How do I explore beta features in Canvas?

The beta environment allows you to explore new features before they reach production. The beta environment is overwritten with data from the production environment every Sunday. Any work or content you add to your beta environment will be overwritten every week. Learn more about the Canvas update schedule.

The beta environment is separate from the test environment, which is overwritten with data from the production environment every three weeks and allows you to test using your real data without ruining the experience for your users. Learn more about the test environment.  

If you want to keep up on the latest features in Canvas, visit the Release Notes page in the Canvas Community.

Notes about the Beta Environment:

  • Admins and instructors can always access the Canvas beta environment, but students can only access beta if enabled by an admin in Account Settings
  • Notifications, including course invitations and report downloads, cannot be sent in the beta environment
  • Crocodoc (annotation tool in SpeedGrader™) 
is not available in the beta environment
  • Any changes you want to keep in the beta environment must be made directly within the production environment before beta is reset

Access Beta Environment

Access Beta Environment

To log in to your beta environment, type [organization name].beta.instructure.com into the URL field.

View Test Installation Message

Users in the beta environment will see a pink bar across the bottom of the screen indicating the user is in a Canvas Test Installation. Remember, beta environments will reset every week on Sunday and any content created in this environment will be deleted. If you want to save any course content created in your beta environment, you can export your course.

Note: To hide the pink bar across the bottom of your screen, double-click on the words Canvas Test Installation.

Manage Canvas Features

Some new features may be released as opt-in only and will not appear until you enable them in your beta environment. You can view these features in the Feature Options tab within Account or Course Settings. Learn how to manage new features for an institution or an individual course.

Lesson Feedback (Optional) (0)

Please let us know if any information in this lesson appears to be incorrect in terms of Canvas functionality only (please do not submit feature requests here). This is not a help site, and submitted comments cannot be answered. If your Canvas course/account is having trouble completing any of the tasks outlined in this lesson, please contact Canvas Support by submitting a HELP TICKET via the Help Link within Canvas or emailing support@instructure.com. Thank you.

E-Mail me if a reply is posted