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Why create a backup?

You may wish to make a clone of a course to use in a different context, or you may wish to create a backup of your course for archiving purposes (centrally created archives are only taken once a year and – given the range of course structures in existence at the university, this may not capture your course at a key point in the academic year).

Whilst regular backups of Moodle are taken, these are intended for site wide disaster recovery purposes only.

Creating the backup

Creating a backup is a five step process which is undertaken from the course that you are aiming to back up. It is possible to select what items are included in the backup so you can take a copy of as much or as little of your course as you want.

The backup process creates a compressed version of your course (in .mbz format) that should be stored outside of Moodle, on a hard drive, network space or USB memory stick.

  • From the click on the pink cog icon (actions menu) which appears towards the top right hand side of the page 
  • Select the Backup link (the first stage of the process opens up)
Step 1
  • Select the settings that you would like to backup

  • Press the Next button
Step 2

This step summarises the content of the course and enables you to select only those items that you would like to include in the backup.

  • Select the parts of your course you wish to copy (as shown in the example below)

  • Press the Next button
Step 3

This stage of the backup will display a confirmation page, showing what has been selected in the two previous stages. 

  • Press Perform backup
Step 4

Depending upon the size of the backup file you are creating, this may take a minute or two to complete, at which point you will receive a message letting you know whether or not the backup was successful

  • Press the Continue button
Step 5

At this stage of the process, Moodle will display the backup file that you have generated (which is in zip format).  You can either restore it to one of your existing courses at this point or can download it and save it either locally or on a network drive by clicking on the relevant link (as shown in the image below).

You can get back to this screen at any time, by clicking on the Restore link in the course Settings block of the relevant course.



Once you have downloaded or restored your course, it is recommended that you delete the backup files from Moodle.  This is because any new backups that you take will otherwise include the initial ones (and this could increase the size of your course and subsequent backups greatly and cause unnecessary complications at a later date).


    • From the course Restore page (as shown above), click the Manage backup files button
    • Click on the file you wish to delete and select the Delete option presented

  • Select OK from the two presented options

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