Solving common issues with Coursera Labs

Each Coursera Lab experience will vary based on the course content needs and configuration. As a first step, please make sure to reference any resources that your instructor may have created for your specific course needs.

Note: If your Lab environment includes a Lab Help link in the top right hand corner, this article will help you troubleshoot issues with Coursera Labs. If you don't see that link, check the bottom of this article for more information.

If your course uses Jupyter Notebook assignments (you'll see the label Notebook in your course outline), you can follow the instructions in this article for troubleshooting.

Download files locally

If your Ungraded Lab or Programming Assignment is using Jupyter Notebooks, you can take the following steps to download your files:

    1. Click on the Jupyter logo, which will take you to the file tree view.
    2. Select the notebook that you want to download. Note that you’ll need to shut down the notebook if it is running.
    3. Click Download to download the file as a .ipynb file.

If you’d like to download the file in a different format (e.g. PDF, HTML), then you can click the Lab Help link in the top-right, then click switch back to the old lab experience. From here, you can click File, Download As, and then select your preferred file type.

Multiple files

If you'd like to download multiple files at once and you're using a Jupyter Notebook, you can follow these steps. If you’re not using a Jupyter Notebook environment, you may still be able to use these commands if there is a bash terminal. Please follow instructions provided by course staff to access the terminal for the specific web application.

  1. Click the Jupyter logo in the top-left corner.
  2. You'll see a file view page that lists all Jupyter resources in your current course. Click New, then select Terminal to open the system command line.
  3. You'll see a shell prompt open. In the shell prompt, type or paste the following statements:
    • rm -f ~/workspace.tar.gz && rm -f ~/work/workspace.tar.gz (this line removes the previous archive, if it exists)
    • tar -czf ~/workspace.tar.gz ~/work (this line creates a zipped archive of your workspace directory)
    • mv ~/workspace.tar.gz ~/work/workspace.tar.gz (this line moves the archive into the workspace directory so you can see it)
  4. Once the commands run successfully, click on the Jupyter logo again to return to the file view.
  5. In the file view, select workspace.tar.gz, then click Download. Your browser will download the workspace archive, which is yours to keep.
  6. Remove the archive file: rm ~/work/workspace.tar.gz*

If your zip file is larger than 100MB, you will need to split it up into smaller files instead and download each of them, using the following commands:

  • tar -czf - ~/work | split --bytes=100MB - ~/workspaces.tar.gz
  • mv ~/workspace.tar.gz* ~/work/

Visual Studio Code

If your Ungraded Lab or Programming Assignment is using Visual Studio Code within a Coursera Lab, take the following steps to manage your files between your in-browser and local environments:

  • For a single file: Drag and drop this to your local desktop.
  • For a folder: Compress your folder using zip in your VSCode terminal and drag and drop this to your local desktop.
  • To upload local files to your in-browser VSCode Lab:Drag your files from your local Desktop into your VSCode Lab workspace.


If your Ungraded Lab or Programming Assignment is using RStudio within a Coursera Lab, take the following steps to manage your files between your in-browser and local environments:

  1. Open your RStudio file tree view to the folder where your file is stored.
  2. Select the checkboxes next to the files you’d like to download.
  3. Select More in your file tree view toolbar, and then ExportCourseralabs.png
  4. Provide a final file name for your downloaded file, and select Download

To upload local files to your in-browser RStudio Lab:

  1. Select “Upload” from your RStudio file tree view toolbar
  2. Use the “Choose File” option to select the file you’d like to upload
  3. Once you choose your file, select Ok. Your file will be added to your current directory in RStudio.

Other applications

If your Ungraded Lab or Programming Assignment is using a different application, please refer to course resources to guide you through this process or reach out on the Discussion Forums.

Refresh your Lab Workspace

Each Lab experience varies based on the course content needs and configuration, so prioritize any instructions that your instructors provide for file refresh over these general methods.

When you refresh your Lab Workspace, you’ll be able to obtain the original files and save the latest copy of your files.

If you see Lab Help, follow these steps:

  1. In the top-right corner, click Lab Help.
  2. From the sidebar, click Get latest version. You’ll need to rename your Lab file or move it to a new folder to obtain the fresh copy of the Lab file. You won’t lose any progress when updating the Lab’s version.

Otherwise, follow these steps to manually refresh:

  1. Rename and save your existing file.
  2. In your home Lab workspace, add “?forceRefresh=true” to the end of your Lab URL.
  3. Press Enter to reload the screen.
  4. You should see both your old and new files in the Learner Workspace after refresh.
  5. Your Lab item should now launch to the fresh lab file.

Updates to Lab version

If your instructor makes important updates to the Lab Assignment, you’ll see a notification to automatically update when you load the assignment’s Lab Workspace. Review the details and click Continue to begin the new version of the Lab.

You won’t lose any progress if a Lab you’re working on receives an update. You’ll still be able to find your original lab file, renamed and timestamped, in the same lab folder. You’ll receive a fresh copy of the instructor’s file in your workspace, and you should use that copy moving forward to complete your work.

If you want to review the details of the update again later, click Lab Help in the top-right and then click View change log. You’ll see a list of every update to the Lab Assignment with timestamps and details on the update.

Share your Lab with your instructor

If you need to share your Lab with an instructor or teaching staff, you can do using your Lab ID. To find your Lab ID, click Lab Help. When the sidebar opens, scroll to the bottom to find your Lab ID.

Please note that lab sharing is not supported for RStudio applications.

Trouble launching into your Lab experience (404 or “not found" errors)

Have you changed any of your assessment filenames?

  • Renaming your files can cause your Lab environment to error upon launch, as the launcher cannot find the expected file. You can fix this by modifying the name of your file back to the original filename and relaunching your Lab workspace.
  • If you have renamed your assignment file and cannot remember the original name of the assignment, refresh your Lab Workspace.

Have you changed your Lab file structure?

  • When working on an assignment that uses Labs, we strongly recommend that you do not alter the file structure of your home Learner Workspace, unless your course instructor has indicated that you should do so.
  • Additionally, we also recommend that you do not delete any original files in your home Learner Workspace. Deleting files or altering the file structure in your home Learner Workspace may impact your ability to submit your Lab assignment(s) appropriately.

Lab assessments running slow or freezing

If your Lab is running slowly, try closing all assessment files that are running in your workspace and only keep the current Lab assessment file you need open.

Note: If you're taking a data science course, it's common for certain processes to take longer than others.

If your Lab is freezing, check your Lab file size in your browser. All Lab files should be under 10MB. If you have added code which brings these files above 10MB, they will become read-only, which means you won’t be able to edit them anymore. If this occurs, save a copy of your work locally and refresh your Lab Workspace.

Errors after running code

Do you see any https or download errors provided within your Lab? If so, please note that Labs do now allow open internet access, aside from preconfigured sites that instructors have identified. Attempting to download or install any external resources outside of the preconfigured learning experience will likely result in an expected error.

Are you using Visual Studio Code and accessing an in-browser web preview for a web development course? If so, please note that web preview is not supported through Safari. We recommend that you try accessing any web preview activities through Chrome or Firefox instead.

Unable to submit Graded Lab from Lab workspace

If you’re unable to submit, check that:

  • Your filename matches the original filename provided for the Lab.
  • You’ve deleted or moved any of your Lab files. If so, restore your files first.
  • You don’t have any duplicate files in your Labs workspace. If you do, either migrate your work to a single file in your Lab or save a local copy of your work.
  • You haven’t reached the attempt limit. If your Lab assignment has a limit and you’ve reached it, contact your instructor or program administrator to see if they’re willing to reset it.

If you don’t remember your previous filenames or structure, refresh your Lab Workspace to get a fresh copy of your files.

Issues with grades or feedback

For issues with grades or feedback, follow the troubleshooting steps listed in Solve problems with programming assignments.

If you're enrolled in a MasterTrack or Degree program, please follow any support and troubleshooting routes defined by your instructional team.

Lab times out

After a period of inactivity, your Lab will time out and automatically close.

In some Lab applications, you'll see a pop-up message asking if you need more time to finish your Lab before it times out. To extend your current Lab session, click Extend.

If your Lab has timed out, you'll see a pop-up window that explains what happened. You can reopen the Lab by clicking Reopen .

Troubleshoot other Lab issues

If you can't resolve issues with your Lab using any of the above steps, try rebooting your Lab server.

To reboot your Lab server, click Reboot from the Lab Help sidebar. Always save your work before rebooting.

If that doesn't resolve the issue:

Not seeing "Lab Help"

You may not see the Lab Help link if your course is using Jupyter Notebook items (which are denoted by the Notebook label in the course outline). For troubleshooting issues related to Jupyter Notebook items, follow the instructions in this article.

If your virtual learning environment has the label Programming Assignment or Ungraded Lab, and you don't see the Lab Help link:

  • The Lab Help menu isn't supported in your browser (e.g. Internet Explorer). We recommend using the latest version of Google Chrome.
  • Your browser may be blocking third-party cookie tracking. To see the link to the Lab Help menu, enable third-party cookie tracking in your browser settings.

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