Well-organized and well-named files help students find what they're looking for more easily.

Files are documents, images, and media files uploaded to the Files area of a Canvas course. These include PowerPoint presentations, images, video, audio, Word documents, PDFs, Excel charts, etc. Uploading files is one of the first things to do when creating a new course. Files can also be imported from another course. Folders can be added to more easily manage and find files when linking to them using the Rich Content Editor. The left course navigation link for Files goes to the files index to view all files in a course.


Students have easy access to and organization of all course content when it is published in Canvas. It helps to link to a file from a page, assignment, or module to avoid duplication and student confusion about when and where to access a file.

Best Practice Recommendations

  • Hide left course navigation link to Files from student view to avoid confusion.
  • Remove duplicate and outdated files after completing course copy to avoid repetition and confusion.
  • Make file names descriptive, meaningful, and consistent.
  • Link individual files to modules, assignments, and pages rather than having students locate the file in the files index.
  • Organize files into folders.

Canvas and A&II Guides