What Will I Need?
Students take their online courses using a range of devices, from desktop and laptop computers to smartphones and tablets. You may choose to do your schoolwork on one or more of these gadgets—it's about finding out which form of hardware best suits both your needs as a student and the requirements of the course.
If you're going to buy a computer, select something reliable, and more importantly, make sure that you have access to a fast internet connection (we recommend, but don't require, a broadband connection).
These are some basic programs that your device will need to be equipped with in order to interact with your school's Learning Management System (or Canvas in this case).
The following is a list of basic computer system requirements to use for Canvas. It is always recommended to use the most up-to-date versions which have better connections. Canvas will still run with the minimum specifications, but you may experience slower loading times.
Canvas is best viewed at a minimum resolution of 800x600. If you want to view Canvas on a device with a smaller screen, we recommend using the Canvas mobile app.
Since Canvas is built using web standards, it runs on Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, or any other device with a web browser.
You'll want to make sure that you have an up-to-date operating system. Your computer's operating system is the software that manages the programs and functions of your computer.
For the courses you take with Canvas, you will be required to have one of the following operating systems:
- For PC, Windows 7 or higher
- For Mac, OS 10.4 or higher
- Chrome OS
Mobile Operating System Native App Support
As of January 5, 2019, Android apps require version 5.0 or later and iOS apps require version 11 or later. All Android and iOS both support the two most recent versions of their respective operating systems.
Desktop Computer Speed and Processor
- Use a computer 5 years old or newer when possible
- 1GB of RAM
- 2GHz processor
- Along with compatibility and web standards, Canvas has been carefully crafted to accommodate low bandwidth environments.
- Minimum of 512kbps
- 2GHz processor
Your individual course may also have its own hardware requirements. Check with your instructor or look at your syllabus to see if there is anything else you might need for your course.
Some common hardware requirements might include:
- A printer
- A headset
Another factor that you'll want to keep an eye out for is whether your computer includes the following browsers to view your course contents on Canvas.
It is always a good idea to have several browsers installed on your machine when possible - that way you have a few options to choose from if you run into any problems.
The current and first previous major releases of the following browsers:
In addition to having a browser to view online content, sometimes your course will require you to install one or more of the following plug-ins so that you can view other media that the browser alone may not be able to handle: like animations, sound clips, PDFs, or any number of other things.
Some common plug-ins you may need to install could include:
These are free applications you can download from the internet, and your instructor (or even your computer) will let you know when you need a plug-in in order to view something.