Issue: Canvas - Images not displaying


  • Students are not able to view images in Canvas content


  • Oregon State University
  • Canvas


The following are just a few of the many issues that can cause images to not display in a webpage, including in Canvas content, such as a quiz.

  • Browser extensions
  • An out-of-date or unsupported browser
  • An out-of-date computer
  • Image files not embedded correctly in Canvas (see below for more information)

Of these common issues, only the last issue is something an instructor of a course can address. The remaining issues are technical issues best handled by the OSU Service Desk.


To fully address the possible technical issues that can prevent students from seeing images, instructors should provide an accessible alternative to the information-bearing images in their course content. This usually means providing a text-based alternative e.g., a long description of the image and/or a data table of a graph.

For Canvas quizzes which contain images required to answer questions, here are a couple of recommendations to avoid image issues:

  • Embed an image in the quiz instructions in the same manner that images were embedded within the quiz questions. This allows a student to verify whether they can view images prior to starting the quiz.
  • Provide a link to a PDF file which contains all of the images used in the exam and their associated question numbers. This option cannot be used if faculty are using question groups to shuffle questions, unless some other means is provided for students to associate an image within the PDF with a given question.

Students can also disable browser extensions or use an incognito or private browser window with extensions disabled.

Image files not linked/embedded correctly in Canvas

Faculty have much greater access to content in Canvas which can result in images appearing correctly for the faculty member, but those same images not appearing to students.Two of the most common cases where an instructor has access to the image files, but students do not are:

  • The image files exist in a separate course which the instructor can access
  • The image files are in an unpublished or locked folder within Canvas Files

Faculty should ensure that the images used in the course are uploaded into Files for the course in which the images will be used.

We recommend that faculty disable the Files course menu instead of unpublishing or locking folders within Files. Disabling the Files course menu allows faculty to share files (and images) by linking/embedding that content, and controlling access to the file/image by controlling access to the content.

Faculty can use the Canvas Link Validator to check whether images in the course/quiz are available to students in the current course, or are linked from another site that is not available to students.


Still have questions?

If you questions about this topic or related topics, please use one of the following methods to contact the Canvas team at Oregon State:

  • Add a comment/question to this article using the tools below the article
  • Send an email to


Article ID: 118609
Sat 10/17/20 11:18 AM
Wed 11/23/22 2:57 PM