The “undelete” trick in Canvas

Did you accidentally delete something in Canvas? Say, a quiz or an assignment? If so, you will want to know about Canvas’s awesome “undelete” option. You won’t see a button for this on your screen, and it’s not mentioned in any of the Canvas guides. I discovered this magical trick in the Canvas community forums when (Yes, you guessed it!) I was trying to help a faculty member recover a quiz that was deleted as students were taking it. Here is what to do:

  • From within your Canvas course, go to the url area of your browser and look for the course ID number. This is a six digit number that comes after the “https://canvas.emerson.edu/courses/”
  • Once you’ve located the course ID number, remove everything in the address following it except for the backslash (/) and type in the word “undelete.” The new url will look something like this:
    https://canvas.emerson.edu/courses/861221/undelete
  • Press Return.
  • A series of recently deleted items will appear and give you the option to restore!

When we used this trick to recover the deleted quiz, not only did the quiz reappear, but all of the students’ submissions and their corresponding scores reappeared as well. Amazing!

According to the Canvas community forums, there are a few caveats to using this command:

  • It is not fully supported and does not work 100% of the time.
  • Only the last 25 items will show up on the restore list.
  • If you restore a quiz that had student submissions, you need to make sure to restore the assignment as well, or else the submissions will not be restored.
  • If something is not showing up on the restore page, it’s best to submit a ticket as there are additional things the technical support team can do. Contact itg@emerson.edu or click on the “Help” link in the upper right hand corner when you’re in Canvas.

Thank you, Canvas for being awesome!