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Community Participant

Restore a deleted user

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Hi all,

          Despite in Canvas Documentation says that "Delete a user" process cannot be undone (How do I delete a user from an account?) , we have the situation where a user was deleted but when an application tried to create it again with the same SIS_USER_ID the API response is "The SIS_ID is already used", so I understand that deletion is a logical one, not physical.

Does anyone know if there's any way to restore that deleted user?

Thanks in advance.


13 Replies
Community Member

Thanks a lot. (Muchas gracias!)

You saved my day and maybe my job, I deleted a student and was able to bring it back to life. 


Community Participant

Sorry to bring an old post back from the grave.  

Is it possible to do a deleted user search based on API calls.  The reports are fine but tedious and would be alot easier to do a search based on the API calls.  I have not been able to do this and wondering if its possible.




Community Participant

I'm having a problem where the user CANNOT be re-activated through the SIS import. I deleted the user using the API endpoint at 'DELETE /v1/accounts/{account_id}/users/{user_id}', and now I cannot re-activate the student. 

Annoyingly I also can't re-create the student, because the system says the SIS ID is in use. 

Can someone please help with this? 

== EDIT ============================================

OK, so I managed to get help about this via telephone support. The solution is to use the SIS CSV upload to upload a file called 'change_sis_id.csv'. Documentation about this file can be found in the usual SIS import document location (https://<YOUR DOMAIN>/doc/api/file.sis_csv.html). This allows you to change the SIS ID of the deleted user to something different from the user's real SIS id (e.g. '999_DELETED'). Then, you can re-create the user using their real SIS id, and there won't be a problem with the SIS already being in use. 

Community Participant

Thank you to everyone for the options to restore deleted users. I had a case where a teacher wanted some old submissions from an assignment in a concluded course. Also, the students had graduated and were deleted. I successfully activated the students and was able to retrieve the submissions she needed. I used a combination of some of the suggestions in this thread for trial and error. Here are the steps I took:

  1. In Admin choose Settings -> Reports.
  2. Configure a Provisioning report for the term needed.
  3. Check the boxes for Users CSV and Include deleted objects.
  4. Download the users.csv template from the Canvas Admin guides.
  5. Find the deleted users you want to restore from the provisioning report.
  6. Paste the whole row of each user into the users template. I removed any associated email address.
  7. Change the status column to active.
  8. Upload the report in Admin -> Settings -> SIS import.
  9. Add students manually back to the desired course or use enrollment template.