> ... FAQ > Communication > How do I use my Canvas Inbox?

Canvas has an Inbox which is a communication tool similar to email. It is important for you to check your Inbox regularly to receive important communication from your instructor, your peers or administrators. You can find the Inbox in the left navigation under Account, Dashboard, Courses and Calendar. If the Inbox shows a circled number on top of the icon, it is showing the number of new messages you have not yet read.

Main Navigation bar in Canvas shows the Inbox icon with 26 messages

The Toolbar

The Toolbar gives you 9 options:

  1. Filter your messages by course or group
  2. Filter your messages by type (Inbox, Unread, Starred, Sent, Archived, and Submission Comments)
  3. Compose a new message
  4. Reply to a conversation
  5. Reply-all to a conversation
  6. Archive a conversation
  7. Delete a conversation
  8. Forward, mark a conversation as read or unread, and star conversations
  9. Search of conversations by user

Toolbar shows 9 icons as listed

Managing Messages

Message previews are found on the left side of the Inbox. If you click on a message preview, it will open the full message on the right side of the Inbox.

Use the toolbar to filter, respond, and/or delete messages if needed.

Inbox interface shows message previews on the left and message details on the right

Contacting Your Instructor

Select the third option in the toolbar to "Compose a New Message." A pop-up window will appear that will allow you to choose which course you want from a dropdown.

Course dropdown within the Compose Message popup

After selecting the course, you will need to find the person you want to send your message to. Click on the address book. This will bring up another dropdown with three categories: "Teachers," "Students," and "Course Sections." Click on "Teachers" and select the name of your instructor.

Address Book icon creates a dropdown within the Compose Message popup

You can then choose a subject line and write the remainder of your email to your instructor.