Canvas Site Download Options: Download an Entire Canvas Site


University of Michigan Canvas


Canvas site owners want to download course content for viewing outside of Canvas, or for saving a site for future upload.


There are two different options for downloading content:

  1. IMS Common Cartridge format (to import into an LMS)
    • This option is used for backup purposes.
    • It is basically a ZIP archive, filled with XML documents.
      • The files are in an industry-standard format that is hard to open up and read, but is designed to be easily imported back into Canvas, or into another institution's LMS like Blackboard or Sakai.

See this file for illustrated directions on the IMS Common Cartridge format procedure:

  1. ePub (to read or print) 
    • This option is used for obtaining a hard-copy of the course. 
      • Open the Canvas site
      • Click Settings page
      • Choose Export Course Content from the right hand nav bar
        • NOTE: Content export files cannot be downloaded after 30 days.
      • Follow the remaining steps
        • The file is saved in ePub format, designed to be read on a Kindle, iPad, or other e-reader.

See this file for illustrated directions on ePub download:

Additional Information

You can't export a Canvas site directly to PDF at this time. For PDF, your best bet is to export the ePub version using the instructions above. Then, open the ePub file in an ePub reader (like Apple's Books app on mac OS or Adobe Digital Editions on Windows), "Print" it, and choose to save the file to PDF instead of sending to the printer.


Article ID: 3046
Mon 7/6/20 10:23 AM
Tue 7/7/20 1:14 PM