Uploading Files to Canvas

You can add files to your Files directory in Canvas. If you have already created modules for your course, you can add files directly to the modules.

Add Files to the Files Directory

The easiest way to add files to your Canvas course is by uploading them from your computer or storage device. You can organize your files by creating folders first, and then upload your files directly into the folder. If you have uploaded files before creating folders, you can still create folders and move your files into the appropriate folders.


On the Course Navigation menu, click Files


On the Files page, click the Upload button or simply drag and drop files from your desktop onto the page

canvas file page with upload link


(Optional) Click the + Folder button and create a new folder, or navigate to an existing folder to which you want to add the file

If you do not specify a folder, Canvas adds the file in the main Files directory. You will know you are in a folder because the folder name will appear in the breadcrumb trail at the top of the page.

canvas files page with folder


(Optional) Click the green circle with white check icon to adjust file visibility

Files that are uploaded are published (visible to students) by default. To adjust the settings, click on the published icon to unpublish, make file only available through a link elsewhere in the course, or available based on a specific date range.

file editing permissions window with publish checked and other options of unpublish, only available to students with link, and scheduler student availability

Add Files to Modules

If you have created modules for your course, you can add files from the Module page.


On the Course Navigation menu, click Modules


On the Modules page, locate the module and click on the + to the right of the title to add items

add item on the canvas modules page


The Add Item window will open, in the first drop-down menu

  1. Choose File
  2. Click New Files
  3. Choose Files

add a file in canvas modules


Select the file to upload, and then click Open

If desired, select a folder and number of levels to indent the file on the module list.


Click Add Item


This short video will walk you through the process of adding a file directly to a module in your Canvas course.