Canvas - Known Issue - Students Can't View Embedded Images [UW-Madison]

Users are reporting sporadic issues viewing image files that are stored in Canvas and embedded in pages or assignments.


There are likely multiple reasons why students and other Canvas users may experience problems viewing course images.

This issue has been reported to sporadically affect:

  • Safari users
  • Chrome users running outdated versions of the browser
  • Users in courses with large embedded images

There is also a replicable issue in which students are unable to view particular course images that are viewable for instructors. At this time, we have not determined what types of images are susceptible to this issue.

Additionally, Safari 13.1 contains an update that may cause issues with downloading files and displaying images in Canvas.


  • Clean up your browser
  • Disable ad blocking software
    • Most ad blockers can be disabled by clicking on the program's icon and selecting the disable option
    • For example, in AdBlock Plus
  • In Safari, Disable cross-site protection
    • If using Safari 13.1 or later, follow these steps in reverse to disable cross-site protection.
  • Compress the image
    • If multiple users are reporting problems with the same image, instructors can try compressing the image (for large file sizes) or re-uploading the image.
  • For instructors: host backup image on Box
    • To prevent students from having this issue, consider uploading an image to UW-Madison Box and adding a hyperlink under the image on Canvas.
      1. Upload Photo to Box
      2. Create a shared link
      3. Add link to Canvas
        • Use a descriptive title for your link, i.e. "photo also available here"
        • Students can click the link to open the image in a new tab.
    • Note: Your Box link will remain valid as long as you do not relocate the file. Therefore, if you import your course content in future semesters, the Box link will still work.
  • For Courses Imported from Previous Semesters: Remove and re-upload image
    • If you imported course content from a previous semester, it's possible you imported links to the images in the original course.
      • Students will be denied access to the image if this is the case.
    • To remedy this:
      1. Navigate to your old course in Canvas
      2. Select Files from the menu on the left-hand side of the course homepage.
      3. Download the file that your students are unable to view.
      4. Navigate to your current Canvas course
      5. Select Files, and upload the file you have just downloaded.
      6. Return to the assignment and re-link the image, linking it to the file you just uploaded.

Keywordsimages pictures jpg jpeg png not loading can't see cannot viewing assignment quiz question bank browser safari chrome cross site protection files download display quizzes   Doc ID86127
OwnerLearn@UW MadisonGroupLearn@UW-Madison
Created2018-09-28 14:42:47Updated2023-02-08 13:29:13
SitesDoIT Help Desk, Learn@UW-Madison
Feedback  2   0