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Computer & System Resources

Online classes offered through NOVA Online use Canvas, the web-based learning management system. Canvas can be accessed using most web browsers. It is important that your web browser is configured correctly in order to utilize all of the functionality Canvas has to offer. Below are links from Google, Pearson Education, and Canvas that will check and verify that the key web browser components are installed, configured correctly and up-to-date.

Computer Checks

Computer Settings

This is a list of basic computer system requirements to use Canvas. It is always recommended to use the most up-to-date versions and better connections. Canvas will still run with the minimum specifications, but you may experience slower loading times.

Canvas and its hosting infrastructure are designed for maximum compatibility and minimal requirements.

Screen Size

Canvas is best viewed at a minimum resolution of 800x600. If you want to view Canvas on a device with a smaller screen, we recommend using the Canvas mobile app.

Operating Systems

  • Windows 7 and newer
  • Mac OSX 10.6 and newer

Mobile Operating System Native App Support

As of January 5, 2019, Android apps require version 5.0 or later and iOS apps require version 11 or later. All Android and iOS both support the two most recent versions of their respective operating systems.

Computer Speed and Processor

  • Use a computer 5 years old or newer when possible
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 2GHz processor

Internet Speed

  • Along with compatibility and web standards, Canvas has been carefully crafted to accommodate low bandwidth environments.
  • Minimum of 512kbps

Screen Readers

  • Macintosh: VoiceOver (latest version for Safari)
  • PC: JAWS (latest version for Internet Explorer)
  • PC: NVDA (latest version for Firefox)
  • There is no screen reader support for Canvas in Chrome

Supported Browsers

Because it's built using web standards, Canvas runs on Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, or any other device with a modern web browser.
Canvas supports the current and first previous major releases of the following browsers:

  • Chrome 83 and 84
  • Firefox 77 and 78 (Extended Releases are not supported)
  • Edge 83 and 84 (Windows only)
  • Respondus Lockdown Browser (supporting the latest system requirements)
  • Safari 12 and 13 (Macintosh only)

You should always use the most current version of your preferred browser. Your browser will notify you if there is a new version available.

Some supported browsers may still produce a banner stating Your browser does not meet the minimum requirements for Canvas. If you have upgraded your browser but you are still seeing the warning banner, try logging out of Canvas and deleting your browser cookies. The warning banner will display in versions of Firefox older than Firefox 60 and versions of Chrome older than Chrome 66.

Required Components

JavaScript must be enabled to run Canvas.

Players, Plug-Ins and Apps

Players, Plug-Ins and Apps

Plug-ins Needed for Many Courses:

A plug-in is a modular program that can be added to a browser to give it additional functionality. Plug-ins are commonly used for interactive or multimedia web content.

If you have videos that don't play or pages that won't load, one likely cause is a problem with a required plug-in. For the latest version of plug-ins visit the sites listed below.

Adobe Acrobat Reader

Adobe Flash Player

VLC Multimedia Player for Mac

VLC is a free and open source cross-platform multimedia player and framework that plays most multimedia files as well as DVDs, Audio CDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols.


During the Java install, Uncheck the “Offer to install the FREE Browser Add on from Ask”
Note for Chrome Mac Users: Chrome for Mac does not support Java 7 because Chrome is a 32-bit browser and Java only supports a 64-bit browser.

Canvas on Mobile Devices

The Canvas interface was optimized for desktop displays, so using small form factors such as phones may not be a pleasant experience in using Canvas. For the best user experience, please download the Canvas mobile applications.

Since Canvas uses small elements of Flash, not all Canvas features may be supported on mobile devices, especially on iOS. However, Canvas offers limited support for native mobile browsers on tablet devices. For additional details, please reference the limited-support mobile browser guidelines.

Mobile Browsers

Visit the Apple store or the Play store to download mobile browsers. The following major browsers are compatible with mobile devices:

  • Safari (default browser with limited Canvas support)
  • Chrome
  • Photon Flash Player (supports Flash)


  • Chrome (default browser with limited Canvas support)*
  • Internet
  • Firefox

 *Android default browser varies per mobile device.

Troubleshooting Issues

Troubleshooting Issues

Network / Web Account Setup Instructions

Clearing the Java Cache

Your Java cache is a temporary storage area where frequently accessed data can be stored for rapid access. Once the data is stored  in the cache, future use can be made by accessing the cached copy rather than having to download the content  every time you enter a session, therefore lowering your connection time.

Sometimes cached data can become corrupt or outdated. In such cases we recommend that you delete cached content so that the storage is complete and current. 

Information on how to clear the Java cache on a Windows OS
Information on how to clear the Java cache on a Mac OS

Troubleshooting Issues

Some browser plugins or extensions may conflict with Canvas and affect functionality. If you experience behavior that does not allow you to view or participate in Canvas courses, please ensure you have disabled any extensions or plugins that interact directly with your web browser.

For troubleshooting, consider logging in to Canvas using an incognito or private browser window, which will provide a browser session without any prior browsing or search history, associated browser cookies, or other factors that may interfere with the browser. If you are able to view and participate in Canvas using an incognito or private browser window, the behavior you are experiencing is likely related to the browser and not Canvas.

Known Browser Behaviors

In browsers such as Safari, insecure content will never be displayed in the browser.

However, in Chrome and Firefox, you have the option to view insecure content. Please be aware of possible restrictions and view insecure content with caution.

The following are known issues in Chrome and Firefox that may block or create mixed content within Canvas.

Chrome Security

Chrome browser shield icon

Google Chrome verifies that the website content you view is transmitted securely. If you visit a page in your Canvas course that is linked to insecure content, Chrome will display a shield icon [1] in the browser address bar.

You can choose to override the security restriction and display the content anyway by clicking the shield icon and then clicking the Load unsafe script button [2].

Chrome Media Permissions

Chrome browser Flash Player permission pop-up window

Chrome has its own media permission within the browser. To use your computer camera and microphone within any Canvas feature, you will have to approve two permissions:

  1. Allow access to Canvas via the Adobe Flash Player Settings [1]. This prompt appears in the center of the video and audio pop-up windows, or the center of the browser if you are accessing Conversations.
  2. Allow access to Canvas via Chrome's media permission settings [2]. This prompt appears just below the address bar. Click the Allow button.

Firefox Security

Firefox browser address bar secure connection icon

Firefox verifies that the website content you view is transmitted securely. If you visit a page in your Canvas course that is linked to insecure content, Firefox will display a lock with a warning icon in the browser address bar [1].

You can choose to override the security restriction and display the content anyway by clicking the lock with a warning icon, clicking the arrow to expand your options [2], and selecting the Disable protection for now button [3].