Customizing the Canvas Dashboard

Customizing your Dashboard can help support you in how you most frequently use Canvas. There are a couple of view options:

  1. Card View
  2. List View
  3. Recent Activity

You can choose which of these views you want to see by clicking on the button with three dots on the top-right corner of the Dashboard.

Dashboard view options with card view, list view, recent activity, and color overlay. In this example card view and color overlay are checked.

Card View

The Card View will display each course on a card with an optional course image (added in the course settings) and quick links to announcements, assignments, discussions, and files within the course. This view is helpful if you primarily access Canvas from a computer and like a more visual representation of the class list.

Cards will display in alphabetical order, based on course name. You can click and drag the cards to re-order them to match your preference.

You can click on the button with three dots on each course card to give the course a nickname and choose a color for the card and title. Nicknames appear for you in your course lists, calendar, and within the course. Students see the official name of the course or a nickname they have designated.

List View

The List View displays announcements, calendar items, assignments, and other dated items in more of an agenda view. This view is best for users with a student role.

Canvas dashboard in list view

Recent Activity

The Recent Activity view provides a summary of announcements, notifications, and discussions for all of your classes. This view is best if you are frequently on a low bandwidth connection.

Canvas dashboard in recent activity view showing 3 announcements, 1 conversation message, and 20 assignment notifications

Color Overlay

The color overlay option can be turned off if you would rather not see a translucent color over course images on the cards.

Selecting Courses

You have the option of choosing which courses are displayed on the Dashboard.


From anywhere in Canvas, click on Courses from the global navigation menu, then click on All Courses

User account course menu with all courses highlighted


Click on the outline of the star next to courses you want to include on your Dashboard

list of courses with orange stars next to some courses and outline of a star next to one course

Tip: You can use the filter at the top of the page to view courses from only one semester.
course filter drop-down with fall 2021 semester selected


Click on the orange star next to courses you want to remove from your Dashboard (you may have to refresh the browser window to see the changes)

Course list with an orange star highlighted for removal


Click on the Courses icon to see changes to the list

list of courses with third course showing an outlined star and fifth course showing a filled-in star

Or, click on Dashboard to see the changes there
user dashboard showing starred courses

Note: Only courses in a current or future semester can be starred.

Video Tutorial

This short video will walk you through the process of customizing your dashboard in Canvas.