How do I restrict files and folders to students in Canvas?
Users can edit permissions for files, including setting the state of the file (published or unpublished), restrict file access to students who have the link, or schedule availability dates for the files.
When the Only available to students with link option is set, the file can only be viewed if students are given the link to the file. This option only hides files from students in Course Files. This functionality is not valid outside of the Files feature. For instance, if a file with a student visibility restriction is added to a Module or Assignment, the file can always be viewed by students. Course users who have enabled the Files notification preference will still receive a notification when a file is added to the course if the Only available to students with link option is selected.
When the student availability date restriction is set, students cannot view the file in Course Files outside of the restriction dates. If the file is linked in another area of Canvas (such as Modules or Assignments), students will be able to see the name of the file, but if they click the file, they will see a message stating that the file has been locked and cannot be viewed until the specified date. Course users who have enabled the Files notification preference will not receive a notification when a file is added to a course if the student availability date restriction is selected.
Note: You can also restrict a file or folder as part of setting usage rights for files or setting usage rights for folders.
In Course Navigation, click the Files link.
By default course files are visible and accessible to all users . Teachers and TAs can restrict files and folders , which means the content will only be accessible to teachers and TAs in the course as long as the file is not placed to a content area outside of Files (e.g. Modules, Assignments).
To edit a permission, click a file's published or unpublished icon .
Manage Visibility in Student Files
The default restriction option is to make the file only available to students with the link. The Only available to students with link option  makes the file available to students who are given a link to the file. The file will be hidden to students in Course Files.
- This hidden option only applies to Course Files; if you add this file to another area of Canvas, such as Assignments or Modules, all students can view the file.
- When new files are uploaded, the file visibility matches the setting specified in Course Settings. However, when adding/uploading the file, the instructor can choose other visibility settings , if needed.
Schedule Student Availability
Schedule student availability gives students a window of time to view the file. If you select this option, students can view the file in Course Files as well as other areas of Canvas where the file has been added. If students attempt to access the file outside the availability dates, the file will be locked.
To set student availability dates, enter the starting date for the file to be available in the Available From field . If applicable, enter the date when students can no longer view the file in the Available Until field . You can use the calendar to enter a date, or you can enter a date manually.
With manual entries, the setting for Available From and Available Until is set up to only accept input in very specific format. You will be able to set the availability dates by using one of the following inputs:
- dd/mm/yyyy 00:00 (24hr) Ex. 27/02/2013 23:59
- dd/mm/yyyy 00:00am/pm Ex. 27/02/2013 11:59pm
- Mon Da 00:00am/pm Ex. Feb 27 11:59pm
- Mon Da 00:00 (24hr) Ex. Feb 27 23:59
Note: The time field is optional and will default to 12am if not selected.
Click the Update button.
View the restricted status for the file. Hover over the icon to view the details.