Using Canvas File Structure

What are Canvas Files?
Canvas files allow you to upload and store files, documents, lectures and multimedia files within Canvas (Canvas cloud). You can upload one or multiple files, view all details about your files, preview files, publish and un-publish files, set usage rights, and restrict access to files.

Canvas Files Structure?

There are three types of file storage available in Canvas:
  • Personal files that are only you can access and share (or the logged in user, (both instructors and students have a Personal File folder)
  • Course files that you and enrolled users in the course can access; and
  • Group files located in each group where you are a member

Manage Files

How do I manage these files/folders?
  • Canvas files can be access from your Account option in the Global Navigation area or from within a Canvas course
    Global Navigation: select Files from Account option
    Course Navigation: select Files from within the course navigation
    Group Files: the group file folder will only appear if you are a member (or have created groups) within a course

Before you get too deep into adding more files to your course, let’s look at how to organize and structure your course (this will save you so much time later!!!

Instead of uploading all your files under "main" course folder, create tailored folders that you use to organize your files. Click on the +Folder (top-right on Files). Type in a name for the folder (lectures, images, week 1 material, etc.) then when you upload a file select to place the upload in that folder! Nice and neat!!


Using course and personal file cloud file storage you can access files anywhere you have an Internet connection!

Moving files into folders

  • To move individual files in a respective folder just click the down arrow (appears when you hover over the filename) to the right of the file's "cog wheel"
  • Select Move and select folder; or "drag/drop" the file into the desired folder

Now when you want to link a file in a course area, all you need do is to be in Edit mode, select Files tab, select folder name, and locate the needed filename.

Files - Adding Course Content video