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blove
Surveyor

Unpublish multiple files at once

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My university switched from blackboard to canvas.  I exported several courses from blackboard and imported them into canvas.  This has gone fairly smoothly, but I'm stumped on one thing.  I have many files that came over in the import and they are all marked as published in canvas.  Is there a way to do a mass (batch) unpublishing of files?

Thanks!

-Betty

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ericwerth
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi  @blove and welcome to the Canvas Community!  You have a great question.  I don't know if there is a way to batch unpublish files (maybe someone else knows a way), but I thought I would bring up if you were not aware that from the Files tab, you can quickly unpublish files by clicking the green check mark next to each one.  This will bring up a menu each time asking if you want to keep in published, unpublish the file, or restrict access to the file.  I just tested this and a quicker option may be to create a file in the Files tab called "unpublished files" or something similar.  You could then drag the unneeded files to this folder and then unpublish the folder.  I have not tried this in a live class but just tested in my sandbox class and if the files are in an unpublished folder, they don't appear to students in the Files tab.  If you don't have the Files tab available to students (under "settings" and "navigation"), then even if the files are published, students should not be able to access them unless the files are linked to somewhere else in Canvas (assignment, discussion, page, within a module, etc.).

This isn't exactly an answer to your question but I thought I would provide a couple of options in batch unpublishing isn't possible.

Best wishes!

View solution in original post

6 Replies
ericwerth
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi  @blove and welcome to the Canvas Community!  You have a great question.  I don't know if there is a way to batch unpublish files (maybe someone else knows a way), but I thought I would bring up if you were not aware that from the Files tab, you can quickly unpublish files by clicking the green check mark next to each one.  This will bring up a menu each time asking if you want to keep in published, unpublish the file, or restrict access to the file.  I just tested this and a quicker option may be to create a file in the Files tab called "unpublished files" or something similar.  You could then drag the unneeded files to this folder and then unpublish the folder.  I have not tried this in a live class but just tested in my sandbox class and if the files are in an unpublished folder, they don't appear to students in the Files tab.  If you don't have the Files tab available to students (under "settings" and "navigation"), then even if the files are published, students should not be able to access them unless the files are linked to somewhere else in Canvas (assignment, discussion, page, within a module, etc.).

This isn't exactly an answer to your question but I thought I would provide a couple of options in batch unpublishing isn't possible.

Best wishes!

View solution in original post

Thanks, ericwerth! I did unpublish one file using the method you described, but it is too painful to use for many.  So thank you much for the idea of moving them to a folder and unpublishing the folder.  I like that idea, but I think I like removing the Files tab for students best.

Thank you much!

Eric Werth wrote:

If you don't have the Files tab available to students (under "settings" and "navigation"), then even if the files are published, students should not be able to access them unless the files are linked to somewhere else in Canvas (assignment, discussion, page, within a module, etc.). 

One of the 'somewhere elses' it is important to pay attention to is the epub export for the course. Even if a file is not linked from discussion or module, if it is published it is still available to students who view the course offline.

hfeild
Surveyor

In the files view, you can select a file or folder entry by clicking anywhere on the line other than the file name (e.g., just to the right of the file name). If you then hold down shift and click another file entry, all files between those two entries will be selected. You can hold down Ctrl (windows) or Cmd (mac) and click entries to add each one to the selection.

Once you have one or more file/folder entries selected, you will see a set of buttons appear next to the "Search for files" text box above the file explorer. The button with a cloud and small lock is the one to manage access. You can then publish, unpublish, or restrict access to all selected files or folders at once.

Multi-file select

Hope that helps!

scott
Surveyor

This has come up before, but when copying files from one canvas course to another, it would be nice if you had the option to un-publish as you do with removing dates.  The issue with just removing dates, the assignments/quizzes stay published and are then open for students.  Also if there was a way to un-publish all module materials at that time would be helpful. 

jkranzow
Surveyor

YES PLEASE!!!