IT Connect

Information technology tools and resources at the UW

Getting Around

How do I find what I need in Canvas?

Canvas has two navigation systems: Global navigation and Course navigation.

Global navigation is accessible in the purple bar across the top of the screen, visible wherever you are in Canvas.

Click the UW logo to go to the Dashboard, your home page in Canvas.

Options in Global navigation apply to all your Canvas courses.

Menu item

Courses/Courses & Groups



Shows you

All your active Canvas courses

Upcoming and recent assignments in all Canvas courses

Events and assignments for all Canvas courses

The light purple area of Global navigation, in the upper right corner, is the access point for personal settings, the Canvas inbox, logging out, and getting help.

Global Nav right side

Course navigation is visible within a specific Canvas course, on the left side of the screen. Click any item in the Course navigation to go to an area of the Canvas course. On the navigation, the name of the area you select is highlighted in blue.

Canvas Course Navigation

Do I always have to go through the main page?

There are several ways to navigate in Canvas without returning to the main page (also known as the “Dashboard”).

You can use the global navigation, found at the top of the screen in the purple bar.

Global Nav

To move to another section in Canvas using global navigation follow these steps:

  1. StepsActions
  2. In the global navigation, mouse over Courses / Courses & Groups.
  3. Click the course or group you want to reach. The home page for the course or group appears.

Global navigation will also take you to assignments, grades, and the calendar for all your courses, as well as your personal settings and the Canvas Inbox.

To move from section to section within a Canvas course, click any of the menu items in the course navigation. Or, click a link in the breadcrumb navigation.

To return to the home page, click the house icon. Click any breadcrumb link to go to that area of the course.

How do I remove old courses from my Courses menu?

Courses that are no longer active are automatically removed from the Courses menu. However, if the instructor chooses not to end a course at the end of the quarter (in order to keep course content available), you can remove it using the steps below. Note: at least one course must remain in the course list. Otherwise, all courses that you removed will automatically appear again in the list.

  1. StepsActions
  2. In the global navigation, mouse over Courses / Courses & Groups.
  3. Next to My Courses, click Customize. The customization box opens.
  4. Clear the check mark from any courses you want to remove. Only courses with a blue check next to them will appear on the course list.
  5. When you are finished, click X in the upper-right corner to save your choices and close.