Canvas Guides (English)Canvas GuidesCanvas Student Guide InboxHow do I send a message to a user in a course in the Inbox as a student?

How do I send a message to a user in a course in the Inbox as a student?

In the Inbox, you can send a message to one user or multiple users in a course.

If your recipient list contains more than 100 users, your message will automatically be sent as individual messages to each user. As the sender, you will also be included in the total recipient count.

Learn more about the Inbox.


  • Currently you cannot message users in multiple courses.
  • You can also send a message to yourself, but messages can only be viewed in the Sent messages folder.
  • Users display in the Inbox once they have an active enrollment in the course, and users cannot join a course unless it is published.
  • You cannot send messages to users in concluded courses.

Open Inbox

Open Inbox

In Global Navigation, click the Inbox link.

Compose Message

Click the Compose icon.

Select Course

Filter Course

In the Courses drop-down menu, select the course where you want to send your message. You can filter your courses by current favorite courses [1], more courses [2], or course groups [3].

Add User

Add User

To add a user, you can search for the user in the To field [1] or you can use the Course Roster [2].

Search for User

Search for User

To search for a user, type the user's name in the To field. Canvas will automatically populate matching names. If multiple names appear, use the arrow key to select the user's name. Then press the Enter key. The user's name will appear in the To field, highlighted in light blue.

If you accidentally select the wrong user, press the Delete key (on a MAC keyboard) or the Backspace key (on a PC keyboard) to remove the user.

You can also hover over a user's name and click the white x to remove the user from the list.

Add Multiple Users

Remove Recipient Name

To send a message to multiple users, type the names of the users in the To field.

Note: If you have a long list of recipients, the To field will only show 5 lines before scrolling is enabled. If you select the Send individual messages checkbox, individual messages for all recipients will be created.

Use Course Roster

Use Course Roster

To select a user from the course roster, click the Address Book icon next to the To field [1]. From the address book, locate the user's role [2] and then select the user's name [3]. Names are arranged by last name.

To navigate back to the course roster, use the arrow icon [4].

Add Multiple Users

Select Mutliple Recipients

To send a message to multiple users in the course roster, press the command key (Mac) or the control key (Windows) and click the name of each user you'd like to add to your message. Pressing the keyboard key will keep the roster window open.

Send Message

Send Message

In the subject line field [1], enter a subject line for your message.

If you are sending your message to multiple users, but you do not want each user to see who else was included in the message, click the Send an individual message to each recipient checkbox [2]. If your message includes over 100 recipients (including you as the sender), this checkbox will be selected by default.

In the message field [3], type your message. All content is sent in plain text. Note that if you include a URL in your message, the URL will automatically become a clickable link after you send the message.

If you want to include an attachment or media file, click the attachment or media file icons [4].

When you are finished, click the Send button [5].