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Community Member

Access denied happening - even when content published

Hi Canvas Users,

I've been using canvas for a while, and usually I am a fan. But I am literally about to tear my hair out and cry.

What is happening with the access denied messages?

I create content - but when my students try to access it, they get an access denied message. 

Everything is published with correct copyright settings etc. Same processes I've followed for years now.

At first it seemed it was wiping out just the ipad app. BUT now its happening sporadically all over the place!

It took canvas weeks to get back to me and look at this issue properly. Moving stuff to modules seems to help, but doesn't solve all pages.

HELP! Anyone found a solution??????

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3 Replies
Community Team
Community Team


Without seeing exactly how your course is set up it's hard to make recommendations for troubleshooting.

Glad that putting things into modules was helpful.  Do you recall why that was a suggestion to solve the problem?

Hi Renee,

Thanks for the reply. 

Unfortunately, this issue went on for about 3 weeks with me being told firstly, that the helpdesk team needed to locate an ipad to help with my issue (which seemed to take weeks), and then I was told 'they were not able to recreate my issue' and marked my case as closed. Thankfully, I reopened the case, and the suggestion of modules was given to me by one of the Canvas helpdesk team. They admitted they could see a fault with the app and would pass it on to the mobile team. I know the Canvas team are under the pump, but the delays in getting this sorted has done a lot of damage to Canvas' reputation within our school community. 

On Friday, I had the same thing happen. Students were receiving access denied messages all over the place. When I used my son's Canvas account I was also able to recreate this issue. When I contacted the help desk I received this 



Your Canvas Support case 05806968 has been set to a "solved" status. If you'd like to reopen this case, please reply to this email message.

As a reminder, the subject line on this case was: Unpublished Pages

You described your issue or question like this:

Teacher was wondering why their students were getting Access Denied pages. tbh they had way too many custom css button links.

How many buttons are too many? I use canvas for young students and usually have four on a page? I've had other canvas users say that they don't think my page has too many buttons and were puzzled with the help desk response. 

I'm pretty disappointed with the helpdesk support at the moment. I'm happy to know if I'm doing something wrong, so that I can learn and fix it. But they seem very quick to move things to 'solved'.



Hello there, @anita_wood ...

I know this topic hasn't had much activity for several months, but I thought I would respond with a question that I had for you.  You had mentioned that one or more of your course pages had a few buttons for your students to click on.  I am assuming that these buttons linked to content in your course, correct?  If this is the case, were you copying content from one course to another?  One reason why your students may have been getting some kind of "Access Denied" message is if the link in one course is actually pointing to content in another course.  This would not work for students...because generally students would not have access to another instance of the course (whether that was in the past or is running alongside another section of the course).  So, if your students click on a button, but it is pointing to content in another course, then I would expect to see that error.  Sometimes instructors will ask, "Why does the link work for me, though?"  The reason for this is typically because you are enrolled in both it's easy to jump from one course to another without really noticing which course you are in.  When you look at the course that has the buttons that may not be working, take a look at your course URL.  What is the Course ID number listed in the URL in the address bar at the top of your browser?  (Example:  Now, hover your mouse over the button/link in your course.  Note the URL that is displayed at the bottom of your browser.  Does it contain the same Course ID number?  If not, then that's most likely the issue.  You may need to re-create the links in that course so that they are pointing to the content in the same course.  Also, make sure that the content you are linking to is published.  Otherwise, students won't be able to access the content.

I hope this extra bit of information will be of some help to you, Anita.  Sing out if you have any questions.  Take care, stay safe, and be well.