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Brightspace Portfolio Upload Error

Why Am I Getting An “Oops, Your File Could Not Be Uploaded” Error Message In D2L?

If you are getting the “Oops, your file could not be uploaded” error message in Brightspace when trying to upload a file in Turn-In, there could be a few reasons why.

When naming a file you plan to upload to your course Dropbox, Discussions, Course Files or Content area, there are certain characters that should never be used. The presence of just one of these characters in your file name causes errors and unexpected problems in Brightspace!

Fortunately, most Microsoft Windows computers do not even allow filenames containing any of these "illegal characters” (shown below) to be created or saved in the first place:

\     /     :     *     ?     "     <     >     |     ~     #     %     &     +     {     } - 

However, most Apple/Mac computers ALLOW filenames containing these characters! Brightspace may allow "illegally" named files to be uploaded, but trying to access that file will throw an error.  Examples include, but are not limited to: 

  • Any file whose name contains illegal characters, attached to a Discussion, will produce an error whenever that particular topic/thread is accessed.
  • Any file whose name contains illegal characters, uploaded to a Dropbox, will produce an error whenever that file is accessed. 

Your file does not upload when:

  • The file name contains spaces or special characters. Use only letters, numbers, and periods. Rename your file so that there are no spaces or special characters. 

Example File Name: hNelsonEssay2.pdf

After renaming the file, then try to upload it again.

  • The filename contains illegal characters.

\ / : * ? “ < > | ~ # % & ' { } -

Rename your file and try uploading again if it contains these characters.

  • The file name is too long. We recommend that you keep the file name under 45 characters.
  • Avoid using two consecutive periods ( .. ) in a file name.
  • You’ve attempted to attach the file before the file has been uploaded completely. Make sure the green bar has completely loaded to 100% before you finish.
  • This can also happen when you are uploading a large file or have a slow connection. Audio, video, and media-rich PowerPoint presentations can result in large files.

Upload the Correct File:

When you save a file in Microsoft Office, for example, a file called assignment.docx, you may find two files saved on your computer: assignment.docx and ~$assignment.docx.

This is because Office creates both a temporary file and the document file, where the temporary file begins with ~$. Ensure you are uploading the actual document instead of the temporary file, as the temporary file will not open and contains no data.

File Name Technical Guidelines

  • Use letters and numbers, combined with hyphens or underscores, to construct your names.
  • Avoid spaces.
  • Avoid punctuation or any special characters other than hyphens and underscores in your names. Symbols like &, !, #, *, $, @, /, -, and so forth have special meanings in computer operations.
  • Use ONLY a letter or a number as the first character and the last character of your name. [Why? To be safe. If it doesn't look like a filename at first glance, it might not get a second glance!]
  • Don't make your name ridiculously long! A creative person can be descriptive in 12-18 characters or less.
  • IMPORTANT: There is a 255 (maximum) character limit for filenames. This total includes the total number of characters in the file's path, plus all the characters in the file's name.* 

    This limit applies to:

    • Dropbox
    • Discussions
    • Course Files
    • Content 

*For example: C:\Student's Name\My Documents\filetobesubmitted.docx = 53 characters total

Other Naming Tips

  • Make your names easy for humans to read by using initial caps as word boundaries since you are avoiding spaces.
  • Consider using your initials in the name of a file that will be submitted to an Assignment folder.
  • If you use a date in your name, the standard YYYY.MM.DD date format is a popular convention.
  • Never use "final" as part of a name, because you never know!

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