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c_okey
Community Member

Being able to download restricted access files that have been linked

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I have a file that I have restricted the access of until a set date. I want to link this file in an assignment and for this link to only start working after the set date.

When I have tested it as a test student the link doesn't allow me to view it in canvas(which is the desired effect) however it does let me download the file which defeats the whole propose of restricting the access. Is there a way to fix this problem?

2 Solutions

Accepted Solutions
chofer
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi  @c_okey ​...

This is not what I am experiencing in my own sandbox course.  I tried the steps you did...setting a file (a *.doc file) in my "Files" area to "Restricted Access" with access dates/times of Monday, January 25th at 6 a.m. to Friday, January 29th at 5:30 p.m.  Then I created a brand new assignment with a link to that file.  After I saved and published the assignment, I went to "Student View" to view the assignment I just created.  When I clicked on the link, I got the following message, "This file is locked until Jan 25 at 6am."  (I also got the same message when I clicked on the little arrow that is to the right of the file link.)  When I clicked on the "Preview" icon next to the link I created, I got this message, "The document preview is currently being processed. Please try again later."

If you are not seeing these kinds of messages, I would recommend that you contact the Instructure Help Desk by clicking on the "Help" link at the top right corner of your screen (or, if your school is using the new UI, the "Help" icon is at the bottom left corner of your screen.)  Then you can "Report a Problem".  Please be on the screen where you are experiencing the issue when you "Report a Problem" because it will send some additional metadata behind the scenes with you ticket.

Hope this helps!

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If my students were smart enough to figure that out, they could have the file, and a big fat "A+". I would be happy if they could spell "URL". And the persistence to pursue another avenue after three blocked attempts - I would be in teacher heaven!

I just tested this, and yes, it does work.

All joking aside, has a student actually done that or was this alternative developed from an advanced understanding of Canvas web structure? I have perhaps have a handful of faculty on my campus who could figure this out.

Anyways, the quick fix would be to unpublish the assignment until it's "available from" date, then the link would not be available.

Kelley

View solution in original post

5 Replies
chofer
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi  @c_okey ​...

This is not what I am experiencing in my own sandbox course.  I tried the steps you did...setting a file (a *.doc file) in my "Files" area to "Restricted Access" with access dates/times of Monday, January 25th at 6 a.m. to Friday, January 29th at 5:30 p.m.  Then I created a brand new assignment with a link to that file.  After I saved and published the assignment, I went to "Student View" to view the assignment I just created.  When I clicked on the link, I got the following message, "This file is locked until Jan 25 at 6am."  (I also got the same message when I clicked on the little arrow that is to the right of the file link.)  When I clicked on the "Preview" icon next to the link I created, I got this message, "The document preview is currently being processed. Please try again later."

If you are not seeing these kinds of messages, I would recommend that you contact the Instructure Help Desk by clicking on the "Help" link at the top right corner of your screen (or, if your school is using the new UI, the "Help" icon is at the bottom left corner of your screen.)  Then you can "Report a Problem".  Please be on the screen where you are experiencing the issue when you "Report a Problem" because it will send some additional metadata behind the scenes with you ticket.

Hope this helps!

View solution in original post

robvl61
Community Participant

Hi folks,

we are experiencing something similar.  If we restrict access to a file for a certain time period, users can still download the file *if* they know *or* guess its url.  Outside that specific time period, that is.  Download links would be of the form 

https://<canvasinstance>.instructure.com/files/<file_id>/download?download_frd=1

Shouldn't this be considered a bug?  Any thoughts?

best regards, Rob

If my students were smart enough to figure that out, they could have the file, and a big fat "A+". I would be happy if they could spell "URL". And the persistence to pursue another avenue after three blocked attempts - I would be in teacher heaven!

I just tested this, and yes, it does work.

All joking aside, has a student actually done that or was this alternative developed from an advanced understanding of Canvas web structure? I have perhaps have a handful of faculty on my campus who could figure this out.

Anyways, the quick fix would be to unpublish the assignment until it's "available from" date, then the link would not be available.

Kelley

View solution in original post

robvl61
Community Participant

Hi all, Canvas support told me I might have been experiencing this behavior due to a caching issue.  I'll follow-up later.  I might have jumped to conclusions here.  best, Rob

achamberlain3
Community Member

The reason why that file is still able to be downloaded when inside Student View is because your browser has cached your ability to download it. You will want to clear your browser's cache and cookies, then go straight to Student View after you login again, then go to the page with the link, and you should see that it is locked.