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Uploaded images no longer function in Safari

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Uploading and embedding images in Canvas during last academic term worked fine...

[Addendum: Following suggestion from browser guide, I tried using in a Safari "private window." That workaround revealed the images. I've cleared cache and history, and the problem in a normal window remains.]

Now, the images I had uploaded into the course images folder no longer appear--in the desktop Safari environment (ver. 13.1). They are working on the Canvas iPhone app and in desktop Firefox (ver. 74) browser. This is true for courses successfully run last term AND courses I'm creating for the term that starts next week.

I have cleared desktop Safari's history and cache. Here's what I'm seeing"

• Course home page banner:

coure home page image

• Embed images window showing the icon. Note the images that came in with the template import are fine. They also embed just fine if I choose to use those instead. It's just the images I uploaded into the Canvas course that are unavailable--though they USED to be.

embed images window

• And here's what it looks like when I go to the Files course images folder. The two images with blank thumbnails are images I uploaded. Again, this is true for course I created last quarter AND for this coming quarter.

course images folder

Any guidance on this will be helpful as I create content and assessment for music that are image intensive!

76 Replies

I wonder if Instructure has any staff that are in touch with the companies or developer communities for the various web browsers.  When I worked for Apple, we had a developer program where we would notify our developers months ahead of any release, would detail the exact changes to the various software components (including the Safari Web Browser), and release beta software to test against.

By the reactive instead of proactive response from Instructure, my initial guess is that for a company who completely relies on the functionality of web browsers for the success of their products, there is nobody in the INST engineering group that is liaising with Apple, Google, Mozilla, or Microsoft.

I would love to be wrong about this assumption.

Surveyor II

Is this related to the issue with embedded images not appearing in a Canvas quiz question? Would the recommendation for the cross-site tracking preference in Safari also address the issue with quizzes? I am guessing not given that the issue with quiz images appears to be longstanding and predates this latest Safari update.

At least in my case it was discovered first in the case of quiz-questions - so the answer is probably yes.

But it seems that we have completely lost Instructure on this point and I don't know if we can expect any reaction from their side right now. Implementing confetti seems to be much more exciting than solving problems.


I can't emphasize enough how much ongoing communication with us regarding this issue is necessary. Safari users can't see images. When they upload images, nobody else can see them. Instructure should display a message to Safari users about the necessary workaround.

Surveyor II

I have now encountered another, related issue: apparently the "insert math equation" tool in the quiz rich content editor creates an image, either in the question or in the answer. I had a number of students report that they had problems seeing those images. One student sent a screen shot and it looks something like "$$" followed by a fragment of the original entry. I haven't had time to track this down in terms of browsers but the specific questions render fine in Safari (13.0.5) for me with "prevent cross-site tracking" checked. I am going to recommend that students use something other than Safari although I have had reports of issues with Chrome as well.

Replying to myself...

It is certainly not getting better. I tried setting up a "new quiz" rather than a classic quiz (I don't know if that matters) and created a numeric question. I pasted in two images from Word (created with the equation editor in Word). The images were small in the Canvas question editor but I was able to resize them. However as soon as I clicked "done" on the problem, the images disappeared. I could select an outline (selection box) for each image when I tried to edit the problem again but there was nothing visible. This is independent of the "cross-site tracking" setting in Safari 13.0.5.

I just don't think Canvas is reliable in this regard. Going forward (next quarter) I will probably use Gradescope.

While I personally don't think that the "new quiz" currently is anything more than a beta-version I wonder one thing: why are you pasting equations from Word (sic!) into Canvas?

Well, it is much easier to use a full-fledged word processor like Word to type out a question plus, and more important for me, is that I have a local copy of the exam/quiz that I can print out if necessary. Plus, the equation editor is superior although I guess I have found that to be moot.


Perhaps alerting your end-users to the problem with a convenient workaround is a step in the right direction.


I wonder how many millions of people are experiencing this bug, and when it will be fixed. Safari shouldn't be considered a supported browser until this is resolved.