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How do I check the compatibility of my computer with Canvas?
Posted by Anna Wright on 08 November 2012 09:52 AM

Note: These instructions are for faculty and students.

In order to successfully take part in a Rowan Global/Rowan Online course, students are expected to have access to a typically configured personal computer, updated software, and reliable Internet access. If you have completed the steps below and your computer is up-to-date but you are still experiencing issues, submit an online support ticket


Browser Check

Note: Canvas is compatible with the latest version of most browsers (i.e. Firefox, Safari, Chrome). Canvas, however, is not compatible with Internet Explorer. Internet Explorer 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 are not recommended for use with Canvas. Users using Internet Explorer have reported issues submitting assignments, using the Conferences tool, etc.

These web browsers are free installations for all operating platforms. It is recommended that you install and/or upgrade to the latest version of the browser of your choice.

  • Mozilla Firefox - http://www.mozilla.com/firefox
    • We strongly recommend using Firefox with Canvas (Mac and PC users).
    • What Is The Latest Version Of Firefox? 
      The latest version of Firefox is posted on http://www.mozilla.com/firefox and can be downloaded for free.
    • What Version Of Firefox Do I Have? 
      If you currently have Firefox installed and want to check what version you have, follow these steps.
      1. In the Firefox toolbar, click on Help > About Firefox
      2. A pop-up window will appear with the browser's version number. If your version does not match the version posted on http://www.mozilla.com/firefox it is recommended that you upgrade to the latest version. 
      3. You can automatically check for updates and upgrade your browser by clicking on Help > Check for Updates.
  • Google Chrome - https://www.google.com/chrome
    • Mac users should not use Google Chrome with the Conferences tool.
  • Apple Safarihttp://www.apple.com/safari

Java Check

The Java plug-in is required for screen sharing in Conferences. Java is a programming language and computing platform. It is the underlying technology that powers state-of-the-art programs including utilities, games, and business applications on the web.  

Java is a free installation and is required for students participating in a course that uses Canvas. It is recommended that you install and/or upgrade to the latest version.

  • Java - http://www.java.com
    • Do I Already Have Java?
      Most likely, if you are surfing the Internet and participating in various multimedia applications without problems, you already have Java installed. To verify your installation of Java, go to http://java.com/en/download/installed.jsp, and click on the Verify Java version button.
    • How Do I Upgrade My Version of Java?
      The current version of Java is posted on http://www.java.com. The Java Verficiation page will determine if you are running the latest version. This page will automatically detect if there is an older version on your system and help you upgrade to the latest version. To do so, follow the on-screen instructions provided.

Adobe Reader and Adobe Flash Player Check

Adobe Reader is the global standard for electronic document sharing and allows you to open, print, and collaborate on .PDF files. Adobe Flash Player is the standard for delivering high-impact, rich Web content such as applications and videos. 

Both of these Adobe installations are free and are required for students participating in a course that uses Canvas. It is recommended that you install and/or upgrade to the latest versions of each.

  • Adobe Reader - http://get.adobe.com/reader 
    • Do I Already Have Adobe Reader?
      If you have successfully viewed any PDF file than you most likely have Adobe Reader installed on your system. If you can not open PDF files and/or do not have Adobe Reader installed on your system, you can download the latest version from http://get.adobe.com/reader
    • How Do I Check and Upgrade My Version of Adobe Reader?
      The current version of Adobe Reader is posted on http://get.adobe.com/reader. To see what version of Adobe Reader you have, open the Adobe Reader program and click on Help > About Adobe Reader. A pop-up window will appear with the software's version number. If you are not running the version posted on http://get.adobe.com/reader, click on Help Check for Updates to automatically begin the update process and get the latest version.
  • Adobe Flash Player - http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer
    • Flash is required in several places in Canvas: media recording/streaming and viewing as well as uploading files to a course or an assignment. Other than these features, Flash is not required to use most areas of Canvas.
    • Do I Already Have Adobe Flash Player?
      If you have successfully viewed any interactive online content (such as videos or games) than you most likely have Adobe Flash Player installed on your system. If you can not watch videos or play browser-based games, it is recommend you download Adobe Flash Player from http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer
    • How Do I Check and Upgrade My Version of Adobe Flash Player?
      The current version of Adobe Flash Player is posted on http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer. To see what version of Adobe Flash Player you have, navigate to the Adobe Test page, located at http://www.adobe.com/software/flash/about. This page will indicated if Adobe Flash Player is installed and what version you have. It is recommended that you upgrade to the most recent version of Adobe Flash Player from the http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer.

Pop-up Blocker Check

Follow the steps below to ensure that your computer is not blocking any pop-up windows from Canvas. 

  • Firefox:
    • Click on Tools (in the menu bar), and click the Options tab.
    • Click on the Content icon. Under Block Pop-Up windows, click on the Exceptions button.
    • Under Address of web site, enter http://rowan.instructure.com. Click on the Allow button, and close the Allowed Sites window and Options window.
  • Safari:
    • Click on Safari (in the menu bar), and click on Preferences.
    • Click on the Security tab, and make sure the Block Pop-Up Windows check box is NOT checked.
  • Other:
    • For other browsers and agents that you have installed to block pop-up windows, consult the software’s Help feature for assistance. 
  • IMPORTANT:
    • Be sure that a browser toolbar (such as the Google Toolbar or Yahoo! Toolbar) is not responsible for blocking pop-up windows. It is recommended that you also check your current Anti-virus or Security program to be sure that pop-up windows are not being blocked.

Technology Requirements

To view technology requirements, go to the Rowan Online Portal, and click on Support & Technology


More information and step-by-step instructions can be found in the Canvas Guides by Instructure.


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