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Manage Orphaned Content

Orphaned content includes files and folders that have been deleted as a result of deleting a user, course, or organization. Content is considered orphaned when:

  • The user who owns the content no longer has a valid system account. Orphaned content does not include content owned by disabled or inactive users.
  • A course or organization has been removed from the system but the content related to that course or organization still appears in the Content Collection.

When a user is deleted, the files and folders in the user's home folder are not deleted. When a course or organization is deleted, the files and folders in the course or organization home folder might not be deleted, depending on what option was chosen when deleting that course or organization. Files and folders belonging to a deleted user, course, or organization are marked as orphaned content, even though another course or organization can maintain active links to those files and folders.

Any course folder belonging to a deleted course or organization is marked as orphaned content even though another course or organization can maintain active links to the files in that folder.


Discover orphaned content

You can run the Content Orphaned by Location report to discover orphaned content for courses and organizations.

If your institution licenses content management, you can also discover orphaned content for users by running the Content Orphaned by Owner report.

The orphaned content reports indicate whether another course maintains active links to the orphaned file or folder, and you can sort the folders based on whether they have content that is linked in another course. This helps you differentiate between obsolete content that you can safely remove and content that you need to move to a permanent location to ensure the integrity of existing courses.

You can also use the 360° View option to see whether the course folder has files linked to another course.

After you review the orphaned content, you can move or permanently delete orphaned files and folders using the functions on the report page.


Reuse orphaned content

For courses and organizations, if you want to reuse a course ID or organization ID, you must delete the course or organization home folder corresponding to that course ID or organization ID. After this deletion is complete, you can reuse the course ID or organization ID.

As a best practice, if you need to reuse any previously created files, move them instead of deleting them. If the files are specific to that instance of the course or organization and will not be reused, delete the files. This is a deletion of the file attachments in a course or organization only. If the course or organization is exported or archived, this deletion has no effect on that package.


Update the lists of orphaned content

The most up-to-date results for these reports are available only after the AdminSearchTimerTask system task runs. This task checks for newly orphaned content and updates references of existing orphaned content. By default, the task runs every 24 hours. You can either wait for the AdminSearchTimerTask to run or use the Recheck Content function to run the task immediately.


Change the number of results returned

The number of results returned on the Content Orphaned by Owner and Content Orphaned by Location reports depends on the Maximum Responses to a Search parameter. For steps to change the number of results returned, see Configuring Performance Settings.


Find and manage content orphaned by location

If your institution has access to content management features, on the Administrator Panel, in the Content Management section, select Administrator Search. On the Administrator Search page, select Content Orphaned by Location.

If your institution does not have access to content management features, on the Administrator Panel, in the Content Management section, select Content Orphaned by Location

This table describes the available options.

Option Description
Export Use this option to download the selected files and folders as a ZIP package.
Move Use this option to move the selected files and folders to a new location in the Content Collection or Course Files.
Delete Use this option to delete the content from the system.
Change Owner Use this option to change the owner of the content and move it to a new location.

Find and manage content orphaned by users

This report is available only if your institution has access to content management features.

On the Administrator Panel, in the Content Management section, select Administrator Search. On the Administrator Search page, select Content Orphaned by Owner. This table describes the available options.

Option Description
Export Use this option to download the selected files and folders as a ZIP package.
Move Use this option to move the selected files and folders to a new location in the Content Collection.
Delete Use this option to delete the content from the system.
Change Owner Use this option to change the owner of the content and move it to a new location.

Delete course files with a course delete

When you delete a course, you can choose what to do with the files. If you delete the files along with the course, you can reuse the course ID.

  • Delete course, including all of its files.
  • Delete course and maintain course files as orphaned content.