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Disappearing Graphics

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I have jpg images which display just fine, then for no apparent reason they disappear, only showing the file name.  Is this a bug? Am I doing something wrong?


149 Replies
Community Member

We are also battling this problem and it is getting more prevalent. We've submitted multiple tickets, and our faculty have also submitted individual tickets. The popular response is to clear the cache or use another browser. Neither of these are appropriate fixes. One of our IDs is clearing her cache a minimum of once a week. She also teaches as an adjunct at another university and is having the same issue with her courses there as well. We were initially told that Instructure wasn't aware of any problems with missing/disappearing images, that there was something a couple of years ago that had long been resolved. It is getting frustrating.

Some of our faculty have removed all images from their courses because of this, and that cannot continue to happen. My next fear is that it will happen to a student taking an exam/quiz where they have to identify something in an image, but the image doesn't show up (many of our science faculty use images in this manner). For an online class, this is a one attempt assessment that is normally timed. When this happens, this student is panicked. Bottom line...this is happening in multiple browsers (all supported), at multiple institutions, on multiple networks, on multiple devices. I understand there can be many reasons for why it is happening, but I'd like for support to acknowledge that it is a real issue and they are working to resolve it. Canvas is such a great LMS and has had such great support. This particular issue is causing frustration, and we're hearing it from our faculty and feeling it ourselves.

Community Member

I wanted to post the response we received from L2 Canvas Support.    I have removed the technician's name as this is an issue with support and not a single technician.

Thank you again for reaching out to me. In my time with Canvas, I have seen many instances where images were not being displayed in courses. That being said, almost all of the scenarios that I have encountered had to do with image links being in the wrong course. I have also seen instances where image links were added accidentally with verifiers that expired and didn't give users access. I have seen instances where University's were using network caching that reused old verifier links after they had expired. I have seen issues where users have images cached in their browser that they no longer or didn't have access to at the time.

While this doesn't encompass everything I've seen, not every image display issue is equivalent. In the earlier example you provided me, we were seeing an image that was housed in a different course. In the course Jerol sent, that is not the case. I am happy to troubleshoot and get to the root cause of each of the image display issues you are encountering. In the event our developers have made a mistake, which has happened in the past, I am more than happy to get a ticket to them. In order to do this, we do need to be able to replicate and verify incorrect behavior. Currently, I haven't seen an instance of that with this case, but I am hoping Jerol's network traffic logs when trying to view their course banner image will provide more clarity as to what is causing the display discrepancy.

While I stand by for Jerol's network traffic log/screenshot, If you have other image display scenarios that you would like me to investigate, please let me know.

Thank you,

xxxx - L2 Canvas Technical Support

I am just curious.  What is the network condition or network performance of the networks the IDs and Adjunct Faculty using?

I always see disappearing graphics on my HughesNet Satellite.  My home is approximately 22,000 miles away from the HughesNet satellite in space.  One of the many reasons why I recommend students not take exams on a satellite ISP if that is possible.

The disappearing graphics on HughesNet Satellite occurs almost clockwork every other weekend.

However, the same time with my Verizon Wireless Hotspot, so far, has never seen disappearing graphics.
I use my Verizon Wireless Hotspot as a backup to verify the technical issue with my HughesNet Satellite.

When my HughesNet Satellite shows issues with Canvas disappearing graphics, I will switch to my Verizon Wireless Hotspot, so far, I have been unable to duplicate the problem on Verizon Wireless Hotspot.

The other time I saw disappearing graphics was dealing with a Firewall's Whitelist issues or fast-food restaurant's Free Wi-Fi network (I have my Verizon Wireless Hotspot as a backup).

Hi Dona,

This issue is happening on our campus, so unfortunately it isn't an issue of connectivity or poor network performance. It is through ethernet connection to the campus network. 


New Member

This is happening to me ALL THE TIME. And when the graphics disappear, they stay disappeared.

It's a big problem on exams, especially as I usually use question groups, with randomly-assigned questions within the group. If the graphic disappears for one question but not another, some students  will be able to see the graphic for that question but others will not.

EXAMPLE: I might have a question group about tissues and some students would see a picture of cardiac muscle, others of bone, and others of kidney tubules. If even one of these graphics disappears, there's no way to delete the question once students have started to take the test, and trying to be fair in this situation is a nightmare!

I ended up putting anything with a graphic in a standalone question group - but now everybody gets the same graphic, and "sharing" is so prevalent, that there's no point in even asking the question.


This issue is being marked as resolved, but the problem persists across multiple devices, and multiple institutions.  

This problem remains unsolved. It would be helpful if Instructure would assume responsibility for investigating and resolving this issue without placing the burden on its users. it's a wide-spread, easily replicable issue. Please work on this without tasking your users.  

I concur with this response. I consistently have this issue. With more and more classes transitioning to the online atmosphere, especially with many of them being asynchronous, it is vital to the learning environment that we engage all types of learners in different ways. Images are important to many different disciplines and making connections for learning. I do not see a reason that this cannot be resolved. With the online culture we have now created due to COVID, this should be a simple process that seems to be overlooked. I have read through the feeds that go back for a few years now, and the problem still persists. I attached a screen shot of an assignment with images in the description that I posted this past Sunday. The images where there when I published the page, they were there the following day, and now have disappeared at some point over the week. Even though to Instructure this may seem like a small issue, to instructors, this is a big issue that needs to be resolved. We cannot effectively employ our pedagogy if we do not have all the tools available, or they do not work properly.

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Community Member

This problem remains unsolved for countless schools and courses.  

This problem is more wide-spread than most people recognize because the images appear when instructors are creating and editing pages. Instructors will only notice the images are missing if they toggle over to student view.  (And why would an instructor need to toggle to student view to confirm an image appears if it appears for them after they saved the page?)

This problem cannot be over-stated. Imagine if a person came into a classroom and erased images from a whiteboard or chalkboard. The instructor can't tell it has happened, but the students don't see the images. That would be intolerable. Now, imagine a student is taking a quiz and asked to solve a problem based on an image, and the image doesn't appear. They alert their instructor. The instructor looks and sees the image from their perspective and tells the student to call the "help desk."  This is happening at multiple institutions across multiple courses as others here have noted. 

Instructure - *please* take ownership of this problem. Use your internal resources to investigate and resolve this problem. The recurrence of this problem also weakens the overall accessibility of the platform. Images are often necessary to explain complex ideas and concepts. Try to understand that educators have real time constraints and don't have time to investigate these issues independently. We aren't talking about an occasional intermittent error. This is an easily replicable problem. Please do better. 

Respectfully, why doesn't Instructure try creating several courses within their own instance of Canvas and re-create the problem and troubleshoot it internally? This is such an easily replicable problem. It's clear that this problem is impacting multiple users and multiple institutions. The suggestion to "try clearing your browse" is not helpful given a problem of this scale and severity.