Re-Adding a File? Re-Add the Page Link, Too!

When we delete a file from the “Files” area of our site, which we often do while course-building or revising, any link to that file that exists on a Page breaks. Users see the following when they click on the broken link:

Users see "Page Not Found" when they click on a Page link for a file that was deleted.

It’s common for instructors to revise course documents many times before the start of a semester. Items like the course syllabus and other information that’s subject to change tend to undergo a thorough drafting process before the first day of class, and often instructors will revise syllabi during the semester for adjustments to the course. If an instructor uploads early versions of such documents to Canvas and adds Page links for these files, it is important that they remember to re-upload the revised document to Canvas and then replace the broken file link with a new file link. Canvas will not connect the new file to the old file link.

We recommend following this procedure when replacing old files with revised ones in Canvas:

1. Delete the old file from the Canvas site:

How do I delete a file as an instructor?

2. Upload the revised file to the “Files” area of you Canvas site:

How do I add a file to my course?

3. Go to each Page that has a link to the old file and open in the editing view:

How do I edit a page in my course?

4. Delete the broken file link.

5. Add a link to the revised file and save the changes:

How do I insert links to course content into the Rich Content Editor using the Content Selector?

*The same steps apply to anywhere in Canvas with the Rich Content Editor. The only difference will be where you go for step 3 (“Home,” “Syllabus,” etc.).

How to Stay Organized with File Links

It’s easy to see how uncovering every broken file link can become unmanageable if we aren’t sure where we’ve added these links. To make file-link deletion easier, as well as to have a quick reference for where you’ve put file links in your site, we recommend using a file-link log. You can use this record to go back and delete the broken links if you ever delete a file. We recommend using as spreadsheet (please see example below), but any method you use to keep this information organized should do the trick.

Please click screenshot to enlarge.

Example file-link log using a Google Spreadsheet


Please contact Courseware Support at if you have any questions.

Last Updated: 1 Sep 2015

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