How students can use Google Drive for File Upload Assignments

If your class, department, or school has opted to allow students to attach a Google Document to File Upload Canvas Assignments, students will see an additional tab that allows them to select a file stored in their Google Drive.


It’s important to know three things:

  • Always use the same Google Account: When you first click on the “Google Drive (LTI.1.3)” tab, you will be asked to authorize a Google account. While students can use either your personal or Stanford-based Google account, you should be sure you always log into the account you initially authorized when you first clicked the “Google Drive (LTI 1.3)” tab. We strongly recommend using your Stanford-issued Google account ( to avoid certain issues; for instance, personal Gmail accounts set up as a child account cannot link to Canvas without parental involvement. While you can use Firefox with the Google Canvas integration, using Chrome profiles makes it easier to be logged into multiple Google accounts simultaneously, each in its own window. 
  • Instructors see a Microsoft export, not the Google Document: If you submit a Google Document, Spreadsheet, or Presentation, your instructor receives a docx, xlsx or pptx file export. Once submitted, subsequent changes you make to your Google file will not be visible to your instructor.* To make a change, you will need to resubmit your work, assuming that your instructor has allowed multiple submissions before the due date.
  • You can attach 20 files, each up to 10 MB limit: If a single Google Doc, Spreadsheet, or Presentation exceeds 10 MB, you will need to download it as a pdf or equivalent Microsoft file, and upload that  file to the Canvas assignment instead.

*If you don’t see File Upload or Google Drive (LTI 1.3) and instead see “Google Assignments”, your instructor has opted to give you a Google Assignment. The workflow is different but the idea is the same–once you submit, the instructor will see the version of your document at the time of submission.