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Canvas - What types of files are supported in Canvas?

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

For instructors uploading media files into courses, Canvas converts video and audio files up to 500 MB through the media tool. 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.

Canvas files have quota limits set for each user area: user (personal) files, course 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. For students, any attachments added as part of a graded assignment submission are uploaded into user files but are not counted against the user quota. For instructors, all files uploaded into a course count against the course quota.

When you upload a file, Canvas will convert the file into a format supported by your browser. Media playback is determined according to the 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.

Note: If you upload a file that is not supported by the Canvas media player, you can have users download the file to view outside of Canvas.

Supported Image Formats

Canvas will accept the following image files:


  • jpeg - Joint Photographic Experts Group
gif - Graphics Interchange Format
  • bmp - Windows Bitmap
  • tiff - Adobe Systems
  • png - Portable Network Graphics

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
  • wmv – Windows Media

For more information, please visit: 

Canvas Answers

Canvas Student Guide

If you have any questions, come by the Help Desk at Hardman & Jacobs Undergraduate Learning Center Room 105, call 646-1840, or email us at

Keywords:canvas types files supported   Doc ID:71232
Owner:John B.Group:New Mexico State University
Created:2017-03-02 09:15 MSTUpdated:2017-03-02 09:15 MST
Sites:New Mexico State University
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