Changes to Navigation View

On October 19th 2019, Canvas is releasing an update to the course and user navigation bars. This will NOT change any functionality, it is a change to the look only.

Below you can find detailed information about the new look.


The Course and User Navigation Menus have been updated to include color and visual indicators to define active menu items. Additionally, the Course Navigation Menu includes tooltip indicators to clarify inactive menu items. No functionality has been affected.

Change Benefit

This change helps improve accessibility in Canvas. Previously the inactive links displayed in light gray text with a light border, which did not fulfill contrast ratios. Additionally, active and inactive links only relied on color to convey information.

Affected User Roles

All Users

When a user accesses a supported menu, all inactive links are displayed in the account’s primary color. The active link is displayed in black and includes a vertical line. The hover state for a link includes an underline by default (when high contrast mode is not already enabled). When selected, the link displays a focus state with a 2px border.


Course Navigation hover state includes a box around the link



Default links that are not visible to students display the hidden visibility icon.

Note: No existing functionality has been affected with this change. Third party LTI tools are not included in the course sidebar unless they are visible in the course.


Course Navigation before and after comparison change for navigation view


Pages are not visible to a student in one of two cases: a page contains no content, or a page is hidden via the Navigation tab in Course Settings.


View of Course Navigation Menu and the Navigation tab with disabled links

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