Replacing broken links in Canvas

Sometimes importing content from a Canvas shell to another will cause links to break, so students won’t be able to access the linked site. This may be due to access and permissions, where the individual (instructor or student) doesn’t have permission to view the course that the content was copied from.

Use the link validation tool by going to the Canvas course shell > Settings in the navigation bar on the left > Validate links in content on the navigation bar on the right. The validater displays broken links and images by item type (assignment, discussion, page etc).

Broken content is identified as either a link or an image. Non-existent content means that the object is invalid and should be replaced. Unreachable objects usually mean that the content requires a login to access (no link fixing required), the link was incorrectly keyed, or the link has gone bad from the website where it was located. Below goes into detail about some categories of broken links and how to fix them.

Learn more about broken links in this PDF guide from RMIT University.

Screen of the "Validate Links in Content" button in Settings in Canvas to check for broken links

Categories of Broken Links

This is a direct link to a named page that does not exist in the course.


Go to Pages > View All Pages and see if there is an equivalent page. Update the link by copying the URL of the existing page and hyperlink it to where the link is housed currently in the shell. If no equivalent page with the correct contents exists, it is likely there will be an equivalent or a page of the same name in the course the content was copied from. It is good practice to update links each time the course is offered to prevent broken links from rolling over into future offerings.

This is a course link to unpublished content, which would give an access denied message to students.


Courses should have all content published. Follow the link and publish the page.