Canvas can upload specific image, video, and audio files as user content. 

When you upload audio and media files using the media tool in the Rich Content Editor, Canvas converts files up to 500 MB. If a file exceeds the 500 MB limit, you can host the file through an external source such as YouTube and embed it using the Rich Content Editor. To learn more about available options for using media files in Canvas, view the Canvas Media Comparison PDF.

When you upload a file to your group or user files, Canvas converts the file into a format supported by your browser. However, Canvas does not support uploading files larger than 5 GB to your user files. Media playback is determined according to browser, so if you cannot view the file, you may need to try to view the file in another browser. You may also need to enable or update the Adobe Flash plugin.

Canvas files have quota limits set for user (personal) files and group files. Files uploaded directly to your user files or group files count against each specific quota, except for uploading a profile picture. Any attachments added as part of a graded assignment submission are uploaded into user files but are not counted against the user quota.

Supported Image Formats

Canvas will accept the following image files:

  • BMP - Windows Bitmap
  • GIF - Graphics Interchange Format
  • JPEG - Joint Photographic Experts Group
  • PNG - Portable Network Graphics
  • SVG - Scalable Vector Graphics
  • TIFF - Adobe Systems

Note: While TIFF files can be uploaded to file storage, they will not display within any area of Canvas.

Supported Video Formats

The Canvas media player supports H.264 video playback; for platforms that do not support H.264 directly, the Canvas media player uses a Flash plugin.

Canvas will accept the following video files for playback:

  • FLV – Flash Video
  • ASF – Windows Media
  • QT – Apple QuickTime
  • MOV – Apple QuickTime
  • MPG – Digital Video Format    
  • MPEG – Digital Video Format
  • AVI – Digital Video Format
  • M4V – Digital Video Format    
  • WMV – Windows Media    
  • MP4 – Digital Video Format    
  • 3GP – Multimedia Mobile Format


For tips about media compressions and playback quality, view Vimeo's Video Compression Guidelines.

Supported Audio Formats

Canvas will accept the following audio files for playback:

  • MP3 – Digital Audio Format    
  • WMA – Windows media audio
  • MWV – Windows Media