How do I update a resource I previously shared to Commons?

Document created by Canvas Doc Team Employee on May 11, 2019Last modified by Cody Titmus on Jan 23, 2020
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If you modify a resource (learning activity) in Canvas that was previously shared to Commons, you can share the modified resource to Commons again to update the existing resource in Commons. Only the user who originally shared a resource to Commons can update resource content. However, administrators can edit resource details.


  • To enable Commons in your Canvas instance, please contact your Customer Success Manager.
  • Commons is available in all Free for Teacher (FFT) accounts. Free for Teacher users are limited to finding, importing, and sharing public resources.
  • If you choose to update a previously shared resource, the previous version will be replaced. If you choose not to update a previously shared resource, a new resource will be created.

Open Course

In Global Navigation, click the Courses link [1], then click the name of the course [2].

Open Feature Area

In Course Navigation, click the feature area link where the resource exists that you want to update.

If you modified a course and want to share it to Commons as an update, navigate to course Settings.

Note: When updating a file, if you change the file name, Commons might not be able to match it with your existing resource.

Share to Commons

Locate the resource [1] and click the Options icon [2]. Then, click the Share to Commons link [3].

Select Update Option

Commons will automatically check whether or not the resource can be updated and create a default option. To manually choose whether or not the currently shared resource is an update to a previously shared resource, click the update toggle.


  • If you choose not to update the previously shared resource, a new resource will be created.
  • Resources not previously shared to Commons will not have an update option.

Change Resource

Commons will verify the best match for which resource you are updating. To change which resource you are updating, click the Change button.

Select Resource

A list of previously shared resources is pre-populated for you. To update a resource, click the radio button next to the desired resource.

Add Version Notes

In the Version notes field, let users know what you updated. Version notes will be visible to users on the resource details page.

Edit Resource Details

If necessary, edit resource information, content licensing, and sharing options.

Note: Resources that are no longer in a user's scope will not appear on the user's Updates page. For example, changing the share option from your account to within specific groups.

Update Resource

When you are ready, click the Update button.

View Updated Resource

View your updated resource. It may take up to 30 minutes to process a resource. Resource previews are not available while the resource is processing.


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