Files

As an instructor, Files allows you to store files and assignments within Canvas. You can upload one or multiple files, view all details about your files, preview files, publish and unpublish files, set usage rights, and restrict access to files.

You have access to files (documents, images, media, etc.) in three different areas:

  • Course files (located in each course to which you have access)
  • Group files (located in each group of which you are a member)
  • User files (located in your user profile)

Course files

To view course files, open one of your courses and click on the "Files" link in the course menu. A detailed overview of the Files page can be found here in the official Canvas documentation.

Students can view any file that is marked with the green "published" icon:
Green cloud icon indicating published file

If a file is marked as unpublished, you can click the grey cloud icon to publish it: 
Grey cloud icon indicating an unpublished file

Unpublished files are visible to instructors, but not students.

Students cannot add or upload things to your course files. To have students submit documents, utilize an Assignment (for files shared only between you and the student) or a Discussion (for files shared among students).

Uploading files

Most browsers will allow you to upload a file by dragging it from your desktop and dropping it into the right side of the Files page (where all the files are listed).

Files window

To upload a file manually, follow these instructions:

  1. Click the red "Upload" button
    Upload button
  2. Navigate to the file on your computer and select it.
  3. Wait while Canvas uploads the file to the current folder

Replacing files

The easiest way to replace or update an existing file with a new version is to make sure the file names are identical, and then follow the steps below.

If the filenames differ, follow the instructions in the "Managing Files" section of this page to delete the old one, and then follow the instructions in the "Uploading files" section to upload the new one.

If the filenames are the same:

  1. Drag and drop the new file into the right side of the Files page (where all the files are listed)
  2. When the following message pops up, click "Replace"
    Prompt to replace file in Canvas

OR

  1. Click the red "Upload" button
    Upload button
  2. Navigate to the file on your computer and select it
  3. When the following message pops up, click "Replace"
    Prompt to replace file in Canvas

Managing files

Most file management functions can be accomplished using the settings icon. The icon appears to the right of the file name when you hover your mouse over a file.
Location of file settings icon

Using the options available under the settings icon, you can:

Download file
Download the file
Rename file
Rename the file
Move file
Move the file
Delete file
Delete the file