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Creating a Course Backup File

A course can be saved with some or all of its parts by using the course backup. Typically, the site administrator will set a schedule of automated course backups for the whole site. A teacher can create a backup or download an existing backup for safekeeping, or for use on another Moodle site.

The backup file that you obtain is similar to a .zip archive file and is a way to save the information from an entire course - including student data - in one compressed package.

If you want to import files and activities from one course to another, without including most student data, you can opt for the Import option instead.

Backing up a course
  • Start by going to the Actions menu gear icon and select Backup.

Actions menu

  • Initial settings - Select activities, blocks, filters and other items as required then click the Next button. 
  • Schema settings - Select/deselect specific items to include in the backup, then click the Next button.
  • If desired, select specific types of activity to be backed up by clicking the link Show type options.
  • Confirmation and review - Check that everything is as required, using the Previous button if necessary, otherwise click the Perform backup button. Here you can also edit the filename.
  • Complete - Click the Continue button

The final screen that appears is for managing your backup files. The Course backup area will show all the backup files for the course, which you can download and save to your local machine or to One Drive (or any other storage place).
You can use the backup file to restore a course to a previous version of it or to populate a new empty course to include student data.

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Importing Course Materials from Past Courses


Course activities and resources may be imported from any other course that the teacher has editing permissions in. This allows teachers to re-use instead of re-create one or more activities or resources.

Imports of files between courses do not include most user data, or include grades. If you'd like to move a complete copy of user data as well, or make a single archive file of an entire course for your own records or to take elsewhere, see Creating a Course Backup File and Restoring a Course Backup to an Empty Course. 

How to copy content from one course to another
  • Start by going to the Actions menu gear icon and select Import.

Actions menu

  • Select the course you wish to import from and click Continue. If you don't find it in the first list, use the search box to locate the course.

  • You will be presented with the Import settings page. Use the check boxes for import activities, blocks and or filters as types of items which will show on the next screen.

import settings


  • Select the elements you want to include in the import in the Schema settings step and click Next.
  • Review and click Perform import or click the cancel or previous buttons. The confirmation page will place green check marks and red marks next to the backup settings and include item list for you to review.
  • You should see the "Import complete. Click continue to return to the course." message, or an error message indicating that the import process did not take place.
  • In the Import settings page, you can also select Jump to final step to go straight to the import, if you already know that you want to copy all course contents.

TIP: Using the Jump to final step option will create a duplicate of the Announcements forum which is created by default when a new course is created. To avoid having a duplicate, you can deselect the old Announcements forum in the Schema settings, or you can delete the duplicate once the course materials have been copied.


You can use the same process even if you only need to duplicate a small section of a course (i.e. a topic section, few activities, and so on.)