Files: show number of files inside folders & sub-folders

This idea proposes adding a feature to 'Files' that shows the number of items stored inside folders and sub-folders.


Many courses organize resources using folder/sub-folder trees within the 'Files' tool, with the aim of ultimately facilitating ease of navigation/categorization of materials for its teachers and students. It is common practice for teachers to set up all the folders they anticipate needing prior to the start of teaching (i.e. empty 'placeholder' folders that they upload files to later). Currently when accessing 'Files', users (teachers and students) need to click on each folder and sub-folder in order to see if there are any files inside them.


This is problematic because when files are uploaded, notification emails direct users to the course level (not to the actual file/folder location) and users need to navigate their way to the correct folder location to find the file. Theoretically, if the files are sensibly named, students should be able to easily find the resource under the appropriate folder; however in practice the file name does not always intuitively match the folder name (e.g. "introduction.ppt" may apply to multiple modules/topics) and thus users often resort to having to click through each folder to find the desired file. This is particularly problematic for team-taught courses and programmes where there are multiple instructors uploading resources with diverse naming conventions.


Also, as files are not always necessarily uploaded in a chronological order into folders, it is not practical for instructors to "unpublish"/hide empty placeholder folders from view.





By indicating the number of files stored inside a folder and its sub-folders, it will facilitate user navigation to the correct location where the resource is stored.


Audience who will benefit from this enhancement: all K12 and HE teachers and students.


The current suggestion is related to (and potentially provides a solution/workaround for) the following archived ideas:

Thank you in advance for your consideration and support.

🔎 This idea has been archived. While this idea isn't open for comments, it is an important part of Instructure’s idea conversations and development process. Contributions like this are valuable as Instructure prioritizes work on new or existing features.

Community Team
Community Team

Hello  @a_tsai ​,

Thank you for submitting this well written and documented feature idea.  I could have sworn that I'd seen this suggestion previously but cannot find it now.  I'll go ahead and add this one to September's cohort.

Community Contributor

Thank you, Scott. I don't usually use Canvas on my phone but I happened to do so today, and discovered that the Canvas App already achieves what has been proposed here for the web browser version (screen shots below). Hopefully that means the idea is technically possible (and hopefully not too difficult to implement).


Community Team
Community Team

This idea has moved to the next stage and will be open for voting among the Canvas Community, from Wed. September 7, 2016 - Wed. December 7, 2016.

Check out this doc for additional details about how the voting process works!

Community Contributor

Love it!

Instructure Alumni
Instructure Alumni

Reading through the initial use case I don't see how showing # of files in a folder solves this problem. We'll be moving this idea to Product Radar, but feel free to resubmit a more focused idea in the future.


Community Team
Community Team

The Radar idea stage has been removed from the Feature Idea Process.  You can read more about why in the blog post Adaptation: Feature Idea Process Changes.


This change will only impact the stage sort of this idea and will not change how it is voted on or how it is considered during prioritization activities.  This change will streamline the list of ideas 'open for voting', making it easier for you to see the true top voted ideas in one sort, here.

Community Team
Community Team
Status changed to: Archived

Since there hasn't been activity in this thread for some time, the Product Team has identified this idea as one that can be Archived. This process is meant to help Community members and Instructure employees to focus on more current conversations.