Importing Content From a Prior Course

Please See the Updated Article: Copy Courses or Course Content

While the content in this article is still accurate, Canvas released a tool that allows for built-in course and course content-copying between courses. The new route is faster and easier to use. You would only want to use this route if you needed to export your course to a different Canvas Instance (i.e. you are teaching at another university that also uses Canvas and you would like to use your AU Canvas course content at the other University). The Canvas Export tool would work great for that function.  Below are the instructions for the prior way to copy a course (the export-import route. To view the updated instructions see this article: Copy Courses or Course Content


Courses should be copied when you want to use or repurpose previously created content including course settings, syllabus, assignments, modules, files, pages, discussions, quizzes, and question banks, etc. To copy course content instructors will locate the course number of the course they wish to copy (course number is located in the website URL) and use that number with the Course Import Tool.


Step 1: Locate the OLD COURSE that you wish to copy content from (the course will either be on your Dashboard or in the "All Courses" Course Navigation Menu.

Step 2: Open up the course and copy the Course Number in the URL ( )

Step 3: In the NEW COURSE, navigate to course settings and choose Import Course Content

Step 4: Use the Drop Down Arrow and choose "Copy a Canvas Course"

Step 5: Paste/type in the course number from the OLD COURSE and left-click on it when it appears to select it. Press the blue Import button when ready.

Additional Options:
Select Specific Content: you can choose to import the entire course or select specific course content to import. If you choose to import specific content of the course relating to Quizzes and your Quizzes use Item Banks, make sure you import the corresponding Item Banks. Generally, it's easier to import all content and then delete unwanted content from the NEW COURSE. However, if you just have one or two assignments that you need to import into your NEW COURSE; then selecting specific course content to import may be more beneficial. 
Adjust Events and Due Dates: You can adjust, shift or remove the due dates for assigned course content (removing the dates can be helpful because the content is typically assigned in a prior term).  Alternatively, you can use the "Bulk Edit Assignment availability and due dates" feature to quickly edit assigned course material if you choose to leave the current due dates active. 

Step 6: After pressing the blue Import Button, wait for the import process to complete.

If there are any error messages with the import process, they will be listed on this page (typically import errors are website links being broken, quiz items missing external links, missing pages or files, etc). 

After you see the Complete message, Navigate to your course homepage, modules, etc. to see the imported content. 


  • If importing all content, Course Announcements from prior semester course will need to be deleted. 
  • Assignments with a manual grade posting policy and anonymous assignments retain the manual grade posting policy and their anonymous settings as part of the course import.

Questions, Need Additional Help?

If you have questions or need additional help, please submit a Raven Solutions Request


Article ID: 143313
Mon 5/16/22 10:57 AM
Thu 2/15/24 11:15 AM

Related Articles (1)

Instructors can copy course content such as assignments, modules, pages, and discussions from previous Canvas courses into existing courses (entire courses can also be copied). Importing a course more than once may have unintended consequences. If you import content into a new course, edit the content in the new course, and later import the previous content again, the imported content will override the existing content.