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Community Participant

Solution for Large (2GB+) File Submissions

Hi All,

I'm looking for a solution where students are able to upload files larger than 2GB as an assignment submission. The series of schools that I'm an admin for are heavy in creative media, and in that sector are often ending up with single files that are upwards of 2GB. It seems that the Google Drive LTI still won't bypass the 2GB limit, which kind of sucks because our students all have unlimited storage through Google Drive.

If anybody knows a workaround to this that would be fantastic, as I'm sure there are others in this situation. I've reached out to Canvas support about this and if they get an answer I'll update it here.

19 Replies
Community Champion


This is the problem with [me] being a slow typist -- I didn't see your response or Brian's back to you until I had written mine or I would have definitely credited you in it.

Community Champion

Hi - we have also had this problem in the last few weeks, and been given various suggestions. Not sure how helpful this will be but thought I would share what we have been told so far! 

We have had some conflicting advice with regard to the assignment upload limit, with the most recent being that there is no limit (as long as it is not going through the media recorder) but we have not been able to fully test this. It was also suggested by support that there is no limit  if the student uploads to their personal files first and then submits to a course assignment. We were also looking at using office 365 (which we have rather than google) but also had the problem with limiting editing after the deadline.

One of the other issues we have is that when the lecturer comes to mark some options require them to download the file, and with limited profile space at work this can be problematic. Being able to view online would be preferable if at all possible! Only other suggestion was to get the students to export to youtube, set to private, and then share link that way...

 @natalie_norton1 ‌ - I hope that you misheard that information, because if that's what Support told you it runs contrary to the documentation.  If you check this page from the Student Guide: How do I view my user files as a student? it first of all indicates that the default limit to the individual files area is 50MB (though that can be increased by the Canvas administrator--but certainly not indicative that there is "no limit").  Indeed, files submitted as an Assignment are NOT counted against this limit.  But the bottom line is that they would still have to upload it to the ASSIGNMENTS area of a course site first, not the other way around.  I don't have an added suggestion to the general issue expressed in this discussion, but I wanted to make sure that you were not led to believe that students have no limit to their Files area.  They do!

Thanks  @kblack ‌ - useful to have the clarification! We have been given quite a bit of contradictory advice so it has got quite confusing at times, and we just haven't had time to fully test!  I think our user quota has been increased at some point, and at one stage we were told no assignment uploads could be >500MB (which I do not think is actually the case) so I think the suggestion came as a way of uploading larger files. However I can see you are absolutely right that it is not unlimited. 

Community Champion

 @b_delizza ‌ I agree with the point about physical storage and the disconnect with Canvas, very valid.

We have been pushing Canvas for storage and retrieval of artifacts for accreditation review, and the use of physical storage is not a good fit for the artifact use case.

I've also been told multiple things by support over the years regarding storage, but the most common answer was that the upload size for assignments was limited to 2GB, so that's what I tell instructors. 

I think that it's fine for user accounts to be limited in storage (i.e. 500MB or whatever), but courses should be able to contain larger files, as long as they don't exceed the set course storage quota. 

Community Participant

Yep this is a huge reason why we are trying to get EVERYTHING inside of Canvas where possible.

Community Contributor

Wouldn't it be useful if Arc accepted a wide range of file types?  We have various 'project' files which exceed the 2GB limit and need a solution for that.

However, if the submissions you're thinking about are media related (and if your institution commits to it) - Arc seems a useful contribution to assessments - particularly with its 10GB file limit and the way it automatically surfaces the submission as an assignment and in Speedgrader.  It's definitely on my radar!

Community Member

If it's media related (audio/video) check out MediaAMP. There are no file size limits on uploads and have Canvas integration among other integrations for aggregating content externally from lecture capture, video conference, etc. It's all cloud hosted so your same content is available through any course and multiple LMS. Content is by default protected, but there are options open access. It's used by UW, CWU, ASU, among others.

Community Contributor

Weirdly, I just implemented a solution for this yesterday for a course that I'm teaching. Basically, what I'm doing is using a script to create a simple submission form that uploads directly to a Google Drive folder. Not sure if this would work for you, but it's super easy, as far as scripts go. The bit that writes the submitter's name into the file description is broken, but if you just delete the ""Uploaded by" + " part, it will just drop the submitter's name in. 

I'm sure that people who are better with scripts could come up with ways to make this snazzier.

Here's the YouTube that I stumbled on that led me to the process. 

Allow Others to Upload Files to Your Google Drive - YouTube