When I upload a new file to my modules, there is no option to make it published or unpublished, so as soon as I add the item, it publishes it immediately. If don't want it published yet (which is often the case), I have to then set it to unpublish, but by then, students have already gotten emails that the file was made available. Is there anyway to upload a file in my modules and NOT have it published automatically by default? We get this option when creating Assignments and whatnot, it seems like files should also have that option. Thanks!
email@example.com, the only thing I can think of is if the Module is unpublished then I'm not sure if students would get a notification if you added a file. What I normally do is add the file in the Files area of Canvas and mark it as unpublished. Then when I add it to the Module it automatically shows up as unpublished instead of published.
I have just been working with one of our faculty who uploaded exam question (into files), on a pdf file, and imediately secured it to "only available to students with a link." He was going to link it within the exam, but by the time he restricted it to the "link only" setting they all had the link because they all got notified when he uploaded it. He had to add a time/date limit onto that security setting before he successfully kept them out, which he did not discover until a student contacted him and they tested it.
So, upon hearing from him, I did some testing as well: linking the file within the first question of an exam, locking the exam until a later date, and unpublishing the exam--in all cases, that file was ready and available to students, no problem. Even if "files" was hidden, the link still worked. Now, as Kona points out above, if "files" was hidden from student view, the file was uploaded into an unpublished quiz or module, it would've likely been inaccessible (since there isn't a link involved), but this seems problematic. Everything else in the course requires publishing. Why not files?
It is sad. There are similar posts dating from 2016.
It is remarkable that the only Canvas "solutions" to the problem of keeping specific files like exams hidden seem to be either "hide the entire Files tab, and thereby make all files invisible to students" or "upload the file and then quickly unpublish it before the students download it".