Replacing Links to Box files in Canvas


This article explains how to replace broken links to Box files in Canvas with new links to the same files in an instructor's OneDrive or SharePoint.



Now that all Box access has ended, any Canvas courses with links to files in Box, or that use the Box integration tool, will need to be updated with new links to the files in the instructor’s OneDrive or SharePoint folders.

How to find broken links to old Box files in your Canvas course and replace them with links to the files in OneDrive or SharePoint.

After signing into your Canvas Course, you will need to complete the following tasks:


Task: Find broken links to files in Box

The fastest way to find broken links in a Canvas course is to use the “Validate Links” tool.


Step 1 - Use the left side course navigation and select “Settings” shown in the red rectangle above.

Step 2 - In the right side menu, select “Validate Links in Content” shown in the red oval above.

   A list of non-working links and where they appear in your course will open.

Suggestion: If you have many pages or links, or will not complete the replacement in one session, you may find it helpful to copy and paste the list of pages and links into a document so you may work on the list at your convenience.


Users can expect to find a list of any links that do not work and the pages they appear on. This will include links to Box files once Box has been deactivated as of May 19, 2023.


Task: Find matching files in OneDrive or SharePoint

Before replacing each link to a file in your course, now is a good time to evaluate how you share files. There is no one correct format to use, but consistency is key. Would it be easier to put all the shared links in a separate resources module? To share a resources folder from OneDrive directly in each module? To embed files in pages rather than link them? 

You can simplify sharing multiple files by grouping them into folders and sharing the folders. This is especially helpful if you have many files to share, or wish to limit access to files until a module is published. The new Microsoft OneDrive tool manages permissions and makes this kind of sharing almost effortless.


Step 1 - Access your course files in your OneDrive or SharePoint location.

Step 2 - Using the list created in Canvas with the “Validate Links” tool, find and organize your files by Canvas course, and in a way that makes sense to you.

Tip: If you are having trouble finding your files, use the search bar at the top of your screen.

Step 3 - Repeat this process until you have found and organized all the missing files on the Validate Links list. 



Users can expect to log into OneDrive or SharePoint online and find the files that were migrated from Box to M365, and  then organize those files in a way that makes the most sense to the user.


Task: Replace broken links in Canvas

The easiest and most secure way to add OneDrive/SharePoint file links to your Canvas course is using the Microsoft OneDrive integration tool. It works with the Microsoft Sync integration which creates a SharePoint site for your class. It automatically adds the people associated with the course to the site group and manages all the permissions. 

The benefits of using SharePoint to for file-sharing in Canvas include:

  • Permissions are set automatically by the app and there are no more accidents of granting edit access to original documents, or students not being able to access a shared document.
  • Documents are stored and shared securely. No more "anyone with the link" access necessary- which leaves your files, and USNH vulnerable to cyber-attacks. 
  • Permissions are managed by the app automatically depending on where it is being used. 
  • You still have access to the course documents in SharePoint and can sync the site to your OneDrive App on your computer for easy access outside of Canvas.


Step 1 - Enable the Microsoft Sync function in order for Canvas to connect your course with the USNH M365 environment

Screenshot of Integrations tab in Canvas settings showing Microsoft Sync enabled.

  • Click "Settings" in the left-hand course navigation menu.
  • Click the "Integrations" Tab along the top of the settings page.
  • Click the "State" button, shown in the red oval above, to move it to the green, ON position.
  • Click the carat to the left of Microsoft Sync, noted with the red star above, so the arrowhead is facing down.
  • Click the "Sync Now" button, shown in the red rectangle above, to start the sync. You only need to do this once.

OPTIONAL: If you wish to be able to access and edit your OneDrive/SharePoint files from within Canvas, you will need to enable the Microsoft OneDrive tool on the Navigation tab of the Settings page.

Step 2 - Use the Microsoft OneDrive tool to replace links or embed files in Canvas

You can find the OneDrive tool anywhere in Canvas that you have the option to use a plug-in or external app:

  • Any Rich Content Editor (pages, discussions, directions for assignments, quizzes, etc.)
  • As a direct link in Modules
  • As a cloud assignment in Assignments

Link or Embed files in any Rich Content Editor

  • In any Rich Content Editor (pages, discussions, etc.), select the "plug" icon.
  • Next, find and select "Microsoft OneDrive" in the list.
  • In the pop-up window, select a file by clicking on it. 
  • To insert a link to the file on the page, select the "Link" button.
  • To embed a the file on the page, select the "Embed" button.

NOTE: Microsoft OneDrive allows you to choose whether to add a link to the file that users can click on that will open in a new browser tab, or to embed the file in a Canvas Page, turning the page into a reader window for the file. Embedding is especially good for single page files with lots of graphics.

Link files in Modules

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



Users can expect to understand how to replace broken box links in Canvas using the Microsoft OneDrive tool.


Further Readings 

M365 LTI Apps and Canvas - OneDrive Interactive Walkthrough

Canvas: Microsoft OneDrive Integration (

Need additional help?

Visit the Technology Help Desk Support page to locate your local campus contact information or to submit an online technology support request.  For password issues you must call or visit the Help Desk in person.  




Article ID: 4667
Mon 5/8/23 12:20 PM
Mon 12/4/23 5:12 PM
Applicable Institution(s):
University of New Hampshire (UNH)