Exporting a Canvas Course

Canvas components can be exported from your course offering to a file.  Exporting components allows you to reuse these components in another learning management system.  Please note that individual information about students such as grades, discussion posts, files submitted to the dropbox, etc. are not exported.  (DO NOT USE TO COPY MATERIALS TO ANOTHER COURSE.)

Components that can be exported: Calendar, Checklists, Competencies, Content, Course Files, Discussions, Drop box, External links, External links, FAQ, Glossary, Grades) except calculated grade items, Navbar templates (not navbars), News, Question library, Quizzes

Instructors can download a .zip file that contains their Canvas course site components. The .zip file will not contain student data, but may be useful for future reference.

This operation is most reliably performed on a high-speed internet connection (DSL, cable, or campus network) and on a computer that has a direct connection to the internet port (not wireless).

  1. From your Canvas Course Home page, Click [Edit Course]
  2. Under the heading Site Resources, Click [Import / Export / Copy Components]
  3. Select [Export Components] and choose [Include course files in the export package]
  4. Click [Start]
  5. On the Select Course Materials screen, Select All Components (you will want to export your entire course) this puts a checkmark in all course items
  6. Click [Continue]
  7. On the Confirm Components to Export screen, confirm that everything you want from your D2L course will be exported. You can make changes by Clicking a Modify link or the Back button. Once you have confirmed your choices,
  8. Click [Continue] to begin the export
  9. The Export Course Components page is displayed, showing the export progress. This may take 5-10 minutes depending on the size of your course.
  10. *** WAIT *** while the animated "Exporting..." symbol is displayed.  This may take 5-10 minutes depending on the size of your course
  11. When green checkmarks appear for all selected components, Click [Finish] to complete and finalize the export.  (If any component fails to export properly, a red X will appear beside it.)
  12. On the Export Summary screen, you should see a message "The course export was successful." Click on the link [Click here to download the export Zip package.] to download the file. 
  13. *** WAIT *** This may take 5-10 minutes depending on the size of your course.
  14. NOTE:  If you do not download the file from this screen, it is lost.  You cannot download it later.  You will need to start over

Save the .zip file to your local drive or portable storage device.  Depending on how your computer is set up, the Zip file will save in your download folder. To find the Download folder Go to the Windows button, Click on Computer, there should be a Download file folder on the left side.

Suggestion: 

Create a folder in your documents called Canvas Course Archive and move the Zip file to the new folder.

  1. Rename it the name of your course.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If your export does not complete as expected, please consider:

  • Are you on a high-speed internet connection? (Canvas, cable, or campus internet are recommended)
  • Is your computer hard-wired, not wireless? (wireless is NOT recommended)
  • Is your course very large? If so, try exporting it in smaller "chunks." For example, do one export selecting only Content and Course Files. Then do a second export of other components. If the export times out again, break down the export even further.

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