Knowledgebase: Canvas Cloud
Canvas: Known Issues, Annoyances and Workarounds
Updated: 26 August 2020 09:54 AM

With every great piece of software, there are sometimes unexpected issues, annoyances and workarounds. Here are a few we're tracking, and that faculty and students should know about

IT Services is aware of the following issues with Canvas. We hope to have these problems resolved in the future either through reporting them to Instructure, or addressing them on our own.


  • Uploaded files are sometimes renamed when they are downloaded: this is to avoid conflicts with the same file name being used or unsupported characters in the file name. File names are prepended with several digits, and certain characters in the filename are replaced with other character (URL encoded).

    Solution: The issue is well documented with Instructure. We can recommend that faculty replace their spaces in filenames with underscore "_" or minus symbol "-" and avoid any special characters like slash.


  • Instructors cannot send messages to students in courses from previous terms. When a course is concluded, several tools within Canvas are no longer available for that course, including using the Conversations tool to send messages to the class.

    Solution: See How can I communicate with students from concluded courses? for the current workaround.