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Keeping Videos Private

Hello Community,

We are new to Canvas and have a significant amount of video for our courses that we hope to keep private. 

Other than private youtube channels, what other processes have organizations used to protect their content?

Thanks for any insights,


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14 Replies

Hi Katie,

When you say "private" do you mean keeping content from others outside of Canvas users? If you could provide a little more information I'd love to help! We have various partners we work with for media content, which you can find on our Partners Page.



Thanks, Libby! I work with Katie at Landmark, and can answer this question in the hopes of getting more guidance!

We are looking to make sure that those outside of Canvas cannot access the videos. If uploading them directly into the course is an option, that seems to be ideal. We have kept them off of YouTube out of fear that even a private link could be shared/downloaded, thus giving our course content away for free.

That being said, the course that we are currently looking to migrate into Canvas is very video heavy, so we want to make sure that the videos can be played easily without taking up too much space.

Hope that's helpful! I will check out the Partners Page and keep checking back here for more suggestions.

Thank you!


 @kkwedor ​ Thanks for the additional insight. The Rich Content Editor in Canvas is ideal for uploading and supporting media files. You can use this functionality in Announcements, Assignments, Discussions, Pages, Quizzes and the Syllabus. You can refer to this guide on uploading media content. This guide also references the types of media files that we support. Please notes there is a 500 MB limit for files created using the media tool in Canvas.

Regarding privacy of your videos, unless the Canvas course was set to be "publicly visible", only authenticated users enrolled in the course would be able to access content.



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Community Coach

For anything copyright protected or that needs to be kept password protected, we use Wistia - I think they're pretty reasonably priced and provide some great analytical information about views/time watched/etc.

In general though we encourage faculty to use YouTube for most things. Smiley Happy

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I purchased a Vimeo account which allows me to make videos private, with Vimeo you can specify the URL of the sites that "allow" videos to be seen when they are "embedded".

For example, our Canvas URL is I add this to my Vimeo "privacy" setting and only a site requesting to view that embedded video will be able to play the video. If the site was or any other site, it would not work.

  • If a student was to "view source" and find the URL and then try to browse the video "outside" of it would not work.
  • Vimeo allows you to not show your videos to the other Vimeo users which furthers makes finding your online content much more difficult.
  • Vimeo has such a large userbase, your videos also fall into an "ocean" of anybody trying to URL scan to find them.

Hope that helps.

I would love to know more about the capabilities of Vimeo to keep videos private. If you add your Canvas page as an allowed site, that means that only student in an open course can see the video correct? So, if a student saves the video links and tries to open them after the course ends, it will not work?

Also, is it possible to disable the download option for Vimeo videos? I have noticed in the few that I have seen that there is a button to download the file. Hoping that is optional!

Thank you for your help!


In Vimeo, I set the following options.




Who can watch this video?


Who can comment on this video?

What can people do with this video? (uncheck the option)


Embed Features: I also go to the "Embed" function and set the following:


Player Preferences


IP RIGHTS: And if you want IP rights, goto advanced and set the Creative Commons License to Attribution or Share Alike.


see descriptions here:  Creative Commons on Vimeo


Embedding into Canvas


In Vimeo, copy the embed code they provide for you.


In Canvas, create a content page and then select the HTML editor and paste the code.


You're set after that.

Hope this helps.

This is awesome - SO HELPFUL - thank you!

One final question - what type of Vimeo account do you have? I am assuming this level of security is only available with Vimeo Pro.


You are correct.

On Mon, Nov 9, 2015 at 10:37 AM, <