9.1. Adding Files to a Course

To use images and other files in your course, you upload the files to your course by using Studio, and then you add links to the files in the course content. You can also use uploaded files in the bulk email messages that course team members can send from the LMS by selecting Instructor to access the instructor dashboard.

9.1.1. File Size

The maximum size for an uploaded file is 50 MB.

We recommend that you use standard compression tools to reduce PDF and image file sizes before you add the files to your course. If you have to use files that are larger than 50 MB after compression, contact your edX partner manager.

If you have video or audio files or large data sets to share with your students, use YouTube or another hosting service to host these files. Do not use the Files & Uploads page to add these files to your course. If you are an edX partner and you need to store large data sets, contact your edX partner manager.

9.1.2. Upload a File

You upload files on the Files & Uploads page in Studio.


Ensure that you obtain copyright permissions for files and images you upload to your course, and that you cite sources appropriately.

To upload a file, follow these steps.

  1. Create or locate the file on your computer.


    When URLs are generated for uploaded files, the file name becomes part of the URL and is visible to students when they access the file. Avoid using file names that contain information about the file contents that you do not want to share, such as “Answerkey.pdf”.

  2. From the Content menu, select Files & Uploads.

  3. Select Upload New File.

  4. Select Choose File, and then select the file or files that you want to upload.


    If you upload a file that has the same name as an existing course file, the original file is overwritten without warning.

  5. To upload additional files, select Load Another File and repeat the previous step.

    When you are finished, select the X to close the window.

The Files & Uploads page refreshes to show the uploaded file.

9.1.3. Use File URLs to Reference Uploaded Files

To use an uploaded file for your course, you add a reference to one of the URLs that is assigned to it. On the Files & Uploads page, the URL column lists a Studio URL and a Web URL for each file you upload.

  • To add a file or image to a component, a course update, or a course handout, you use the Studio URL.

    For more information, see Add an Image to an HTML Component.

  • To provide a link to the file or image from outside the course, including in the body of an email message that you send to course participants from the LMS, you use the Web URL. Be sure that you do not use the /static/ URL in an email message.

    For more information about sending email messages, see Send an Email Message to Course Participants.


You can lock a file if you do not want to allow access to that file from outside your course. When you lock a file, the web URL only allows file access to learners who are signed in and enrolled in your course. For more information, see Lock a File.

To copy a URL from the file list, select the URL in the URL column and copy it.

9.1.4. Sort Uploaded Files

On the Files & Uploads page, you can sort your files by any column that has a blue column header. For example, to sort the list by name, select the Name column header.

Change the sort order by selecting a sortable column header. The direction of the arrow in the column header indicates whether the order is ascending or descending. Each time you select the column header, the sort order reverses.

The current sort order is shown at the top of the file list, and the active sort column header is underlined.

9.1.5. Filter Listed Files

You can filter the list of files by type so that only a selected type of file is visible. The list remains in the current sort order.

Type File Types Include
Images .gif, .ico, .jpg, .jpeg, .png, .tif, or .tiff
Documents .pdf, .txt, Microsoft Office and Open Office documents, presentations, or spreadsheets
Other Files not included in the other types, such as .html, .js, or .sjson

To filter the list of files by type, follow these steps.

  1. On the Files & Uploads page, select the Type column header.
  2. In the drop-down list, select the type of file that you want to view.

The list refreshes to show only the type of file you selected, and the column header changes to reflect the type of file that you have filtered by.

To reset the list and view files of all types, select Show All in the Type drop-down list.

9.1.6. Find a File

The Files & Uploads page lists up to 50 files. If your course has more than 50 files, additional files are listed on other pages.

The range of the files listed on the page, and the total number of files, are shown at the top of the page.

You can navigate through the pages in these ways.

  • Select the < or > control to navigate to the previous or next page.

  • Specify the number of the page you want to view.

    Page navigation controls on the Files & Uploads page.

9.1.7. Lock a File

By default, anyone can access a file you upload if they know the web URL, even if they are not enrolled in your course. You can prevent outside access to a file by locking the file. When you lock a file, the web URL only allows learners who are enrolled in your course and signed in to edX to access the file.

To lock a file, select the lock icon in the right column.

9.1.8. Delete a File

To delete a file, select the X in the row for file. You are prompted to confirm the deletion.


After you delete a file, links to the file from course content will be broken. You must update links to files that you need to delete.