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Technical Requirements

Computer Requirements: Hardware and Software

To access and interact in online courses, we recommend the following:

Supported Browsers:

Because it’s built using web standards, Canvas runs on Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, or any other device with a modern web browser.

Canvas supports the last two versions of every browser release. We highly recommend updating to the newest version of whatever browser as well as the most up-to-date Flash plug-in.

As of May 25, 2015, we support the most recent versions of Flash and popular web browsers:

  • Internet Explorer 10 and 11
  • Chrome 42 and 43
  • Safari 7 and 8
  • Firefox 37 and 38 (Extended Releases are not supported)
  • Flash 16 and 17 (for recording or viewing audio/video and uploading files)
  • Respondus Lockdown Browser (supporting the latest system requirements)

Some supported browsers may still produce a banner stating Your browser does not meet the minimum requirements for Canvas. If upgrading the browser does not remove the warning banner, try logging out of Canvas and deleting the browser cookies. Learn how to clear a cache on a Mac or a PC.

Required Components

Flash is required in several places in Canvas for media recording/streaming and viewing as well as uploading files to a course or an assignment. Other than these features, Flash is not required to use most areas of Canvas.

The Java plug-in is required for screen sharing in Conferences. Please note that some browsers do not support Java. Otherwise, there are no other browser plug-ins used by Canvas.

Computer Specifications

Canvas and its hosting infrastructure are designed for maximum compatibility and minimal requirements.

Screen Size
A minimum of 1024×600. That is the average size of a netbook. If students want to view Canvas on a device with a smaller screen, we recommend using the Canvas mobile app.

Operating Systems
Windows XP SP3 and newer
Mac OSX 10.6 and newer
Linux – chromeOS

Mobile Operating System Native App Support
iOS 7 and newer
Android 2.3 and newer

Computer Speed and Processor
Use a computer 5 years old or newer when possible
1GB of RAM
2GHz processor

Internet Speed
Along with compatibility and web standards, Canvas has been carefully crafted to accommodate low bandwidth environments.
Minimum of 512kbps

Screen Readers
Macintosh: VoiceOver (latest version for Safari)
PC: JAWS (latest version for Internet Explorer 10 &11)
PC: NVDA (latest version for Firefox)
There is no screen reader support for Canvas in Chrome


Many courses use audio-video presentations. Students will need speakers, microphone, and headphones for the presentations.

Adobe Reader – Many courses include .pdf documents which require Adobe Reader.

MS Office or Apache OpenOffice – Courses require updated business suite applications. OpenOffice is a free alternative to the MS Office suite. You can get OpenOffice here.

At a Glance