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Restore a Course in Moodle

As an instructor, you can Back Up a Moodle Course by creating and downloading a Moodle Backup File (.mbz). An .mbz file is a compressed archive of a Moodle course that can be used to restore that course within our new version of Moodle, Moodle in the Cloud, or at a different campus. We recommend instructors back up their courses at the close of each semester. Please note that .mbz files cannot be used outside of Moodle.

  • Course content from Summer 2019 through Spring 2021 will be moved from Legacy Moodle to Moodle in the Cloud, the new version of Moodle for summer 2021 courses and beyond. Once migrated to Moodle in the Cloud, you can use the Import tool to copy course content to a new course.  See Reuse a Moodle Course using Import.

  • If you need your course materials from Legacy Moodle sooner, you can back up the course contents and use the Restore process described on this page to restore the content on Moodle in the Cloud.

To reuse a course that is already on Moodle in the Cloud, instructors can use the Import tool (see Reuse a Course Using Import). Note, however, that the Import tool cannot copy courses between different Moodle installations.

Items Not Copied During the Restore Process

If the course you are restoring from contains the following item types, they will not be restored and will need to be recreated in the new course:

  • Student enrollment from the previous course, or any contributions to Activities made by members of the previous course (including students, TAs, and instructors). This means that any assignment submissions, forum posts, database and glossary contributions, and wiki content will not be included in the import. For assistance exporting such content to reuse, please contact the Instructional Media Lab at
  • Groups and Groupings.
  • External tool activities (e.g., LTI links to Zoom, OWL, McGraw Hill, Echo360, UMass Libraries Course Materials, etc.).

Restore a Course

  1. Request your Moodle course. Before you can import content, you must first request a new Moodle course for the current academic term. For details, see Request Your Moodle Course - Overview.
  2. On your computer, locate your course backup file (.mbz) and make note of the file size. There is an upload limit of 2 GB for using the Restore tool in Moodle. If your file is larger than 2 GB, contact the IDEAS group for support.
  3. Log into your Moodle course and in the menu bar at the top of your page, click the Course Management icon (gears).  The Course Management panel opens,
  4. Under Course Settings, click Restore.
  5. Under the Import a backup file section, drag and drop your .mbz file into the box to upload your file, or click Choose a file... to browse for the file to upload.
  6. Under the drag and drop box, click Restore to begin the course restoration process.
  7. Review your Backup details, Backup settings, Course details, and Course settings, then click Continue.
  8. Select Merge the backup into this course or Delete the contents of this course and then restore, then click Continue.
  9. Double-check your course settings, then click Next to continue.
  10. Review course settings, then click Perform Restore. A progress bar will run while the restoration is processed.
  11. At the bottom of your page, click Continue to complete the course restoration process.

Check Your Restored Course

  • Collapsible Topics format: Section titles can no longer be automatically named with dates by week, but you can rename topics yourself.
  • Collapsible Topics format: Section summaries will display even when the section is collapsed. Copy Summary content from Section summaries to Labels in the section to have all content collapse.