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How does file storage work in Canvas?

There are three types of Files you can access in Canvas: User Files, Course Files, and Group Files. User Files function like a flash drive and are a handy spot to keep your own personal files.  This feature is available to instructors, TAs, and students. Course Files are the files that are added to your course site. Our course templates automatically make these course files available to only instructors and TAs by default. You will need to share course files with students through Modules or Pages (see below). Group Files are available to all members of a particular group.

We recommend making course-related files accessible to students via Modules or Pages.  However, if you want to make some course files available to students via Course Files while keeping others hidden, then you will need to use Canvas's file restriction options. For files that you do not want students to be able to access at all, use the "Unpublish" option.  For files that you want students to be able to access during a specific availability window, use the "Restricted Access" option, and then click the "Schedule student availability" option and select the availability dates.

Further resources:

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