Canvas: Microsoft OneDrive Integration

Canvas: Microsoft OneDrive Integration

The Microsoft OneDrive and Canvas integration gives students and instructors the ability to utilize their Office 365 accounts within the Canvas Learning Management System. This integration allows instructors to embed assignments, create OneDrive collaborations and cloud assignments, and view live changes to documents right within Canvas. Students will also be able to avoid using Canvas storage by utilizing Microsoft's cloud storage when submitting assignments and working on collaborations.


This article consists of three sections: 


Getting Started for Instructors

Enable Microsoft OneDrive in Canvas:

Step 1 - Click Settings in the left-hand course navigation menu:

Step 2 - Click the Integrations Tab along the top of the settings page.

Step 3 - Turn on the Microsoft Sync function in order for Canvas to connect your course with the USNH M365 environment. 

Note: This creates a SharePoint group for your Canvas course and automatically controls permissions based on whether you are an instructor (owner) or a student (member).

  • Click the State button to move it to the green, ON position.
  • Click the carat (arrowhead) to the left of Microsoft Sync so the arrow is facing down.
  • Click the Sync Now button to start the sync. You only need to do this once.


Functionality for Instructors:

Instructors can:

  • Share OneDrive documents directly in Canvas Modules.
  • Create Cloud assignments based on a OneDrive file.
  • Access OneDrive from their class.
  • Create links to specific OneDrive files via the Rich Content Editor.
  • Include Office 365 documents in Modules
  • Create cloud assignments using the external tool option in assignments.
  • Allow students to submit assignments via OneDrive.
  • Create and participate in Collaborations.
  • Grade student assignment submissions in SpeedGrader.

Share OneDrive Documents in Canvas Modules:

Instructors can easily share OneDrive files within Modules in Canvas.

  1. In Course Navigation, click the Modules link.
  2. Select the "+" at the top of the module.
  3. In the dropdown menu, select "External Tool".
  4. Scroll down to find and then select "Microsoft OneDrive"
  5. A pop-up window will open showing your OneDrive. Select the item you wish to insert, and then click the "Select" button.
  6. Once the item has uploaded, click the "Add Item" button to complete the action.

Create Cloud Assignments directly from a OneDrive file

Instructors can create an online assignment that integrates an editable M365 document (Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel) directly from their M365 OneDrive folder. When students open the assignment, a copy of the file is created as the student’s submission. Students will be able to open their copy and make necessary changes to the document. The student can then return to the Canvas assignment page and submit the assignment, while having a copy stored in their folder for the course. Also, Instructors can view each student’s document copy in SpeedGrader for grading.

  1. In the left-hand course navigation menu, click on the Assignments link, or from Modules, Add [item type]: assignments.
  2. Then click the Add Assignment button.
  3. Enter the assignment name, add a short description, specify the number of points, select the assignment group, and select the grading type.
  4. In the submission type drop-down, select the External Tool option. Then, click on the find button and select Microsoft OneDrive.

  5. When ready to publish your assignment, click on the Save & Publish button.

Getting Started for Students

Functionality for Students:

Students can:

  • Upload OneDrive files for an Assignment Submission.
  • Access their OneDrive directly from their Canvas course.
  • Create links to specific OneDrive files via the Rich Content Editor.
  • Embed OneDrive files to be viewed on the page via the Rich Content Editor (If allowed in the course/discussion/assignment).
  • Access direct links to files provided by instructors with no additional permission requests.
  • Edit and submit Cloud Assignments without leaving Canvas.
  • Participate in Collaborations.

Upload OneDrive files for an Assignment Submission

Students can upload files directly from their Microsoft OneDrive folder. When clicking on the Submit Assignment button, select the OneDrive tab. 
Assignment File Upload Popup with OneDrive option highlighted

Selecting the OneDrive Tab will open the student's OneDrive where the student will have full access to their folders and files. The student will be notified once the submission finishes uploading, or fails to upload.

Access your OneDrive files in Canvas

Students can view and edit all their files within their OneDrive through the Course Navigation Menu in Canvas, if the Microsoft OneDrive tool is enabled by your course instructor.

  1. On the left-hand side of the course menu, you may see a “Microsoft OneDrive” link.
  2. TYou may be asked to  Login.
  3. Follow the prompts to login to your Microsoft 365 account.
  4. When logged in, you will have full access to your OneDrive files directly in Canvas.

Functionality for All Users

  • Access OneDrive from Canvas.
  • Create links to specific OneDrive files (or embed the files into a viewer) via the Rich Content Editor.
  • Enable Canvas Collaboration using a OneDrive file

Access your OneDrive files in Canvas

Users can view and edit all their files within their OneDrive and SharePoint folders through the Course Navigation Menu in Canvas.

  1. On the left-hand navigation menu of a course, click on the “Microsoft OneDrive” link. If it is not listed, please enable Microsoft OneDrive in the course navigation menu or ask your instructor to do so. 
  2. You may be prompted to enter credentials to login to your OneDrive account. 
  3. Once logged in, you will have full access to your own OneDrive files directly in Canvas.
  4.  This feature can be disabled by the course instructor by going to Settings and then Navigation.

Share OneDrive files using the Rich Content Editor

Instructors and students can link documents from their OneDrive folder anywhere using the Rich Content Editor in Canvas. Instructors may embed Office 365 documents in Canvas Announcements, Assignments, Discussions, Pages, Quizzes (directions and questions) and Syllabus. Students may embed Office 365 documents as discussion and announcement replies, answers to quiz questions, and as assignment submissions.

  1. Go to any Rich Content Editor page (found in Pages, Assignments, Discussions, and Syllabus) and click on the plug icon.
  2. Select Microsoft OneDrive from the list.


  1. Choose the desired file and click Attach File. A link will then be created for the document allowing it to open in a new tab when checked.


Enable Canvas Collaboration using a OneDrive file

Users can use Microsoft OneDrive to create a Collaboration with a Microsoft Word, Excel, or PowerPoint file. Users can select individual users, groups, or both as part of a Collaboration.

  1. On the left-hand navigation menu of the course, click on the Collaborations link
  2. Click the Start a new collaboration button, then choose Microsoft OneDrive in the drop down.
  3. Next, you can choose to create a new document or select a document from your OneDrive that you wish to collaborate on. If you create a document, you will choose the type of file you wish to collaborate on (Word, Excel, or PowerPoint) as well as add a document name and description.
  4. Add people/groups as collaborators. When finished, click the save button at the bottom of the page.



  • When displaying Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files, files with font conflicts may not display properly. Best practice is to use standard Microsoft fonts in all documents.
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Article ID: 3988
Wed 5/5/21 12:05 PM
Fri 5/3/24 9:41 AM
Applicable Institution(s):
Keene State College (KSC)
Plymouth State University (PSU)
University of New Hampshire (UNH)
USNH System Office