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Community Participant

Deleted Course SIS IDs/Section SIS IDs

Hello - we are just implementing and have made a few mistakes and learned quite a bit.  I haven't been able to find a complete answer to a question regarding Course and Section SIS IDs.

Most of our courses were setup manually, but we used SIS Import for user and enrollment loading.  We made some rookie mistakes with not setting up SIS IDs manually.  Some courses were deleted and setup back up.

My question is about retention of the Course and Section SIS IDs for deleted courses.  Is there a way to purge/flush deleted courses?  I keep getting the "SIS ID is already in use" for sections where I want to re-use that SIS ID.

Thanks for any wisdom!

Michael VanTyne

The McGillis School


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6 Replies
Community Champion

I'm not sure about this, but since no one else has replied, I'll offer that I think you can do an SIS import​ to restore the deleted courses by setting "status" to "active." Then you can go into a restored course's settings, change the SIS ID to some disposable value, save it, and delete the course.

Community Champion

dgrobani​ is correct.

You will need to purge or update the existing SIS ID's from the deleted courses.

SIS ID's must be unique, you cannot re-use them.

His strategy of running an SIS import on the deleted courses with a status of "active" is the best way to go, this will bring the courses back into the UI where you can make your edits.

If your SIS ID in the deleted course is 1234, you could update it to something like 1234-OLD if you wanted to keep some kind of record of their previous use.

Otherwise just delete the value and update the course.

Community Participant

Thanks for the replies!  I'll work that angle and see if I can make that work for us.




I actually ran into this exact situation last week and had Canvas Support help me out. We cannot re-generate SIS ID's either as our Registrar has them implemented into our API all the way through to 2020. Smiley Happy  As was previously stated, SIS Import was the only way to do this. I went to "Settings > Reports > SIS Export > Terms" and then took that report and only put the terms that I had deleted with the SIS ID's into the .CSV file. Then went to SIS Import and uploaded.

When the incorrect terms successfully re-populated after the upload, I went in and edited the incorrect terms and deleted the SIS ID's, then deleted in incorrect terms. It then allowed me to re-create the terms and re-input the SIS ID's that were previously unavailable.

Here was their answer:


Community Participant

I would also recommend adding the timestamp to the SIS ID at creation to ensure uniqueness

Community Member

I stumbled upon this page while trying to figure out how to restore a session.  I figured out another solution that doesn't need SIS Imports, in case you're not using it, or it's just a few courses.  One caveat is that you may need to know the Canvas Course ID.  If the course is actually deleted, I've been able to search by the SIS ID (our id for the course).  However, this hasn't always worked, but the Course ID has.  Also, I believe you need to be an Admin.

You can also use this to restore a course if you forgot to remove the SIS ID from the section before deleting. (We hope to get to a point where this is no longer manual, but until then, ... 🙂 )

To re-use the SIS ID, you need to remove the SIS ID from the course and section (if applicable).

  • In Canvas,
    1. Go to the Admin section
    2. Select the Admin Tools from the left menu
    3. Go to Restore Courses tab
    4. Enter the Canvas Course ID, the one generated by Canvas. Sometimes the SIS Course ID works, but not always.
    5. Click Find
    6. If it's the correct course, click Restore
    7. Go to the restored course
  • Go to the Course's "Settings" (at the bottom of the left menu), then go to the "Sections" tab
    1. Edit the Section(s) and remove or change the SIS ID
    2. VERIFY it worked
  • Go to the "Course Details" tab
    1. Remove or change the SIS ID
    2. VERIFY it worked
  • Now, you can delete the course. Be sure to back it up beforehand if there's any course data that needs to be restored.