Signing in to Canvas and Panopto with Gmail accounts ends March 22, 2023

Last updated: October 17, 2022
Audience: StudentsInstructorsStaff

Using a commercial Gmail account to sign in to the UW’s Canvas LMS and Panopto lecture capture system will end as of March 22, 2023. After this date, all individuals accessing Canvas and Panopto must use a personal UW NetID account.

How can I obtain a UW NetID account?

All matriculated students, employees, clinicians, and many affiliates have a personal UW NetID account, or are eligible to create a personal UW NetID account.

If you are an affiliate that needs to access Canvas and Panopto, and do not yet have a UW NetID account, please contact the department with which you are affiliated and ask for their assistance. The department can choose to sponsor a UW NetID account for you and then grant it access to Canvas and Panopto.

Why can’t I use a Gmail account to access Canvas and Panopto?

When Canvas was initially adopted at the UW in 2012, Gmail accounts were permitted to access the LMS because the Catalyst Web Tools, which many were migrating from, permitted Gmail account access.

Since then, system capabilities, security practices, and access policies have changed substantially. To appropriately secure student data and course content, enable account lifecycles, and implement access policies, we must limit sign in to UW NetID accounts and retire the use of Gmail accounts for signing in to Canvas.

Obtaining sponsored UW NetID accounts, which offer similar assurance of identity as Gmail accounts, is a convenient, self-service process.

How can I continue to access the courses and recordings associated with my Gmail account?

To maintain access to courses in Canvas that are associated with your Gmail account, you can merge the Gmail account with your UW NetID account. Note: Merging accounts combines logins, contant methods, course enrollments, and activity for the accounts. If you have an admin role in Canvas, do not merge accounts. Contact for assistance.

To merge accounts:

  1. If you do not already have a UW NetID account, obtain a sponsored UW NetID from your affiliated department or program.
  2. Ask the employee or department that sponsored your account to use the Provisioning Request Tool to provision Canvas and Panopto access for your account.
  3. Sign in to Canvas with your Gmail account before March 22, 2023, select Account from the global navigation, and then select Settings.
  4. In the Ways to Contact sidebar, add your UW email address as a contact method.
  5. In the Ways to Contact sidebar, click the merge icon (plus sign) next to the UW email address.
  6. When prompted, confirm that you want to combine your Gmail account with your UW NetID account (the names associated with both with be displayed in the dialog.)
  7. When prompted, enter the credentials for your UW NetID account.
  8. You should receive a success message stating “Registration confirmed!” when the accounts are merged.


How can I access my recordings in Panopto?

Before March 22, 2023, you can access Panopto and download recordings you created and then use them outside of Panopto.

To continue accessing your recordings in Panopto after March 22, 2023:

  1. Obtain a UW NetID.
  2. Send a request to asking for your Gmail account and UW NetID accounts in Panopto to be merged.

How can I provide access for a guest teacher?

To provide access to your course, sponsor a UW NetID for the guest teacher.

  1. Use the Provisioning Request Tool to provision Canvas and Panopto access for the sponsored account.
  2. Add the guest to your Canvas course, assigning them the guest teacher role.

Access for non-UW students or learners

The Canvas use policy does not permit use of the UW Canvas LMS for learners who  are not enrolled at the UW. If you are interested in using Canvas for your program that serves non-UW non-matriculated learners, please send a request to for more information.