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How do I copy a Canvas course into a new course shell?

How do I copy a Canvas course into a new course shell?

If you are allowed to create Canvas courses, you can copy a course and create a new course shell. Copied courses are added to the same subaccount as the course that is copied.

Courses should be copied when you want to use or repurpose previously created content including course settings, syllabus, assignments, modules, files, pages, discussions, quizzes, and question banks. You can also copy or adjust events and due dates. Not all content can be copied as part of a course.

When you copy a Canvas course using the Copy this Course button, you will be added to the course as an instructor automatically.

Learn more about the Course Import Tool.


  • Course imports may not include all content. For more details, please see the import content section in the Canvas Basics Guide.
  • Importing a course more than once may have unintended consequences. If you import content into a new course, edit the content in the new course, and later import the previous content again, the imported content will override the existing content.
  • If the Copy this Course button does not appear in Course Settings, this feature has been restricted by your institution. However, if you already have access to a course shell, you can copy a course through the Course Import Tool.
  • If you copy all content or include course settings in selected content, the grade posting policy from the original course will override the grade posting policy in the new course. Additionally, imported assignments will retain their assignment posting policy from the original course.

Open Settings

Open Settings

In Course Navigation, click the Settings link.

Copy Course Content

Copy Course Content

Click the Copy this Course link.

Create Course Details

Create Course Details

Enter the Name [1] and Course Code [2] for the new course. The name will be displayed on the Course Home Page and in Conversations. The course code will be displayed at the top of the Course Navigation menu and in the course card in the dashboard. Course code is also referred to as the reference code or short name.

Enter the Start date [3] and End date [4] for the new course.

Note: If the current course includes course override dates in Course Settings, the Start and End date fields will be populated with those dates.

Select Migration Content

Select Migration Content

To import all content from the course, select the All Content radio button [1].

If you want to select specific content, click the Select specific content radio button [2].

Note: If you select the specific content option, you are required to select the content you want to import; this action cannot be cancelled.

Adjust Events and Due Dates

Adjust Events and Due Dates

If you want to adjust the due dates associated with the course events and assignments, click the Adjust events and due dates checkbox.

Create Course

Create Course

Click the Create Course button.

View Current Jobs

The Current Jobs section displays the status of your import. Running reports display a progress bar indicating the time remaining to complete the import [1].

If you chose to select specific content in your course, the current job will show as Waiting for Select [2], which means you must select the content you want to import.

The import may also display other status indicators as part of the import process. Learn more about course import statuses.

View the content from any completed imports by accessing any link in Course Navigation.


I need help the links arent working


Hi @acampbell2,

Which links aren't working for you? The links in this lesson seem to be working fine from what I can tell.


If I copy a course, does the Navigation get copied or does it go back to the institutional default? I have customized my Navigation and am wondering if I will have to reactivate/order that.

Hi @srputnam,

I tested this out on a demo course and when I copied all course content, it brought over my settings for Course Navigation (which included reorganized links, a custom link, and a link to the Google Drive LTI). Hope that helps. Reach out if you have any other questions. 


These comments are posted to the global Canvas Community,

NOT your Canvas course.

  • Have a question about using Canvas? Visit the Q&A page.
  • Have an idea to improve Canvas? Visit the Idea Conversations space.
  • Need to reply to a course discussion? Log in to your Canvas course and add your comment there (Tip: Visit your school's website to log in to Canvas).
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