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gbrendan
Community Member

Migrated from Moodle - Course site has duplicate files

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Good afternoon,

We've recently migrated our courses from Moodle to Canvas. We had been using Moodle for a number of years and some courses are quite large, having numerous PDFs, Word docs, Powerpoints, Images, etc. A couple of the courses that we imported contain up to 100+ duplicate files. I know that I can download all of the files by using CTRL+A and selecting Download. If I download all the files, delete the duplicates, erase all the files from Canvas, and import the the files without the duplicates, will Canvas repair the broken links to the files imported as long as the filenames haven't changed?

Let me know if I need to provide further clarification.

Thank you,

Brendan Gallagher

University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine

Educational Technology

1 Solution

Accepted Solutions

Good news everybody!

As Chris Hofer suggested, I copied the course and all 3400 files into a test site, downloaded all of the files and deleted the files from the test site. Then, on my Windows PC, I used a duplicate file finder program, called DupeGuru, to find all duplicates and delete them. DupeGuru found 530 duplicates (I did not take any time being selective regarding which duplicate I wanted to keep as this was for proof of concept). After deleting the duplicates, I uploaded the files back into my Canvas test site. The file links repaired themselves, meaning that if a Image file was in a Quiz and I deleted the File from Canvas it was now a broken link in the Quiz. Once I re-uploaded the File with the same filename it synced to the Quiz and the link was repaired. The caveat being that if any of those linked Images was a duplicate, I will have to manually re-link that Image. Hopefully this helps if there is anybody else dealing with a massive amount of files that they want to reorganize. There's still some more experimenting I want to do with it, but the initial question has been answered. Thanks for all of your help.

Cordially,

Brendan

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3 Replies
chofer
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi  @gbrendan ...

If I am following your steps correctly, you said you would first download all the files, then delete the duplicates, then delete all the files from the Canvas course (?), and then re-upload the files to Canvas so there weren't duplicates?  That first "?" is where I'm not quite following.  It would seem easier, in my opinion, to select each duplicate file within your course by doing a Ctrl + click on each duplicate file.  Then, use the "Delete" trash icon to delete those duplicates from your course.  The potential issue I see (and I'm not 100% certain on this) is that if you delete all files from "Files" and then re-upload the files (without the duplicates), then each re-uploaded file would have a new ID number associated with it (again, not sure if that would cause any issues down the road).  If you wanted to first try out your steps or just try deleting the duplicates right within "Files", you could do so within your school's "Test" environment.  How do I access the Canvas test environment as an instructor?  That way, you're not messing with a "live" course.  Also, not sure if this will help or not, but here's another Guide: https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-13033-415241383  (Check out section on "Replace Duplicate File".)

I hope this information will be of help to you, Brendan.

gbrendan
Community Member

Thank you for your response,  @chofer . I will take your suggestion and try this in a test environment to see if it works. I will update here with what I find out. If I understand you correctly, when a file gets uploaded to Canvas, it is given a unique ID number by Canvas and if I delete the file and re-upload the file will have a new ID and will not automatically link to the previous files locations. One of the issues is that the files are named something like 'Image01' and 'Image01-1' and they are the exact same file. I was hoping to do this outside of Canvas because it's easier to organize files in Windows File Explorer, but I think I'm going to have to do it in Canvas. I really appreciate you taking the time to respond. Hope you have a great day.

Cordially,

Brendan

Good news everybody!

As Chris Hofer suggested, I copied the course and all 3400 files into a test site, downloaded all of the files and deleted the files from the test site. Then, on my Windows PC, I used a duplicate file finder program, called DupeGuru, to find all duplicates and delete them. DupeGuru found 530 duplicates (I did not take any time being selective regarding which duplicate I wanted to keep as this was for proof of concept). After deleting the duplicates, I uploaded the files back into my Canvas test site. The file links repaired themselves, meaning that if a Image file was in a Quiz and I deleted the File from Canvas it was now a broken link in the Quiz. Once I re-uploaded the File with the same filename it synced to the Quiz and the link was repaired. The caveat being that if any of those linked Images was a duplicate, I will have to manually re-link that Image. Hopefully this helps if there is anybody else dealing with a massive amount of files that they want to reorganize. There's still some more experimenting I want to do with it, but the initial question has been answered. Thanks for all of your help.

Cordially,

Brendan