How do I log in to Canvas as an observer?

This lesson will show you how to log in to Canvas from an internet browser. If you are using Canvas with your student's institution, you will log in either from the institution's webpage or by using their direct Canvas URL. Canvas Network accounts also log in with a Canvas URL. You can also log in to Canvas on the Canvas Mobile apps.

You must have an account to log in to Canvas:

  • If you are observing a student associated with an institution using Canvas and you do not know your username and password, please contact the institution's site administrator.
  • If you do not yet have an account, learn how to create a Canvas account.

Note: If you are having trouble signing into Canvas, please see the troubleshooting section in this lesson.

Login Troubleshooting

If you are having trouble logging in to your account, here are some tips:

  • Verify you are using the correct Canvas URL for your account. You can search for your Canvas URL by using the lookup tool on the Instructure website or from the Free-for-Teacher login page.
  • If you use more than one Canvas URL (such as one for your student's institution and one for Canvas Network), make sure you are using the correct login and password for each Canvas URL.  
  • If your login and password were given to you by your student's institution and you are having trouble logging in, please contact the institution. (They may have changed your login credentials.)
  • If you do not have a login and password, you may need to create an account.
  • If you have forgotten your password, you may be able to reset your password.

Access Canvas via Web Browser  

Some institutions host Canvas within their website. You may only need to sign into the internal system at your student's institution to access Canvas.

Some institutions have you log in to Canvas using the direct link to their Canvas URL. In a browser window, enter the institution's Canvas URL. The institution's Canvas login page will appear in the window.

Note: The URL for Canvas Network is The URL for Free-For-Teachers (FFT) is

Access Canvas via Course Invitation

View Course Invitation

You can find a link to your student's institution Canvas URL in your course invitation email by clicking the Get Started button.

Enter URL

If you cannot locate your institution's Canvas URL, open a browser window and enter

Search School

Find your school by searching for its name in the Search School field.

Select School

When the full name of your school appears, click the name. You will be directed to your school's Canvas login page. Once you are logged in to Canvas, the Canvas URL will display in the browser menu.

Log in to Canvas

Log in to Canvas

The Canvas login screen requires your login [1] and password [2]. Depending on your student's institution, login information may vary.

Click the Log In button [3].