Canvas Gradebook Import Issue with Specific Column Names

Quick Links: | Problem | Solution | Root Cause |

If you're experiencing issues when importing your gradebook in Canvas after adding columns with certain names such as "Current Score," "Final Grade," or "Override Score," you may encounter false notifications that no grades have changed. This problem occurs when you export the gradebook, make modifications in Excel, and then import it back into Canvas. Fortunately, there is a straightforward solution to address this issue.


  1. After exporting your gradebook from Canvas, you open the file in Excel to make modifications or add additional columns.
  2. In Excel, you create a new column with one of the following names:
    • Current Score
    • Current Points
    • Current Grade
    • Final Score
    • Final Points
    • Final Grade
    • Override Score
    • Override Grade
  3. Upon completing the modifications in Excel, you save the changes and attempt to import the gradebook file back into Canvas.
  4. However, Canvas falsely indicates that none of the grades have changed, despite the modifications you made in Excel.


To resolve the issue of Canvas not recognizing the modified grades when importing the gradebook, follow these steps:

  1. Open the modified gradebook file in Excel.
  2. Locate the column with one of the problematic names (e.g., "Final Grade").
  3. Important: Modify the column header by removing the problematic word while ensuring the number in parenthesis (column ID) or any other identifier remains intact. For example, change the header from "Final Grade (X)" to "(X)".
  4. Save the modified gradebook file with the updated column header.

By removing the problematic word from the column header in Excel while preserving the unique identifier, you ensure that Canvas treats the column as a regular grade column. This enables Canvas to accurately identify the modifications made during the import process.

Repeat these steps for any other columns with the problematic names mentioned earlier.

Root Cause

Canvas utilizes specific algorithms to match the columns in the imported gradebook with the corresponding grades in the system. The mentioned column names ("Current Score," "Final Grade," etc.) are treated differently by Canvas, causing the false notification that no grades have changed. When you remove the problematic word from the column header in Excel, Canvas treats the column as a regular grade column, allowing it to properly recognize the modifications during the import process.

Remember to keep the unique identifier, such as the number in parenthesis (column ID), as it helps maintain the association between the grade column and the corresponding student records in Canvas.

If you encounter any further issues or have additional questions, feel free to reach out to Canvas support or the Learning Technologies team for further assistance.


Article ID: 113567
Fri 5/26/23 4:48 PM
Wed 1/31/24 2:44 PM