Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Community Participant

Links to files on pages are not previewing

In the past, each semester I would copy a fall course to create a spring-semester course. I would have changed a few things (like dates) in some of the course's files (mostly pptx and docx), so I would go to the new course's Files and upload the new documents with the same names to replace the old. Then all the links in my new course to these files would link to the updated version (because the old version did not exist). 

This year, since the so-called "upgrade" went into effect, I uploaded the new versions of files to replace the old ones in Files, and the previews on pages, announcements, and anywhere else in the course that the files appeared do not work. I contacted Canvas help and was told that I have to go into each page (rather than in "Files"), delete the old links, and upload each new file. What? Why? This is so much more work! Why aren't the new versions of files that replaced old versions previewing?

Also, when I tried following the instructions to upload a "new" (replacement) file on a page, Canvas didn't give me the option to save the file in the folder I wanted, so my old Unit 2a file is still in the Unit 2 folder, and the new version is in a folder titled "Uploaded Media." This is TERRIBLE because I have many of these files linked in more than one place (e.g., on a page and in an announcement), which means I will have to reupload many more times rather than one and done. Also, will the new link on the page work if I move the new uploads from "Uploaded Media" to the "Unit 2" folder (after deleting the old "Unit 2a" file)? And is there any way to move the file from "Uploaded Media" to the "Unit 2" folder so that the link in the announcement will still work?

Labels (3)
0 Kudos
2 Replies
Community Participant

Update: Another instructor at my college is having the same problem. He got a temporary fix from a Canvas tech named Veronica: Delete "/preview" from the html text. That works. I guess that identifies the problem, but Canvas can't realistically expect every faculty member to do this to every link they update in every course. I guess Veronica and Canvas are aware of the problem now, but I haven't seen anything about it on the "Current Issues" page.
Community Participant

Here's another "workaround" Canvas has provided in lieu of actually fixing the problem:


From: Instructure Support <>
Sent: Friday, January 1, 2021 11:01 PM
Subject: Canvas Support: File Previews - Case #07096236 [] [ ref:_00DA0Ibsk._5002Gu2HQZ:ref ]


Hello Jana,

Thank you for reaching back out to Canvas Support. I'm sorry that you have had trouble with putting files in Canvas and having them display properly. I have spent some time looking through your course, and I haven't managed to find another page that is showing this behavior. [NOTE FROM JANA TO CANVAS COMMUNITY: THIS IS BECAUSE I HAVE BEEN MANUALLY DELETING "/PREVIEW" FROM HTML EACH TIME I LINK A FILE!) However, I did find a ticket in our system for a behavior that may match what you are reporting. I have recorded a video to demonstrate it here: After watching the video, if you feel that it matches what you are seeing,  please let us know. Depending on the status of the behavior, we may be able to associate that ticket to your case so you can be sent any updates we send out on it. Unfortunately, we may not have a timeframe.

However, if the behavior you are experiencing is different at all, please respond with a video showing the full behavior from start to finish. This would include showing the uploading of the file, showing adding the file to the page, showing what happens when trying to preview, and showing what happens when you try the workaround that Drew advised the other day.

I hope this is helpful. Feel free to reach back out to us if you have any other questions or concerns.

Warm regards,

 Tate D.
L1 Canvas Support
I hope this is helpfulr

0 Kudos