Adding People to Canvas


Most people are automatically added to Canvas sites after creation. Students are automatically added to most Canvas sites by the SRS enrollment feed. Most teaching team members (including TAs) are added during the site creation process. However, there may be times when you need to manually add someone.

This instructor guide explains how to manually add people to Canvas.

Important Notes:

  • During course selection, new students are typically added to a Canvas site within an hour of officially registering for a course. Except in unusual circumstances, it should not be necessary to add students.
  • The course roles available within a Canvas site vary by school.
  • Please note: Some schools have opted to disable the ability to add users to Canvas sites. If you notice that the “People” area in your Canvas site looks different from the following images, then it’s possible your school has limited or completely disabled your ability to add users to a Canvas site. If you are using Canvas for a course offered through one of these schools, then the following information does not apply. Please contact your Local Support Provider (LSP) if you have any questions.

Instructions for Adding People to Your Canvas Site

These instructions apply only if you can add people to a Canvas site.

1. Log into with your PennKey username and password, open a Canvas site, and click on People.

Cursor clicking

2. Click +People.

Cursor over

3. The default option for “Add user(s) by” is PennKey. You can leave this option to add users with their PennKeys or select “Penn ID” to add users with their Penn ID numbers.

Example of

Important: The option to add users to sites with email addresses is no longer available in Canvas. You can only add users with their PennKeys or Penn ID numbers. If you do not know a user’s PennKey or Penn ID number, please email Canvas Support with the user’s full name and email address (does not have to be a Penn email address, only a valid one) for assistance.

4. Enter the PennKeys or Penn ID numbers for each person you want to add to your Canvas site. Separate each PennKey or Penn ID number using commas. The changes to the “Add People” process now require that you separate each person’s PennKey or Penn ID with commas; previously, you did not have to use commas when adding multiple people at once to a Canvas sites. Also, please note you can only enter characters on a single line.

Example of adding multiple users at once with PennKeys. Comma between users' PennKeys is pointed out with a red arrow attached to a text-box that reads.

5. Select the user role.

Example of selecting user role in the

6. If applicable, select the course section to which you want to add the users and, if desired, enable the “Can interact with users in their section only” setting.

Example of a course section being selected and the

7. Click Next.

Example of the

8. When the window refreshes, you will see “The following users are ready to be added to the course” near the top of the window along with the names of the people whose PennKeys or Penn ID numbers you’ve added. Double-check the to make sure these are the users you want to add and then click Add Users.

Example of the

After you click Add Users, the “People” page refreshes and lists the people you have added. If “pending” appears next to their name, it means that have not yet accepted the invitation to your Canvas site.

Example of the updated

“Click to add a name” Feature Turned off at Penn

If you attempt to add a user to your site who does not have a Canvas account, you will see this message: “We were unable to find matches below. Select any you would like to create as new users. Unselected will be skipped at this time.”

This is the message that appears when you try adding someone to your site who does not have a Canvas account.

Please note that the “Click to add name” feature has been turned off for the University of Pennsylvania. If you click the link Click to add a name and try creating a Canvas account for someone, you will see this message: “We were unable to find matches below.”

The message that appears when you click on

Please email Courseware Support if you are trying to add someone to your Canvas site who does not have a Canvas account. Please note that a user must have a PennKey to obtain a Canvas account and that each request to create a Canvas account and/or to add a user to a Canvas site sent to is reviewed on a case-by-case basis.