Moodle Help & Support 

This refers to Moodle 4.1 from December 2023 onwards.  

How to: Backup a module (course)

It can be useful to backup your module (course) when you've done a lot of work. An appropriate point might be just before you make it available to students when all the resources and activities are set up ready.  Having a backup could help later on if there is a problem.

N.B. It is not recommended that editing teachers restore these backups on their own. Should you need to do so please contact

How to backup a module (course) in Moodle 

  1. Within the module you wish to back up, go to the 'More' tab and select 'Module (course) reuse'

    The more tab showing the course reuse option


2. On the next screen, go to the 'import' drop down menu and select 'backup' 

The import drop down menu showing backup.

3. On the next screen, type of information you wish to backup by clicking within the appropriate check boxes. Click 'Next' once you are done. 

back up options

4. On the next screen you can choose which materials or sections will NOT to be backed up here by un-ticking the relevant boxes - but if you want a "snapshot" of your module, simply backup everything. Click 'Next'. 

5. On the next screen change the filename if desired but it is recommended to retain the date and time (do not change the file extension)

Naming backup

5. Then click 'Perform Backup' and wait for Moodle to finish backing up your module (course). 

perform backup


6. You will see the progress of the backup, then a message appears "The backup file was successfully created."
You will then be presented with a 'Continue' button. 
This means the back up has been successful. 
The 'Continue' button takes you to the Restore area where the back-up files are stored. You can then click to download a copy of the backup file to your own computer if you wish (Moodle will only store a few, and will overwrite early ones with later ones so if you backup a lot, arrange for offline storage and download the backup files - they may be quite large!).

We recommend that you consult the Learning Technologies team if you ever need to Restore a backup. There is a serious risk of overwriting module (course) logs and contents if restored incorrectly.

If you wish to return to the module (course) click on the module (course) name at the top of the screen.

Note: If, when clicked, this button gives you an error message it just means you do not have the rights to Restore.

Successful backup screen

Notes about backup 

  • Moodle backup files can only be read by Moodle - either our Moodle or another installation. They cannot be used for permanent records if you need to be able to read the files.
  • If enrolled users are not included in the backup, activities to which students have contributed are not fully exported: if restored, the content will be missing and only the structural framework is transferred. For databases and glossaries, this content can be exported and re-imported but there is currently no way to reproduce a wiki or a forum with students entries in from a previous module (course) other than by cutting and pasting. Contributions belong to the user not the module (course).
  • To fully backup the module (course) with student-generated content, then enrolled users need to be included. This should not be restored other than by the Learning Technologies Section staff.
  • If enrolled users are not included then the backup file will be saved to the user's private backup area, where it will be available to you from any module.