How to Fix ‘File Storage Quota Exceeded’ on Canvas?

With digital education is on the rise, Canvas has become an outstanding tool for institutions and students. It is a web-based learning management system widely used by educators, institutions, and students. Educators can create and manage online learning materials; students can engage in these learning materials, submit assignments and receive feedback. The software has various customizable management tools, internal communication tools, and user and course analytics. Institutions mostly provide canvas accounts to their students, making it easy for them to keep track of the course, access learning material, submit assignments, and discuss any problem in the chat room.

This web-based software can also be used on mobile devices using the Canvas Teacher, canvas parent, or canvas student app.

How to fix the file storage quota that exceeded Canvas?

Sometimes when uploading files on your canvas account, you might get a message saying, “File storage quota exceeded.” This error comes when your account’s storage space is full. 

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Here are some steps that you can follow to overcome the error.

Step 1: Log in to your account and click on the profile picture.

Step 2: Click on the ‘Files’ option. 

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As you click, a new window will open. It will have all your uploaded files. There is a ‘conversation attachments’ folder. This folder often gets filed up, causing the issue.

At the extreme left at the bottom, you can see that your account’s file storage capacity is full. 

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Step 3: You can check the folder for large files that might be occupying the space. You can delete this file by clicking on the 3 dots at the right of the file. Select the delete option to delete the file and free up the space. If the file is not backed up, download it before deleting it.

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Now, you can smoothly upload files as the storage capacity has been restored.

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Understanding File Storage Quotas in Canvas

All canvas accounts (course, user, or group) come with a specific storage space, usually defined as the Canvas file quota. 

Default Quotas

Canvas Storage Quotas
 Course QuotaUser QuotaGroup Quota
Default storage500 MB50 MB*50 MB*
The quota can be changed individuallyYesNoYes

*Free-For-Teacher accounts have user and group quotas of 100 MB.

Canvas File Upload Limits
Canvas Files5 GB max file size*
Bulk File Uploads50 files at one time
Media (Audio/Video) Files500 MB
Course Import/ExportSmaller than course quota

*File size upload limit for file uploads in Canvas cannot be modified.

Instructor Quotas

Counts against quotaCourseUserGroup
Discussion attachment (not graded)YesYesYes
Profile pictureNoYesNo
Course importYesNoNo
User filesNoYesNo
Group filesNoNoYes
Course filesYesNoNo

*Files do not count against user quotas but still display in User files.

Course quotas

Some essentials about course quota include the following:

Bulk upload: to upload 50+ files, the user must zip it first and upload it to Canvas.

Course import: The course export package’s file size must be small compared to the course quota in course statistics. The uploader can contact the Canvas administrator if the storage space is insufficient.

Discussions: the attachments added to the discussion count, whereas attachments posted in replies do not count against the course quota.

Media files: using the media tool, canvas converts audio and video files up to 500 MB. The files larger than this can be hosted via external sources like YouTube. These files can be embedded using the Rich Content editor

Rich Content Editor: The newly uploaded or recorded media via the upload/record media link does not affect the canvas file quota. If the files are uploaded via any other method, they count towards the quota.

User quotas

Discussions: In discussions, attachments uploaded to graded discussion replies do not count against the user quota. In the case of ungraded discussions, it counts against user quotas. 

Profile picture: It counts against an instructor’s file quota. If the storage space is insufficient for personal files, the instructor won’t be able to upload the profile picture.

Submission comments: it does not count against the user’s file quota.

Rich content editor: The newly uploaded or recorded media via the upload/record media link has no effect on the canvas file quota. If the files are uploaded via any other method, they count towards the quota. 

Student Quotas

Counts against quotaUserGroup
Assignment submissionNo*No*
Discussion attachment (graded)No*No*
Discussion attachment (not graded)YesYes
Profile pictureYesNo
User filesYesNo
Group filesNoNo

*Files do not count against user quotas but still display in User files.

User Quotas

Discussions: Attachments uploaded to discussion replies are not counted against a student’s user quota but are copied to the user files. Also, any attachment added as a part of the reply is copied to the student’s user files. The user cannot delete the attachments added to the graded discussion. 

Profile Picture: It counts against the student’s file quota. If the storage space is not enough for personal files, the student won’t be able to upload the profile picture.

Quizzes: Files and images uploaded via Rich Content Editor count toward user quota. Newly recorded or uploaded media via the Upload/Record Media link does not affect Canvas file quotas.

Rich Content Editor: The newly uploaded or recorded media via the upload/record media link does not affect the canvas file quota. If the files are uploaded via any other method, they count towards the quota.

Submissions by students: the submissions attached as a part of grade assignment submission are copied to the student’s user files. These are not counted against the user quota.

Group Quotas

Rich Content Editor: The newly uploaded or recorded media via the upload/record media link does not affect the canvas file quota. If the files are uploaded via any other method, like the upload files link, they count towards the group quota. 

Submission Attachments: Files submitted in graded group discussions or assignment submissions do not count against the student’s file quota. They are copied to students’ group files. All the group files that are published can be viewed by all members.

Bonus tip: More common issues and fixes of canvas 

Problem 1: Issues when uploading files on Canvas

Are you facing difficulties in uploading files to Canvas? If yes, then you can check out some solutions here.


You can try clearing the browser cache and cookies and then upload the files. Over a while, your browsing history data gets stored on the hard drive. This can create trouble. When you clear the cache, the browser is made to make use of the latest data available from the canvas system, thereby resolving the issue.

If this does not work, you can try a different browser or turn off the browser plug-ins which sometimes hinder the software functions.

Problem 2: Not getting notifications on Email


This problem is very common, but its solution is very simple. You might have forgotten to confirm the email address during the signup process. You can confirm the email address easily by clicking Accounts and then the settings option at the top left. 

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Now, click on ‘click to resend the email.’ You will receive a verification mail in your Email as soon as you click. You can click on it and confirm the email address.

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Problem 3: Issue in downloading .csv files

If you use Canvas on the Safari browser, you might face this issue. A small change in the privacy settings will resolve the issue. By default, the file format after download is .txt. To change the settings, click on Privacy, then website tracking, and uncheck the box ‘Prevent cross-site tracking.’

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Canvas is one of the best learning management systems. However, you might face some issues while using the software. There are simple solutions to these issues. If you had been facing issues with file uploading and getting the error “user storage quota exceeded’, this article would have solved the problem.


Ques 1: What do you mean by file storage quota?

Ans: In Canvas, every user gets storage in their account. The file storage quota comprises the files uploaded in the Files area and assignments submitted. Canvas provides a storage capacity of 1.5 GB for every Canvas course.

Ques: How can I add to the storage space of my canvas account?

Ans: Following simple tips, you can free up some storage space. If you are uploading videos directly to Canvas, upload them via Canvas Studio. Before uploading pdfs, you can optimize them to save space. If you often submit large presentations, it might eat up the storage space. Instead of uploading it to your canvas, you can upload it to Google Drive and share the link.

Ques: How to check the remaining storage space in my course?

Ans: You can check the Files section of the course to know about the remaining storage space. You can do it easily by clicking the ‘Files’ option in the navigation menu. The storage is displayed at the bottom.


John Doe

John Doe

I am John, a tech enthusiast with a knack for breaking down complex camera, audio, and video technology. My expertise extends to social media and electronic gadgets, and I thrive on making the latest tech trends understandable and exciting for everyone. Sharing my knowledge through engaging content, I aim to connect with fellow tech lovers and novices alike, bringing the fascinating world of technology to life.

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