Canvas: Enrolling a Guest Account

Applies to: Canvas

A person from outside the University of Minnesota who needs to enroll in a Canvas (non-PeopleSoft or Training) course will need to create a Guest Account. An active email address external to the University is required (e.g., [email protected]). The instructor of the course can then add that account into the non-PS course site or they can enroll in a Training course.

What follows are the steps the external user must do. These directions can be sent directly to them for assistance.

Creating a Guest Account

  1. Go to Request Guest Account
  2. Complete the form fields.
    • Email Address: Enter an active email address; it cannot be a University email address.
  3. Click Submit. An email message about your Guest Account is sent to the email address you specified in the form.
    • Your email address will be used as your University Internet ID.
    • The password is the one you set when you filled out the request form.
  4. You may then sign up for Training Hub courses; or should notify the instructor of the non-PeopleSoft course that your guest account has been created.

Note: It takes up to an hour for a new guest account to be pulled into the Canvas database. (At this time, guest accounts are not always being automatically added to Canvas. Send guest accounts to Canvas Support, [email protected]u, to be activated immediately.)

  • If you try to access a Training site before then Canvas will not recognize the email address and you will be unable to enter the site.
  • After the instructor adds your new account to a Canvas non-PeopleSoft course you will receive an Invitation to the course.
    1. Go to and log in with your email address and password.
    2. Accept the Invitation and you will gain access to the course


The following steps are for the Instructor.

Enrolling a Guest Account

The instructor can enroll a guest account once it has been created by the external user. Instructors can enroll a Guest Account using our +People option.

  1. Go to the Course menu and select People. The People enrollment page appears.
  2. Click the +People button. The Add People window opens.
    Add People window, Add users by email address option selected.
  3. Enter the email address of the account you want to enroll in the Add user(s) by text entry box. 
    The Role drop-down menu should say Student.
  4. Optional: Choose a Section to limit a user's access to just that section.
  5. Click Next.
    • A confirmation window appears if the account has been pulled into the Canvas database.
    • If Canvas says it cannot find the guest account you can create a Help ticket using the ? on the course site menu and ask Canvas Support to add them immediately. We can bulk add a number of students at one time.

Adding quest account is successful.

  1. Click Add Users. The user is sent an invitation to access the course.
    Manage Enrollments window showing user enrolled as a Test Student
  2. The external user should go to where they will see the invitation. Upon acceptance of the invite they will have access to the course site.

Editing a User's Section Enrollment

You can change a user's Section enrollment.

  1. Go to the Course menu and select People. The People enrollment page appears.
  2. Click the Options icon (the 3 vertical dots on the right) for the user.
    Manage Enrollments window Options menu displayed, Edit Sections option highlighted
  3. Click Edit Sections. to add or remove the user from additional sections. The Section Enrollments window appears.
    Section Enrollments window
  4. Click browse to reveal existing sections.
  5. Choose a section from the drop-down menu.
  6. Click Update.

Removing a Student from a Non-academic Course

You can remove a Student user from a non-academic course.

  1. Go to the Course menu and select People. The People enrollments page appears.
  2. Click the Options icon (the 3 vertical dots on the right) for the user.
  3. Click Remove to unenroll this Student user from the course.
  4. Choose OK to confirm you choice.
    Choose Okay from the confirmation window.