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How do I delay posting a discussion until a specified date in a course?

How do I delay posting a discussion until a specified date in a course?

You can delay posting a discussion topic until a specific date by changing a setting in your discussion. This lesson shows how to set posting dates, also referred to as availability dates, for non-graded discussions.

Note: In graded discussions, the availability date fields shown in this lesson do not apply. Graded discussions include separate availability dates that are set when assigning a discussion to specific course users.

Open Discussions

Open Discussions

In Course Navigation, click the Discussions link.

Add Discussion

Click the Add Discussion button.

Create Discussion

Create Discussion

Create your discussion by using the following options:

  1. Enter your topic title in the topic title field.
  2. Use the Rich Content Editor to format your content.

Add Availability Dates

Add Availability Dates

To make your discussion available on a specific date or during a specific date range, enter the dates in the Available From and Until fields, or click the calendar icons to select dates.

You are not required to enter dates in both of these fields, so if you want to delay your posting but do want your post to appear indefinitely, you can leave the Until field blank.

Note: These fields only apply for non-graded discussions; If you create a graded discussion, these date fields do not apply.

Save and Publish

Save and Publish

If you are ready to publish your discussion, click the Save & Publish button [1]. If you want to create a draft of your discussion and publish it later, click the Save button [2].

Publish Discussion

When your discussion is saved in a draft state, you can return to the page and publish it at any time by clicking the Publish button.

View Discussion

View the discussion and the posting date.

Students do not have access to locked discussions until the availability date. They will not see locked discussions on the Discussions Index Page.


This locks the item, but still makes the item visible. Please let us delay publishing of an item to a later specified date/time to save us from having to manually publish if we don't want an item to be visible to students. This alternative is not a good solution.

Hi @canvas77,

You mentioned the discussion being visible even when locked, are you referring to the discussion details displaying before or after the set availability dates? 

If a student opens a published discussion on a day prior to the availability dates, the title will display. However, if opened, students will not be able to view details of the discussion and instead will see a "This topic is locked until [begin availability date]" error. If opened after availability dates have passed, the details of the discussion will be visible, but the student won't be able to participate and a "This topic was locked [end availability date]" error displays. 

We are always looking for ways to improve Canvas and do have a feature idea that suggests similar functionality that you mentioned (Let us schedule a Publish Date / Time for Content Pages). If you'd like to show your support for the idea, you can kudo it and/or add comments. 


@CanvasDocTeam, thanks for the response. 


I was referring to the item being visible (but not accessible) prior to the availability date.


I did see that thread (that is exactly the functionality that I need) and showed my support, but I am discouraged to see that it was 4 years old and still hasn't been implemented, although it seems straightforward and would be quite useful for several of us. Is it currently being voted on now? I'm looking for a poll but can't find one.  Hope you can help. Thanks.


You can use the star rating system to rate the idea. This guide explains a little more about how idea conversations work in the Canvas Community.


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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