It is important to prepare your Moodle courses for the start of the new academic year so that things run smoothly when the term starts. As a bare minimum, you need to reset your Moodle course to remove old student data and enrolments, and then modify the content of your course to reflect any changes in curriculum. You may also want to backup your course, which will allow you to retain a historical copy of your course (with or without student data). For detailed information on how to backup and reset your course please continue reading.


This step is optional, as we now have a Moodle archive service. However, if you still wish to make a backup of your Moodle course to store locally, then do the following:

  1. Go to your Moodle course and click on the Actions cog in the top-right of the page.
    Moodle's actions menu
  2. Click on Backup.
  3. Make sure all of the tick boxes are selected except for "IMS Common Cartridge 1.1" and "Anonymize user information". Click on the Next button.
  4. Make sure everything is selected and click the Next button.
  5. If you want to, you can change the name of the backup file by altering the contents of the Filename field (make sure you don't delete the ".mbz" part of the file name when you do this). You can see what is being backed up by looking at the green ticks on the page. You should only have 2 red crosses (IMS Common Cartridge 1.1 and Anonymize user information).
  6. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Perform backup to start the backup process.
  7. When the "Backup completed successfully" message appears, click on the Continue button. You will be taken to the backup folder. The backup is now complete.

Please note: You will see on the final page there is the option to download the backup. If you want to be extra safe, you can download the file to somewhere you will remember on your computer so that it can be quickly and easily restored at a later date.


Please note: If you run a course that stretches over 2 years or more, then you probably shouldn't reset your course. If you are unsure about what to do, please speak to us before resetting your course (email: ltt).

Resetting your course will remove all the student data from your course, e.g. forum posts, but will leave the resources and activities in place for your new cohort to use. All existing students will also be unenrolled from the course. To reset your course, do the following:

  1. Go to your Moodle course and click on the Actions cog in the top-right of the page.
    Moodle's actions menu
  2. Click on the Reset link.
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click the Select default button.
  4. Go to the Roles box. In the Unenrol users selection box, find and click on Student. It should be highlighted in blue.
  5. Scroll to the bottom again and click the Reset course button to start the reset process.
  6. If the reset is successful, you should see lots of "OK" messages on screen. If you receive any error messages, or the screen goes blank after clicking the button, please contact the Learning Technology team for assistance (email: ltt).
  7. Click Continue to return to your course page. Your Moodle course has now been reset.


Once you have done a backup and reset, you should think about improving your course for the new academic year. The summer is the perfect time to do this.

Before you start altering content, it is advisable to hide the course from students. This will stop students accessing the course while you are editing it. To hide the course, do the following:

  1. Go to your Moodle course and click on the Actions cog in the top-right of the page.
    Moodle's actions menu
  2. Click the Edit settings link. This will take you to the main edit page for the course.
  3. Scroll down the page until you see the "Availability" section. Select This course is not available to students from the dropdown list.
  4. Scroll to the very bottom of the page and click Save changes. Your course is now hidden from your students.

If you get stuck along the way, please contact the Learning Technology Team by emailing ltt (add for full e-mail address). There is also extensive documentation on these processes on the Moodle software documentation website.

Last modified: Wednesday, 6 May 2020, 10:21 PM