How do I copy a course in Canvas?

Tags import canvas

Quick Links: | Prerequisites | Instructions | Troubleshooting |

Importing existing content into a new Canvas course allows instructors to efficiently reuse and adapt course materials. This guide outlines the process for using the "Import Existing Content" function in Canvas, highlighting its benefits for selective content importation, due date adjustments, and maintaining a clean course file area. This process is particularly useful for courses transitioning from Blackboard to Canvas or for instructors looking to streamline their course setup for a new term.

  • If you copying from a migrated Blackboard course and want to take it a little slower, see  "Copying Pieces of your Migrated Blackboard course."  
  • If you are unsure and have questions, please come into the TLP Zoom room  and ask an Instructional Technology Consultant for help if you have course design questions.


  • A course in Canvas to import content into.
  • A course in Canvas with content you want to copy.
  • Teacher or Designer access in both courses.

Step-by-Step Instructions

You can copy a previous course in Canvas by using the Import Existing Content tool from the course settings. Here's how to copy a Canvas course:

  1. Access Canvas from the Chico State portal. From your Global Navigation menu, select Courses, then locate your course for the upcoming term.
  2. From your course menu, select Home.
  3. In the right-sidebar, select Import Course Content.
  4. On the next page, choose Copy a Canvas Course from the drop-down menu.
  5. In the Search for a Course box, type the name of the course with the content you want to copy and select it from the list.
  6. Under Content, opt for All Content or Select specific content. Choosing the latter allows you to omit unused files, leading to a cleaner Files area and improved accessibility scores.
  7. From Options, select Adjust Events and Due Dates.
  8. Select Import to proceed to the content selection phase
    canvas import content
  9. From the Current Jobs area, choose Select Content and pick the items you want to import.
    Select content window with everything selected EXCEPT Files

Note: As a general guideline, TLP recommends selecting everything EXCEPT Files and Announcements. Leaving these behind helps keep the junk behind and results in more accurate Ally scores. You can still copy items one-by-one if they're needed later on.

  1. Reset your Home page if needed. If you've imported a custom Home page, set it as the Front Page by following the instructions here. For a video tutorial, visit "Setting Your Canvas Home Page." If using the default Home page, customize it with your personal information.


  • Content Organization: Should your course content not appear as expected, review the selection process to ensure all desired content was included. Adjustments to the course structure may be required post-import. Importing the same content from the same origin course multiple times won't result in the duplication of content.

Still need help? Reach out to Canvas support or the Technology & Learning Program for further assistance.

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Article ID: 113444
Mon 12/5/22 5:01 PM
Mon 3/11/24 2:45 PM

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