Canvas: Files and File Storage Quotas


This article describes how to manage your Canvas size quota.


Task: This article describes how to manage your Canvas size quota.


There are 3 areas in Canvas where files can be stored: course files, personal files, and group files. The course storage is set to 1 GB (1000 MB) while personal files and group files are limited to 50 MB.

Course Files

Typically, it is the instructor who manages their course content and files. In the course, go to Files and on the bottom left side, the percentage of storage quota used is listed. It is recommended that large files like video and audio files be uploaded into Kaltura Media and shared in the course using the Kaltura LTI. Files that contain a lot of graphics could also result in being large files. In that case, if there are a lot of files, the files could be put in a Cloud-based storage area such as Microsoft 365 (M365) and linked to the course.

Personal Files

Every person who has a Canvas account has a Personal Files area of 50 MB that is found by going to the left Navigation bar and to the Account area. Files that count against personal storage quotas are as follows:

  • Files uploaded directly into your personal files storage area
  • Files uploaded to ungraded assignments
  • Files uploaded to ungraded discussions
  • Files attached to “Conversations” (Inbox/Email)

Additional information about student’s personal file storage:

  • Files that are submitted as part of a graded assignment or graded discussion will appear in the personal file storage area, but they will not count against the quota
  • Files that are submitted as part of a graded assignment cannot be deleted from their personal file storage area. These files are located under the folder with the course name.
  • Files submitted to previous courses and are now concluded are not automatically deleted from the student’s personal file storage area but also don’t count against the quota.
  • Assignment submissions cannot exceed 500 MB.


Group Files

The Group Files area exists when a group is created in a Canvas course. A Course group has a Files area where any student in that group can upload files. The group files storage is limited to 50 MB and can only be accessed by the instructor, or the students associated with the group.

What do you do when your file quota has been reached?

Course Files: If you are faculty and have reached the course quota, go to the Files area of the course and review the files.

1. Remove files in Canvas - When the quota of the course maxes out at 1 GB additional files can no longer be added as content. Removing files from course file storage is one way to free up space. For help with this see Managing course files.

2. Media files can be moved to Kaltura, and the file can be deleted.   

3. Check for duplicate files that can be removed. Uploading the same file into Canvas doesn’t overwrite the existing file, instead it creates a new version of the file. 

  • Read the Managing Course Files KB article for more details about how to locate and delete course files. 

4. Large files can be stored in M365/One Drive and linked in the course. 

Personal Files

Students or faculty who have exceeded their Personal files quota, go to their Account > Files and locate any large files that could be an issue. First look for files under the folders: conversation attachments and unfiled. Most of the time, removing the large files from these folders will resolve the issue. The fastest way to locate and remove files is to select the folder (conversation attachments), then on the right side sort by the column "Size" by clicking on Size.  Put the largest files at the top and then select the delete option.

Group Files

Students in a group whose Group Files have exceeded the 50 mb quota may want to review with the group which files can be removed from the Group files. If the files are needed for the project, one option could be to move the files to a Cloud-based storage area such as M365 and share a link to the files in the group.


The user should be able to identify different storage areas and issues around storage within Canvas. 

Further reading:  

How do I view my user files as an instructor?

How do I view my user files as a student?

Managing course files



Support Resource

If you are following best practices by using OneDrive, Kaltura etc. but are still having trouble staying within your quota you can request an increase. Please submit a support ticket with your request. Be sure to include the course name.

Need additional help?

Please use this link to the Technology Help Desk to locate your local campus contact information.  Use the “Submit a Question” for your campus to enter an online support request. 



Article ID: 913
Fri 7/19/19 5:42 PM
Thu 3/7/24 2:48 PM
Applicable Institution(s):
Keene State College (KSC)
Plymouth State University (PSU)
University of New Hampshire (UNH)