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Files Overview (Students)

Files Overview (Students)

In this video you will learn how to access, manage, and organize your user files in Canvas.

Last updated 2023-06-01


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Video overviews reflect current feature functionality in Canvas; they are updated based on workflow changes, not on minor or non-functional interface enhancements. Depending on your institution's Canvas theme, the Canvas interface may display differently than shown in this video, but the functionality is the same.


Files Overview (Students) Video Script


In this video you will learn how to access, manage, and organize your user files in Canvas. You can access your user files in Canvas by clicking the Account link in Global Navigation and selecting Files. From Files, you can upload, download, and view your files. To search for a file or folder, type a keyword into the search field. To create a new folder, click the Add Folder button. To upload a new file, click the Upload button. In the left panel you can view and quickly navigate through your folders. Some folders may be housed within other folders. Click the arrow next to a folder to expand it. A folder will display for each course or group in which you are enrolled. Any files you submit to Canvas as part of an assignment are stored in the Submissions folder. To view the contents of a folder, click the folder name. By default, files and folders are sorted alphabetically. However, you can click on the name of any column heading to sort files by creation date, modification date, modifier name, or size. To select a file or folder, click the line of the file. When a file or folder is selected, a toolbar appears at the top of the window. The toolbar options allow you to:

  • View the file
  • Manage access to the file 
  • Download the file
  • Move the file or
  • Delete the file

By clicking a file’s Options icon, you can download a file. You may also be able to move, rename, or delete a file. Click the file name to preview  the file. Within the file preview, you can also download the file and view file details. You can scroll through the document, zoom in and out, and view the document in full screen.

To add a file to a folder, click the file and drag and drop it into a folder. You can also click the file’s Options icon, select the Move option, and choose the folder where you want to move the file. To select multiple files or folders to move, hold down the Shift key on your keyboard and click the line of multiple files or folders then click and drag the selected files to the desired folder.

To upload a file or group of files to your user files, click the Upload button. Select the file or files to upload from your computer. Note that files will be uploaded to the folder you are currently viewing. Click the Open button to complete the upload. You can also drag and drop files from your computer into your user folders in Canvas. If you choose to upload a .zip file, a pop-up window will ask if you would like to expand the contents of the zip folder or just upload them as a zip file. To download your Canvas files or folders, click the line for the file or folder and click the Download button.

You've now completed this overview video on Files. For additional information on this or any other topic about Canvas, please visit You can also ask questions and engage with other Canvas users by visiting


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