How do I use Files?

Files allows users to view more details about their files, manage editing permissions, and preview files. Files is built with responsive design to adjust for browser scaling. The folder navigation window, file displays, and even file names adjust to the width of the browser window.

Click here to view a video about Files.

If your Files look different than shown in this lesson, please reference this version for help.

Open Files

Open Files

In User, Course, or Group Navigation, click the Files link.

View Files

Canvas users will find access to files (documents, images, media, etc.) in three different places:

  • Personal files, located in each user's profile (students, teachers, and TAs)
  • Course files, located in each course (students, teachers, and TAs unless files are locked by the teacher)
  • Group files, located in each group (students and teachers who are enrolled in groups)

The left panel shows all folders for quick navigation. Clicking the name of a folder displays all the contents of the folder in the right panel.

You can:

Upload Files

To add a folder, click the Add folder button. To upload a file, click the Upload button, or drag and drop a file from the computer desktop. Files can also be published and unpublished within Files. Users can also edit permissions for files, including setting the state of the file (published or unpublished), schedule availability dates for the files, or make files available to students who have the link. To learn more about editing permissions, visit the lesson about restricting files.

View Files Toolbar

Files is fully searchable [1] by file name and offers quick access to add a folder or upload a file [2].

When a file is selected, Files displays the file toolbar at the top of the window [3]. Users can view the file, download the file, edit the file permissions, delete the file, and move the file to another location. Users can also download, rename, move, or delete a file using the Settings icon [4] for each individual file. Users can select and manage multiple files at one time.

Sort Files

To sort your files, click the name of the column. For each file, users can view and sort files by name, the date the file was created and modified, the name of the person who modified the file (if modified by another user), and the size of the file.

Preview Files

To view a file, click the file name. Files can also be previewed by clicking anywhere on the file information and clicking the View button in the toolbar. Files displays any file type that is compatible with the document previewer in Canvas. The preview displays the file and file information details, as well as a link to download the file.

Lesson Feedback (Optional) (0)

Please let us know if any information in this lesson appears to be incorrect in terms of Canvas functionality only (please do not submit feature requests here). This is not a help site, and submitted comments cannot be answered. If your Canvas course/account is having trouble completing any of the tasks outlined in this lesson, please contact Canvas Support by submitting a HELP TICKET via the Help Link within Canvas or emailing Thank you.

E-Mail me if a reply is posted