How can I add an external URL?

Unlike CourseWork, external URLs cannot be added along with files/readings in the Canvas Files tool. However, there are multiple ways to add external URLs to your Canvas site. Below are a few options.


You can add as many external URLs/websites to your modules. For more information on how to add links, see the Canvas guide for step-by-step instructions: How do I add an external URL as a module item?

Course Navigation Menu

Similar to CourseWork, you have the ability to add an external URL directly to your course toolbar. To do so, you will need to use the Redirect tool.

  1. Go into your course site and click on Settings in the toolbar.
  2. Click the Apps tab near the top of the page. All the available apps that can be added to your Canvas site will appear on this page.
  3. Click the Redirect Tool or you can search for it by typing in “Redirect Tool” in the search bar. Please see the image below for the Redirect Tool.
  4. Click Add App
  5. Fill in the fields for Name (as it will appear on your toolbar), URL Redirect, and select the checkboxes that apply
    • Make sure to select “Show in Course Navigation”
  6. Click Add App.

Then, wait a few seconds and reload your page. A new tab will appear in your course toolbar with the name you indicated when adding the app. 


You can create a page titled “External URLs” and paste all the appropriate URLs onto the page. To organize the URLs based on weeks or courses, you can give separate heading titles for each.

You can add links anywhere in the Rich Content Editor, such as on Assignments, Pages, Announcements, etc. Here, you can format the text to your liking and link directly to outside sources.