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How to Upload a Media File to Canvas

(Decorative) A representation of uploading files to Kaltura

Have a media file that you want to upload to Canvas? Read below.

Though there are several ways for media to automatically end up in "My Media" without you having to take any action (such as recording Zoom sessions to the cloud or leveraging the on-campus podcasting system), users are, of course, also able to manually upload files within Canvas.

Doing so in Canvas is pretty easy, and your files are safely stored in Kaltura in perpetuity. (Technically if your media isn't viewed for 4 years, it'll be deleted, though you'll be alerted before that occurs. You can read more about that in our article on our Kaltura data retention policy.) Once in "My Media," you can use them for a variety of purposes, as we discuss in various other tutorials.

What to Know About Uploading Files to Canvas

  • Storage limits: none. You can upload and store as much as you want.
  • File size limits: none. You can upload gigantic files, though it may take a while.
  • File type support: Kaltura supports a wide variety of media formats ("all common video, audio and image formats in all resolutions," according to Kaltura). The Kaltura player also supports 360 videos.
  • Quality levels: after a file is added to "My Media," Kaltura will generate multiple quality levels for that file behind the scenes (which they call "flavors"). Viewers can select a quality level manually in the player if they wish.
  • Machine captions: all media added to Kaltura after 13 June 2020 have machine captions added, and typically are completed about 30 minutes after the file is done processing. These captions are roughly 70% accurate, so it's worth considering editing them for accuracy.


A screenshot of the "Add New" menu, with "Media Upload" highlighted below it.

  1. Within Canvas, click on "My Media" in the left navigation.
  2. Click the "Add New" button near the top right of the screen, and select "Media Upload."
  3. On the subsequent page, either drag and drop the video you want to upload or click "Choose a file to upload" and locate the file you want to upload.
  4. Enter or change the title of your video during or after your file upload. "Description" and "tags" are optional. On this upload page, you can also elect to publish the video immediately to one of your courses. By default, however, your video will be private to you.
  5. Click "Save."

Your video will now be in "My Media." It may take some to process before it's ready to be viewed or until it's visible in a media gallery.

Have additional questions about video? Contact Multimedia Services at