Course backup


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 with editing privileges can create a backup or download an existing backup for safe keeping, or for use on another Moodle site. See the screencast Course backup: Save and reuse our course for information on how to back up our course as a teacher.


Backing up a course

To backup a course

A backup file (with distinctive .mbz extension to avoid confusion with .zip files) is then saved in the course backup area. Backup file names are of the form backup-moodle2-course-coursename-date-hour.mbz, ending in -nu.mbz when backed up with no users and -an.mbz with anonymized names.

Quick backup

If we are satisfied with the default settings and don't wish to go through all the backup screens, we can simply click 'Jump to final step' to perform the backup.

Anonymizing user information

Anonymize user information is a backup feature which "protects user identities" by making each user anonymous. If this box is checked in the backup initial settings, Moodle will substitute aliases for real names, substituting email addresses and so forth. For example "Max Manager" might become "anonfirstname4 anonlastname4".

Backup and restore of assignments from Moodle 2.2 and older

The assignment activity module was completely rewritten in Moodle 2.3. Thus, assignments from Moodle 2.2 and older (e.g. from Moodle 1.9) need to be upgraded in order to continue being usable. See the section 'Restoring course backups from Moodle 2.2 and older' in Assignment upgrade tool for details of what to do.

CLI backup script

Performs via command line a backup of the given course.



\$sudo -u www-data /usr/bin/php admin/cli/backup.php --courseid=2 --destination=/moodle/backup/

Tips and tricks

Creative uses

The backup and restore processes can offer the teacher and administrators many creative solutions.

General backup defaults

Default settings for course backups can be set by a site administrator in Administration > Site administration > Courses > Backups > General backup defaults.

Selected settings may be locked, so that they cannot be changed when creating a course backup.

By selecting a time in the "Keep logs for.." dropdown, it is possible to specify how long backup logs information is kept before being deleted. As this information may be very large, it is recommended the length of time chosen be quite short.

Course backup stops above 90%, not showing any errors

This has been reported to be caused by:

Course backup capabilities

See also