Managing Canvas Media Files

Managing Canvas Media Files

Media files can easily consume the storage limit for a course site in Canvas. Here are UO Online's recommendations for managing media files in your course and ultimately your storage limit in Canvas. If you have uploaded large media files to the Files tool in Canvas, read these recommendations to change how you are sharing media files with students.  

Media File Storage Options

Use Panopto - Panopto is a media storage and streaming option that is integrated with Canvas. 

  • Media files added to Panopto do not count against the file storage limit in Canvas. Video lectures created using Panopto or any other video production tool can be uploaded to Panopto.
  • Audio files can be uploaded to Panopto.Panopto can be used to record both audio and video files, which can then be uploaded to Panopto.

View Panopto resources

Embed or link to audio or video files, do not upload them to Canvas.

PowerPoint files with narration can be handled a couple ways:

  • Export the file from PowerPoint to an mp4 file if it is recorded in PowerPoint and upload to Panopto.
  • If QuickTime (QT) is used to record a voice-over PowerPoint using QT's screen capture tool, make sure this is an mp4 file and upload it to Panopto.
    • Note: it is critical that you test the QT export to make sure the audio is working in Panopto. QT has several versions and the export must be done correctly for the audio to be captured. Panopto voice-over PowerPoint recordings (see below) is an alternate option.
  • Uploading the presentation with embedded audio usually fails as the files are huge and surpass the 500 mb limit for file uploads to Canvas. Panopto voice-over PowerPoint recordings (see below) is an alternate option.

Panopto voice-over PowerPoint recordings will create a great voice-over PowerPoint video 

Zoom recordings can be added to a Canvas course, if need be.  

  • If the meeting was scheduled in Canvas and the recording was saved to the Cloud, students can access the recording in the Zoom Meetings tool in Canvas. If the recording was saved to your computer, upload the mp4 file to Panopto and then link it or embed it in a Canvas page, announcement, or module.
  • Here are instructions on Adding Recorded Zoom Sessions to Panopto and Canvas

Large image files can also take up a lot of file storage space. 

  • In Canvas, the maximum width of a page is approximately 760 pixels. Images on the web will look the same whether they are medium resolution or high resolution. Upload images that are no wider than 760 pixels (this eliminates the need to scroll) and set the resolution to medium, no higher. This will accomplish several things:
    • it will make the file size much smaller
    • the file will display well
    • the image will load much more quickly than a large resolution image

Coaching students to do the same with images they submit is a good idea as their submissions go against your course storage limit. For more information, here is a two part video series from New Mexico State that explains and demonstrates working with images and Canvas. 

Editing and Adding Photos to Canvas, 1 of 2 [4:20]

Editing and Adding Photos to Canvas, 2 of 2 [8:03]


After implementing the solutions that work for you, and once the media files are being shared with students by linking to Panopto or embedding the video/audio files, remember to delete the files that were originally uploaded to Canvas Files. This will increase file storage capacity.

For further assistance, UO Online & Canvas Support is available.

  • In-Person: Room 68 PLC
  • By phone: (541) 346-1942
  • By email:
  • Chat with us at
  • Submit a Service Portal Ticket by clicking the Help button at the bottom of the Global Navigation Menu in Canvas