File storage in Canvas

On this page:


The Files tool serves as the file repository in Canvas courses. It's commonly used to store course materials such as readings, the course syllabus, images embedded in content elsewhere in Canvas (for example, Pages, Discussions, Assignments, Quizzes), and other course-related information. Upload files one at a time, or in bulk using drag-and-drop or the file picker built into your operating system. You can use Files to organize course files in folders, and set visibility and access restrictions on files and folders. Use the built-in preview tool to open files without downloading them. Students are not permitted to upload files to the course repository, but each student group gets its own repository, and every Canvas user has a personal file repository.

In course and group spaces, files uploaded as attachments or assignment submissions are placed in the personal file spaces of the individuals who uploaded them.

Storage in Canvas is intended only for purposes directly related to course and group work. For general-purpose storage needs, refer to Options for storing files at IU.

Default storage quotas

Default storage quotas in Canvas are:

Courses Groups Individuals
4096 MB 314.6 MB 1.1 GB

To determine how much of your site's storage quota is currently in use, open the Files tool, and in the lower left, look for the "Storage Used" information.

Not all files in Canvas count against your site's storage quota:

  • Copied files: When you copy a file in Canvas, or upload a copy of an existing Canvas file, Canvas stores only one instance of that file. Only the original file counts against your site's storage quota; copies don't affect your site's quota. For example, if you copy several files from one course to a new course, the storage quota for the new course will not be affected, regardless of how many files you copied.
  • Webcam recordings created in Canvas: Webcam recordings created directly in Canvas are stored on a separate media server and do not count toward your site's storage quota.
  • Graded assignment submissions: Files uploaded for a graded assignment are uploaded to user files but don't count against the 1.1 GB quota; see How do I view my user files as a student?

Work with institutional data

The Files tool in Canvas is appropriate for storing institutional data elements classified as Public, University-internal, or Restricted. Do not use Canvas for storing or sharing institutional data classified as Critical, such as Social Security and driver's license numbers, passwords and passphrases, and protected health information (PHI) regulated by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).

Official classifications for institutional data at IU are defined in Management of Institutional Data (DM-01). If you have questions about the classifications of institutional data at IU, see Classification levels of institutional data, use the Data Sharing and Handling (DSH) tool, or contact the appropriate Data Stewards. To determine the most sensitive classification of institutional data you can store on any given UITS service, see Choose an appropriate storage solution.

Get help

For more about the Files tool, see How do I use Files as a student? and How do I use Files as an instructor?

For help from a UITS Support Center consultant, fill out the "Ask for Help" form found in the Canvas Help menu. You can also contact your campus Support Center directly.

Instructors can get help using technology in their teaching at the teaching and learning centers on each campus.

For other support options, see About Canvas at IU.

This is document beyo in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2023-08-08 16:27:21.