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This file contains HTML and cannot be previewed. Please download to view.

I'm getting a handful of student submissions that, in Speedgrader, show the following message: "This file contains HTML and cannot be previewed. Please download to view."  However, when I try to download the file, I am unable to.  I had a student share her screen with me to see if there was some kind of user error (uploading the wrong kind of file, or perhaps pasting the url of their Google doc instead of the file itself), but I didn't see anything out of the ordinary.  While this is only affecting a small number of my students, I've had another teacher report that about 30% of her student submissions look this way.

I've looked for an answer, but all I've seen are a couple unanswered posts (including one where a moderator closed the thread because there wasn't much discussion on it).

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30 Replies

We have been having this problem for the last two days.  In the past, it would be just an occasional event for a few students but since yesterday, I've received 18 student submissions with this "HTML..." message.  Our tech people say there is something going on between Canvas and our district but no one seems to know what!  Most of my assignments have a google doc that the students make their own copy of and then do a file upload for an online submission.  I have added the "text box" option for submission to see if that helps, but no one seems to know of a solution and reason for this sudden problem.


I am having the same issue.

It is a student uploading photos from an iphone.

He was using the google drive upload button.  I also had him use the plain file upload button, and do an insert into a rich text editor.  None of those work.

He was able to email me the photo and I was able to see it.


I wonder if it is a moving photo.  I know my android takes short moving photos, but if I say...upload them to just shows one image, not the moving one.


Just stumbled across this discussion of the issue as well.  They seem to think there might be an issue with share settings, though I'm not sure that would fix my issue


Surveyor II

It's now almost November 2020, and I'm having the same issue. My students are frustrated enough with distance learning, and now that this is happening, I have literally had a student crying out of frustration and stress over her grades. Is there going to be a fix for this any time soon?

We are still having the same issue as well.  In fact, we are helping a frustrated student as we speak who is trying to submit a Google Assignment to her teacher.  


I am seeing this too! We are using Kami to annotate PDF and Google Doc files which are saved in their Google drive. When I have students use the Google LTI tab, I sometimes get the same result. Today I had them use our other (left) Google files/docs tab and voila! I can see their submission in Speedgrader. My tech admin is stymied! I am beginning to thin that since this is a problem in the Google LTI tab but not the other Google tab it is an issue on the Canvas end of things?

What  do yo mean by "Other left Google tab?" Are you referring to the GoogleDrive  Navigation  button/link? My student can access her  googledrive through there, but I am still receiving the  error message.

Surveyor II

Students are submitting a word document and when they do the teacher gets the message in speedgrader this file contains html and cannot be previewed.  Suggestions?


I'm sorry, but whoever marked the solutions in this thread must have done so erroneously.  Both solutions marked as "solutions" say, essentially, "We're seeing this problem, too."  Other people agreeing there's a problem is not a solution.


My hope in posting this is to draw attention to this issue, as I have yet to see a solution (or see anyone else mention one), and for Canvas or whoever is moderating this forum to imply that the above are solutions is a mistake at best and disingenuous at worst.


If someone has seen a solution to this problem (or an announcement that the issue has been fixed), please feel free to reply with a link.


I am having the problem with PDF files as well. Whether screenshot, PDF submission, or Google Drive submission, some students are consistently having problems. However, it seems to be different students for different assignments. Is there actually someone moderating this thread that has the ability to address these problems? So far, it doesn't seem like that is the case. It's been months and this problem is continuing. Canvas has basically been forced on teachers in my district as this great platform that was going to make virtual instruction soooo easy, but this is actually making my life more complicated. What's the deal???