What types of media files can I upload in Canvas as an instructor?

Canvas can upload specific image, video, and audio files as user content. 

When you upload audio and media files using the media tool in the Rich Content Editor, Canvas converts files up to 500 MB. If a file exceeds the 500 MB limit, you can host the file through an external source such as YouTube and embed it using the Rich Content Editor. To learn more about available options for using media files in Canvas, view the Canvas Media Comparison resource document.

When you upload a file to your course, group, or user files, Canvas converts the file into a format supported by your browser. However, Canvas does not support uploading files larger than 5 GB to your user files. Media playback is determined according to browser, so if you cannot view the file, you may need to try to view the file in another browser.

Canvas files have quota limits set for each user area: user (personal) files, course files, and group files. Files uploaded directly to your user files or group files count against each specific quota, except for uploading a profile picture. All files uploaded into a course count against the course quota. For students, any attachments added as part of a graded assignment submission are uploaded into user files but are not counted against the user quota.

Note: If you upload a file that is not supported by the Canvas media player, you can have users download the file to view outside of Canvas.

Supported Image Formats

Canvas will accept the following image files:

  • BMP - Windows Bitmap
  • GIF - Graphics Interchange Format
  • JPEG - Joint Photographic Experts Group
  • SVG - Scalable Vector Graphics
  • TIFF - Adobe Systems
  • PNG - Portable Network Graphics

Note: TIF and TIFF file previews are not native to most browsers and may not preview in Canvas.

Supported Video Formats

The Canvas media player supports H.264 video playback.Canvas will accept the following video files for playback:

  • FLV – Flash Video
ASF – Windows Media
  • QT – Apple QuickTime
MOV – Apple QuickTime
MPG – Digital Video Format
  • MPEG – Digital Video Format
AVI – Digital Video Format
M4V – Digital Video Format
  • WMV – Windows Media
  • MP4 – Digital Video Format
  • 3GP – Multimedia Mobile Format


For tips about media compressions and playback quality, view Vimeo's Video Compression Guidelines.

Supported Audio Formats

Canvas will accept the following audio files for playback:

MP3 – Digital Audio Format

  • WAV - Waveform Audio File
  • WMA – Windows media audio
  • WMV – Windows Media