“How do I get rid of old courses and see new courses?”

As new quarters begin, we often want to clean up our Canvas sites and move old courses. Obviously we don’t want to scroll through pages and pages of old courses just to find one course. Fortunately, Canvas has an easy way to “star” the courses you use most frequently so they conveniently appear on your dashboard page.  You can even customize the course icons on the dashboard so that they are easily recognizable and represent your course topics!

When you log into Canvas, the Dashboard is the first page you will see, and it will show you all your current courses. The Dashboard page shows each of your courses as a course “card” which you can click to enter your course site. If you are enrolled in more than one Canvas course, you have the ability to customize which courses you want to be displayed on your dashboard so that you can easily see them when you login. These are called favorite courses. If you have selected at least one course as a favorite, only your favorite courses will appear on the dashboard. If you don’t have any favorite courses, the courses list automatically displays all your courses alphabetically. Also, in the Dashboard, courses will be grouped by your enrollment type. Any courses that you are an instructor in will be listed first, followed by TA roles and any other custom instructor-based roles. Your courses with student roles are listed last.



  1. In the Global Navigation menu, click the Courses link.
  2. Click the All Courses link.
  3. Click the star next to a course to favorite it.
Image Showing Course Chosen as Favorite

(1) Empty star denotes a course that is not a favorite. (2) Filled star denotes a favorite course.

After you have manually favorited at least one course, Canvas automatically favorites any new published course enrollments for you. Thus, at the beginning of the next quarter new courses released from the registrar will be automatically favorited for you.



If your course has a long or confusing name, or even if you just want to label it differently, you can create a nickname for your course. Course nicknames appear in the Dashboard, Course Navigation Menu, course breadcrumbs, and notification emails. However, please note that a course nickname does not affect the course name at the account or course level; it only changes the name of the course for the individual user who created the nickname. Thus, students will not see the nicknames you have created. Each student can set his/her own nicknames for his/her own courses. If at any time you need to check the original name of the course, you can always hover over the nickname and the original name will appear in a pop-up.

Image Showing Nickname Dialog Box

To set a course nickname:

  1. Click the More Options icon on the card.
  2. Type the name in the Nickname field.
  3. Click the Apply button.


Along with names, you can also add images to display on your course cards. Canvas can accept images that are in JPG, JPEG, GIF, and PNG formats. For best results, please make sure that your images are approximately 262 pixels wide by 146 pixels high. When added to a course card, your image will be displayed behind a color overlay in the course card. The color overlay can be completely removed by a user so that only the uploaded custom image shows.

To add a custom image:

  1. In the Course Navigation menu, click the Settings link.
  2. Click the Feature Options tab.
  3. Toggle “Enable Dashboard Images for Courses” to On.
  4. Click the Course Details tab.
  5. Click the Choose Image button.
  6. To upload your own image, drag and drop your image in your browser or click the browse your computer link and locate an image.
  7. View the image as it will be shown in the Dashboard course card.
  8. Click the Update Course Details button.
  9. By default, course cards with an image include a color overlay. To remove the color overlay from all course cards that contain an image, click the Options menu (column of dots) at the upper right of the Dashboard and deselect the Color Overlay option.



For more details and step-by-step instructions, please see Canvas’ documentation:

If you need further advice and assistance with customizing your dashboard, or if you have other questions, Academic Technology Solutions is happy to help.  You can attend one of our walk-in sessions held in the TechBar of the Regenstein Library (see our workshop schedule for upcoming sessions), or contact us at academictech@uchicago.edu.