How to backup your course in Moodle

Moodle allows users to create backups of old modules, which you can reuse when developing module contents in Moodle for next academic year.

Find your old course

To begin with, you need to locate the old Moodle course you wish to make a backup of. Your courses will appear on the left hand side menu under ‘My Courses’.

Turn editing on – look for a button on the top right hand side of the page (see image below)

Moodle archive main page with instructions on how to turn editing on.
Moodle archive main page with instructions on how to turn editing on.

Review your course contents

Have a look through the contents of the course, it’s likely that some of it will need updating, and some of it may no longer be relevant.

Take this opportunity to do some housekeeping before moving the course to a new platform. Reducing the amount of data in the course will make the importing process faster too.

The backup process

On the right hand side of your Moodle course page, navigate to the Administration area and click on ‘Backup’.

You will be taken to the Backup settings area, which contains 5 steps in the process to go though.

Step 1. Initial settings

Step 1 will present you with a list of Backup settings options to choose. We recommend that you make the following changes:

  • untick ‘Include enrolled users’ – your students will be enrolled at a later stage
  • untick ‘Include blocks’
  • untick ‘Include calendar events’
  • untick ‘Include groups and groupings’
  • untick ‘Include competencies’ (if shown on the list)

If you have done this, your settings will look as follows:

Backup settings – list of initial settings

If you are happy with your chosen backup settings, click ‘Next’ to move on to the next step.

Step 2. Schema settings

Step 1 will present you with a list of additional options to choose from.

We recommend that you check which materials you will need in the future and which ones need removing/updating and unticking those boxes in the list accordingly.

Important: in regards to Turnitin, make sure you untick any Turnitin boxes because these will have to be created afresh in your new module (see our tutorial video for more information).

Click ‘Next’ to move on to the next step.

Step 3. Confirmation and review

This step gives you a summary of content to be backed up. If you are happy to proceed, click ‘Perform backup’ (the process may take some time, so be patient).

Alternatively, click ‘Previous‘ to return to previous steps in the process to make changes.

Confirmation and review page – use buttons at the bottom to ‘Perform backup’ or click ‘Previous’ to make changes to selection

Step 4. Perform backup

This is where the system creates a backup of your file. There is nothing you need to do.

Step 5. Complete

Voila! If you see a message ‘The backup file was successfully created’ it means you have backed up your course. If you click ‘Continue‘ you will be taken to a page which will have your backup files in the ‘User private backup area’ (see image below).

Your course backup files will appear in ‘User private backup area’ at the bottom of the page

You can download your backup file to your computer and use it to import into the new Moodle site and module.

If you need any help or have any questions about this process please do not hesitate to get in touch with us at

Last reviewed: 2/7/2020