your Inbox.

For more information on how Clutter works click here.

Why am I part of a group conversation from another course?

Conversations are not tied to any specific course. Students can create group conversations and invite people from other courses. All participants in a conversation can see your responses. If you do not want to participate or be part of the conversation, do not respond to any comments.

* Note: Adding people to group conversations can only be done when the group is initially created

I am a Graduate assistant/Teaching assistant, who do I contact when I have problems with Canvas?

First, ask the instructor of record for the course you are assisting with.

For technical assistance, contact Academic Technology at (575)-646-5125 or during regular business hours.

You may also want to attend an Introduction to Canvas workshop. See the list of available workshops for more information.

My quiz requires Respondus, what is Respondus?

Your instructor can require that Respondus Lock Down Browser and/or Monitor be used for quizzes and exams. When using the Lockdown Browser, you will be unable to print, copy, go to another URL, or access other applications. When an assessment is started, you will be locked in until it is submitted for grading. Visit the Respondus LDB FAQ for more information. The ICT computer labs on the Las Cruces campus have Respondus LDB installed on all windows computers. If your instructor is requiring Respondus Monitor, you must have a working webcam. Respondus does not work on Google Chromebooks, Linux, or the restricted version of Windows called Windows 10 S.

What is Zoom?

Zoom is a video conferencing software that is available for faculty and students through Canvas. Look for Zoom in the course navigation menu. If your class is using Zoom, check the course syllabus or contact your instructor for more information. Visit the Zoom at NMSU page for more information about using your NMSU Zoom account inside and outside of Canvas.

My course is using i>Clicker/Turnitin/Adobe Connect/Canvas Studio/Panopto. How do I learn how to use that software?

Visit the Student Apps FAQ page for information and instructions.

How can I request a new feature in Canvas?

Instructure, the company that developed Canvas, asks for ideas and feedback from Canvas users on the Canvas Ideas (Feature Request) page. You can vote for and discuss requested features, or request a new feature. The more votes a feature receives, the higher it moves on the Canvas priority list. You must be logged in to Canvas before visiting the Feature Request page in order to vote or suggest a feature.