Back up Your Moodle Course

At the end of the semester, you may back up your Moodle course and your students' work to your own computer.

The form of Moodle's backup file is not very useful for people. The backup file is most useful if you need to restore your Moodle course to GSLIS or CE Moodle, or if you plan to import your Moodle course to another institution's Moodle.

Your Moodle courses and your students' work will continue to be available to you on the GSLIS Moodle server for 2 years.

To back up your course:

  1. From the Administration block, click Backup.
  2. On the Course backup screen, leave all checkboxes checked to backup both your course materials and student work. Make changes if needed and click Continue.
  3. On the confirmation screen, click Continue.
  4. On the Backup completed successfully screen, click Continue.
  5. From your Files list, you should now see a zipped backup file of your course. To download the zipped file to your computer, right click on the file name and choose Save as or Download linked file as. Choose a location on your computer and download the file.

About the backup file

To get to the contents of your backed-up course, unzip the backup file after downloading it to your computer. The resulting folder will contain your courses XML file as well as other folders. The two most important folders are:

  • course_files folder: contains all files you uploaded to your Moodle course
  • moddata folder: contains all uploaded student files associated with Moodle activities, such as assignments. These files will be organized by activity type, activity ID number, and then student ID number. These ID numbers may not mean much to you! Browse to find the files you need.

All other Moodle data in your course (e.g., results of student quizzes, posts to the forums, etc.) will be in the Moodle courses's XML file. This may not be very useful to you, but we can use the XML file to restore your course and make student work more easily findable if it becomes necessary. To do this, email

Remove backup file from Moodle

Because backup files can be large, deleting the backup file from your Moodle Files after downloading it to your computer can help us save space. To do this:

  1. From your Files list, next to the backup file, check the checkbox.
  2. From the With chosen files drop-down menu, choose Delete completely.
  3. On the confirmation screen, click Yes.