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Canvas Data Retention Policy

Overview

Content created in the UW Canvas LMS is retained for five years after the end of the academic year (considered to be June) in which the course section was offered. When the retention period passes, a Canvas course is flagged for deletion. Flagged courses will be deleted from the vendor’s servers within 6 months.

For example, a course offered in autumn quarter 2020 will be flagged for deletion in June of 2026, and deleted by the end of 2026.

The data retention policy is separate from the Canvas Access Policy, which specifies which accounts can sign in to Canvas and Panopto, and when separating individuals lose access.

Examples of items that can be created and/or stored

Author (Teachers & Course Designers)
Course content (files, html, video, quizzes), student grades, communications with students, profile information
Participant (Students or Guests)
Quiz responses, discussion posts, uploaded files, profile information (e.g. avatars, email addresses)

What happens if an item is manually deleted by a user?

When an item is manually deleted it will no longer be visible to any user, but remains on Canvas servers until automatic deletion rules apply.

Does anything ever get automatically deleted?

A course and all of its content and associated data will be flagged for deletion five years after the end of the academic year (June of each year). These flagged items will be deleted from the vendors servers within six months.

Any courses that have not been manually deleted by an author will remain until automatic deletion rules apply.

Items that participants (students) have contributed to a course, such as discussion posts and uploaded files, will be deleted when the course is deleted.

What happens to a user’s data after they have left the university?

A user’s profile data will be deleted after the following conditions are met:
* User is no longer associated with any courses in the UW Canvas LMS
* User is no longer an active faculty, student, or staff