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jennifer_files
Community Participant

Links to content files on a content page that quit working

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     I have several documents uploaded for my students to access within my course. I know hot to upload and edit these pages/document with no problem. However, many of my students have been complaining that the documents uploaded last month no longer work. When they click to open the document it says "page not found".

     I've tried deleting the document and then uploading it again-it works for a while-and then will do the same thing again. Our students have iPad minis-I don't know if that has anything to do with it or not. Can someone please tell me why these documents seem to "expire" after 2-3 weeks and how I can fix this? There has to be an easier way than deleting it and then re-uploading it again.

1 Solution

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jennifer_files
Community Participant

We found a solution!!! After some time (I'm guessing days!) Canvas will log students out. We noticed they can still see course materials, but are unable to view documents that have been loaded onto Canvas while "logged off". If students "log in", the materials load perfectly. Smiley Happy

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6 Replies
kblack
Community Champion

You're right,  @jennifer_files -- that shouldn't be happening, and using the iPad minis should not make a difference.  (Well, other than maybe not being able to render a specific type of document, but if it renders once for them it should render it for them again.)

Three thoughts:

-Check your Files menu area, and make sure that the files you are uploading are not restricted in some way.  I realize this is unlikely, but it's still worth checking.  See How do I restrict files and folders to students in Canvas? for more on how to restrict the settings, but more importantly (for your purposes) how to recognize if they are!

-Have you copied/pasted page text that links to these files from one course site to another (not recommended, by the way!!)?  That would have included a bad link to a file.  Canvas does, after all, identify each course site by a unique ID number, and that will be included in any links.  I have had otherwise-savvy faculty do this, forgetting that the link will "break."  It will work for YOU since you are the instructor in both course sites, but not for your students.  Which leads to my final suggestion...

-What are you seeing in the Student View?  (See How do I enable Student View? )  It won't solve anything, but I strongly encourage you, the next time you create a link, to try it right away to make sure it's working.

abunag
Community Champion

Along with the great comments from  @kblack ​, I'd also like to ask if you're deleting the old copy of a file and uploading new ones, and if so, if you're updating the link in the page.  As far as I'm aware, you can't edit a file uploaded to the files area of a course, you can only upload an updated copy, which generates a different link.

jennifer_files
Community Participant

Ken Black and Anthony Bunag,

       The files have not been updated nor have they been moved. In fact I just created them yesterday. All the files are pdf. So that shouldn't be the issue. The odd thing is that at the beginning of the year, they pulled up no problem. They just recently (in the past month) stopped working. One file I put up yesterday!!! Some students can access them on their ipads, while others can't? I can't figure out why some would be able to see it and others would not? Any suggestions?

Wow.  If some can access them and some can't, my own feeling is that you should definitely report this.  (Help>>Report a Problem).  My other thought is if the iOS version is making a difference.  Right now, iOS version 8+ is supported, according to their guide:  Will Canvas work on my mobile device?    I also know that there were some issues with the box service this past week (which powers the file previewing service), as I received some emails from them, but other than that I cannot think of any good reason why some should be able to see them and others cannot.  Sorry I can't think of anything more!

jennifer_files
Community Participant

We found a solution!!! After some time (I'm guessing days!) Canvas will log students out. We noticed they can still see course materials, but are unable to view documents that have been loaded onto Canvas while "logged off". If students "log in", the materials load perfectly. Smiley Happy

View solution in original post

That's odd.  On the desktop/browser version, Canvas will usually say something about "timing out."  That may still be worth reporting to Instructure, because SOME sort of message should appear, I would think!

(I admit I never though of "First they have to login!" as a possible solution! Smiley Happy )