Creating a backup in Moodle

Creating a backup in Moodle

Every now and then you come across a situation where you wish that you had taken a backup of your course in Moodle before you started making changes to the content or settings. If you are not careful while making changes, you might end up losing:

  • Student grades
  • Completion status
  • Course / Activity completion dates etc.

So to make sure you do not lose any data, you should take a backup of the course before you start making changes.

Moodle can be backed up in a number of different ways. It is important that whoever performs your Moodle backup knows what they are doing. You can use the following backups methods to perform backups for your Moodle installation:

Course Backup

Moodle allows you to backup individual courses as and when you need them and you can automate that too using the automated backup functionality. If you need to backup a single course in Moodle and or move a course from one Moodle site to another then a course backup is the easiest way to do it. Any user with editing rights can backup a course along with the user data and grades.

To perform a course backup, follow the steps below:

  1. Navigate to a course you wish to backup
  2. Under Course administration click Backup
  3. You will be prompted to select what you want to include in the backup or just keep the default settings and click Next or Jump to Final Step to move all the steps and perform the backup
      • Please note: Course Logs and Grade History can be included in the backup, but are not selected by default. You can also Anonymize user information.

    Moodle backup settings

  4. On the Schema settings – Select/deselect specific items to include in backup, then click the Next
  5. Review the backup settings and click Previous if wish to make a change, otherwise click the Perform backup 
  6. Click the Continue


Course Backup (Automated)

To setup automated backups, follow the steps below:

  1. Navigate to “Site administration” -> “Courses” -> “Backups” -> “Automated backup setup”
  2. On the following page you need to set the following:
    • Active: Set this to “Enabled” to enable the automated backups
    • Schedule: Select the days that you want to run the backup. Backups can consume quite a few resources so you can set them to run on specific days.
    • Execute at: As mentioned above, backups need system resources, so you can schedule them to run on a specific time when the server is not that busy.
    • Automated backups storage: By default the backups are stored in Moodledata directory but, you can use this setting to change it to another directory on the server or use both.
    • Save to: If you decide to store the backups somewhere else too, use this setting to define the directory where you want the backups to be stored to.
    • Delete backups older than: This is similar to the setting above.
    • Minimum number of backup kept: If backups older than a specified number of days are deleted, it can happen that an inactive course ends up with no backup. To prevent this, a minimum number of backups kept should be specified.
    • Use course name in backup filename: You should use this if you want the course name as part of the backup filename.
    • Skip hidden courses: Do you want to skip hidden courses during the backup.
    • Skip courses not modified since: You can choose to skip the course if it hasn’t been modified for a certain time period.
    • Skip courses not modified since previous backup: You can also skip the courses that have been not been modified since your last backup.

Once setup, the administrator will get an email each night (depending on the schedule set above) after the backup is complete.

Site Backup

If you need to backup your entire Moodle site, then a site backup allows a site administrator to save everything associated with a Moodle site. These backups can be restored to bring a site back to the point in time when the backup was made.

You should always perform regular backups to safeguard against data lost information in the event of problem with your site and to speed the overall recovery process.

The following three items need to perform a complete site backup:

  1. Database
  2. Uploaded files (Files uploaded via Moodle in the moodledata directory)
  3. Moodle code (Everything in server/htdocs/moodle)

If you are unsure where to find these items are located in your Moodle installation by checking the config.php file.

Need further help?

If you need assistance with backing up Moodle, improving the performance of your site or an Moodle Health Check to ensure your LMS is running correctly, get in touch with us today.

How healthy is your Moodle LMS?

How healthy is your Moodle LMS?

We see poorly managed and implemented Learning Management System’s on a regular basis, whether it’s installing a corrupt plugin or changes to Moodle’s core code can result in a sluggish, error prone environment, frustrated users and poor user adoption.


How do you check if your Moodle LMS needs a health check?


Check Installed Plugins

You should always be mindful of installing too many plugins on your production site as it does affect the performance. Another issue is that you might have installed plugins in the past that were not brought forward with major upgrades done in the past. You can go to the plugin overview page as described below and look for the following:

  • To check your active plugins navigate to Site Administration > Plugins > Plugins overview
  • Review all the installed plugins in your LMS and see if they are being used and are still available
  • Only install thoroughly tested plugins



Check Filters 

Too many filters can also slow down the site as they run through the content before it is displayed on the site.

  • To check your filters navigate to  Site Administration > Filters > Manage Filters
  • Review all the installed filters in your LMS and see if they are actually needed.



Check your Moodle version

Moodle releases both minor and major updates in a regular support cycle.

  • To check what version your Moodle is navigate to Site Administration > Notifications
  • We recommend you should always implement minor updates (security patch and incremental updates); however with major version upgrades we recommend you wait six months after its released prior to upgrading.

Moodle Version


Enable Debugging Messages

This can be used to display information regarding any underlying problem. This also helps in determining if all the plugins follow the standard Moodle coding guidelines.

  • To turn debugging on navigate to Site administration > Development > Debugging
  • Check “Display debug messages”
  • It will then start displaying debugging info on top of each screen

Debug Messages


Moodle’s Core Code

Moodle allows you to customise it’s core code; however this may lead to problems in the future when it comes to minor and major upgrades. When working with a vendor, make sure you understand the changes they are making to your Moodle. If they intend on making changes to your Moodle core code, make sure it’s fully documented.

We recommend that you start by talking to your vendor and ask them if they have made any changes to your Moodle’s core.


What’s included in a Lingel Learning LMS Health Check:

  1. Detailed audit of your LMS
  2. Assessment of all plugin’s installed on your LMS
  3. Database review
  4. Recommendations on how to improve your LMS

Book your LMS health check today! You don’t even need to host your LMS with us.

Sell classroom-courses with sessions, online courses as well as physical goods

Sell classroom-courses with sessions, online courses as well as physical goods

Want to create courses using Moodle and sell them using an actual e-commerce application?

If you are reading this then you either use Moodle already, or are planning to use Moodle to create courses and then sell them online; but, you aren’t sure where to start. If you have previously used Moodle then you know that it already has a paypal plugin built in that allows the existing users to purchase a course using paypal. The issue here is that people can only purchase your courses after they have registered for your moodle site and only then, purchase one course at a time. This is not the most pleasing e-commerce experience for your customers/users. Wouldn’t it be great if you had an application that worked with what you already have (Moodle) and gave you the freedom to use a shopping cart to sell those courses the right way?

enrolmart and moodle

Lingel Learning introduces enrolmart, an advanced ecommerce application (shopping cart) that allows you to sell online courses, face to face sessions, shippable and downloadable products, subscriptions and more, all from one application. You can create courses in Moodle or enrolmart and sync them across to the other platform with one click. You can create voucher codes for your corporate customers who can then provide those codes to their employees, who can purchase the courses free or at a discounted rate. Whether you already use Moodle or are planning to use it in the future, whether you host Moodle with us or you don’t, you can still use enrolmart with all the features listed above and many more.

enrolmart course

enrolmart seamlessly integrates with Moodle and allows you to start selling courses and much more in almost no time at all.

Visit or call 1300 553 345 for more details.

If you want to start creating courses and do not have Moodle or not sure where to start, call us at 1300 553 345.

Creating a backup in Moodle

How to enable paid enrolment using PayPal

If you want to set up paid courses, you can enable PayPal enrolment method. The PayPal enrolment plugin has to be enabled by the site administrator and then either administrator or manager can add the payment method to the course.

Let us take you through a step by step procedure on how to enable paid enrollment on a course in Moodle.

Course settings for PayPal

1) Go to your course and then click Settings > Course Administration > Users > Enrolment methods

 Course Settings for PayPal

2) If you do not find PayPal enrolment method in the list, you can choose PayPal from “Add Method” drop down list.

Moodle Enrolment Methods

3) When you choose PayPal from the dropdown list, you will be directed to PayPal course settings page where you can configure the following information.

  • Define a name “Custom Instance Name”
  • Choose “Yes” for Allow PayPal enrolments
  • Enter the cost of your course in “Enrol cost” filed.
  • Choose an appropriate currency from the “Currency” List
  • Select Student for the “Assign role”. If you have any special reason for allowing other users to enroll, you can choose other options.
  • Enter the enrolment duration, start date and end date. These fields are optional.
  • Click the “Add Method” button and save your changes.

4) Now you have enabled the payment method of “PayPal” to your course.

Admin Settings

If you do not have the ‘PayPal’ option in the ‘Add method’ dropdown list, you need to enable the plugin for ‘PayPal’ paid enrollment method.

1) Go to Settings > Site Administration > Plugins > Enrolments > Manage enroll plugins

2) Enable ‘PayPal’ plugin by clicking the ‘eye’ symbol

Moodle available courses enrolment settings

3) After you have enable the ‘PayPal’ plugin, Click the ‘Settings’ link, it will then direct to the PayPal settings page where you can configure the following information:

  • Enter the email of your Business PayPal account.
  • Choose the notify options for students, teachers or admin
  • Select Enrolment expiration action

Moodle PayPal Module

  • You can choose to allow the PayPal enrolment plugin by default in new courses by selecting ‘Yes’ option.
  • Enter a default cost value and currency
  • Choose a default role assignment (e,g. student)
  • Given a default enrolment period

Moodle enrolment instance defaults

Finally click the ‘Save Changes’ button to save and complete the PayPal’ enrolment plugin.