computer setup
Welcome to Canvas

Prepare your computer

Canvas is a web based technology that does require some configuration to function properly. Please use the Computer Setup Wizard to make sure your computer is ready!

Launch the Computer Setup Wizard



Operating System (OS)

An operating system (OS) is a collection of software that controls the operation and basic function of a computer. Examples of operating systems include Windows (XP, 7, 8,etc.) , Mac (OS X, etc.), and Linux.

The following are the minimum requirements for Operating Systems for use with the Canvas LMS.

What OS do I Have?



Desktop/Laptop Operating Systems

desktop computer image Windows XP SP3 and newer
Mac OSX 10.6 and newer
Linux - Chrome OS

Mobile OS Native App Support

desktop computer image iOS 7 and newer
Android 2.3 and newer


Chrome users on Mac Computers:

Although Chrome is a supported browser for Canvas, recent Java updates may render some of the browser's functionality unstable or unusable (for Mac users using Chrome only). The Google development team is currently working on a fix, however until the new Chrome 64bit version for Mac is available, we recommend using one of the following:


A web browser (or browser) is a software application that allows users send and receive data over the Internet. All common browsers are offered free of charge and are very easy to install.

A free web-book detailing browsers and the web

Don't know exactly what a browser is? Your not alone.

Browsers are applications that allow you to access the Internet from your computer. Browsers are not search engines, or operating systems. One way to think about browsers, is as a sort of translator that takes the various languages that websites are written in (like HTML, JavaScript, and CSS) and decodes them into what you see on your screen. So which browser do you need? any of the browsers listed below (in their most current version) will work with Canvas!

So go ahead and choose a browser, or even better, choose two, or three. Each one translates webpages a little differently, so having more than one may be beneficial to your online experience.
Having trouble viewing a website? Try viewing the page in a different browser and your issue may be resolved.

"Trusted Sites" is a term for websites that are allowed greater permissions and less stringent restrictions for displaying content in your browser.

Most modern browsers have adopted a policy of blocking mixed content by default. This practice helps to keep you safe online when visiting sites where you may encounter potential security threats. While this is a valuable resource for browsing the web and exploring sites which you are unfamiliar with, it puts undue restrictions on some of the innovative technology which may be deployed in your courses. By marking Canvas as a trusted site you ensure that you are able to view all content.

add the following URLs to your trusted sites:

This section describes how to allow your browser to display content that may be blocked by default. you will need the following URLs again to complete some of these changes.

Enable/ Allow Cookies:

Enable Pop-ups:

Enable Java:

Websites are made up of many individual files, all of which need to be accessed by your browser to display the page. The first time you visit a site, your browser will temporarily save some of these files so that subsequent visits will happen much faster, giving you a better experience on the web. So why do we ask you to clear this cache of files? Well, sometimes we make updates to the sites, and when we do you you need to clear the files your browser downloaded in order to access the new files rather than continuing to use the versions it saved. Its a simple process and should be completed on a regular basis to ensure your getting the most up to date content.

Clearing your browser's history is a way to remove other temporary files that may hinder your experience on-line. note that some of the options available in clearing your browser's history may remove saved passwords or other saved data that you may wan to keep. make sure you look carefully at the options for clearing your history.

  • Important Note: For Internet Explorer users, do not select the Preserve Favorites website data check box if you have the Canvas website saved as a Favorite on your computer.


Each browser handles downloads in a slightly different manor. Knowing how your browser differs will help you avoid clutter on your computer, speed up your browsing, and help avoid the frustration of searching for downloaded files.


Java is a programming language that websites and applications use to provide you with content. Java is one of the basic common elements of the web and is needed for a number of the things you do online. Its not just used for the Internet though, everything from your laptop, to smartphone, to televisions, and even cars, traffic lights, and ATMs use Java.

Its very important to keep your Java up to date. While Java is a useful tool, it can also be exploited, and failing to update Java can leave you vulnerable

Java (Most Current Version)
Free Java Download
NOTE: This may not be the UAB recommended Version


UAB managed computers only:

If you are using a managed computer on-campus, Java should already be installed. For Java related issues (on managed computers) contact AskIT.

Apple supplies their own version of Java for all operating systems prior to OS X 10.7 Lion. If you're running a Mac operating system lower than 10.7, use the Software Update feature (available through the Apple menu) to check for Java updates. If you have problems with Java on your Mac, contact Apple Technical Support.

Mac users with OS X Lion (10.7) and newer, Java runtime is no longer installed by default. Java for Mac can be downloaded directly from the Java website.

Just as you should clear your browser cache, you should also periodically clear your Java cache. You may also get email notifications from time to time asking you to clear your Java Cache.

microsoft logo

  1. Go to the Start menu and select Control Panel from the list.
  2. Inside the Control Panel dialog box, find the icon that says Java.
    NoteYou may have to be in Classic View to see the list of icons.
  3. Inside the Java Control Panel, under the General tab you will see a section that says Temporary Internet Files. Click the button that says Settings.
  4. In the Temporary Files Settings window, click the Delete Files button. A new window will open.
  5. In the Delete Temporary Files window, ensure sure both check boxes are selected and click OK.

mac logo

  1. Go to the Applications folder on your system and locate the folder that says Utilities.
  2. Double-click the icon that says Java Preferences.
  3. Inside of the Java Preferences dialog, under the Network tab click the button that says Delete Files.
  4. Ensure sure both check boxes are selected and click OK.
Important Note: You may also want to verify Java is active on your system by going to the General tab and confirm that the check boxes under the section labeled On are marked. Java console on



Adobe Reader and Flash plugins give you added functionality on the web and broaden your ability to interact with your courses. Take a moment to check for these free adobe products and download any that your missing.

Adobe Reader (Most Current Version)
Free Reader Download
Adobe Flash (Most Current Version)
Free Flash Download