How to Upgrade Moodle

Today I’m going to take a break from step by step processes and talk about Upgrades. Moodle users may anticipate this process to be complex and difficult – but upgrading Moodle is as easy as pie.

Moodle, like any software, requires the occasional upgrade in order to integrate new features, improve efficiency and update software. But, unlike other software out there, you can’t just install it with one click.

If you want to preserves settings and transfer all the data and configurations from the previous version, you have to follow a few easy steps. I’ll cover each step on how to upgrade Moodle (and give you a couple caveats for each one).

#1 – Backing up Moodle

You need to back up all your previous Moodle information. This includes records, grades, user accounts, any files used in courses, as well as your core database. You can do this by simply using the MySQL backup functionality, and copying the files and configurations over to a backup location. Thankfully, a wizard helps you handle this quite well.

#2 – Acquiring the New Version

You can acquire the code for the new version of Moodle by using Git, a source acquisition protocol, It’s a bit of a pain to use.

Or you can just use the mirror on Moodle’s site to acquire the new code (assuming you have a license that will authenticate it).This will provide you with a compressed archive you can then extract and install.

#3 – Installing the New Version

Installing the new version is a standard procedure, using the browser-based installation wizard. But first, make sure you have the configuration in your database to account for this.

#4 – Restoring Files

Restore your files by placing them back in the root folder where they belong (covered in our Moodle installation tutorial). If your database opened correctly during the install, you may skip this step. Otherwise, use the MySQL record importing (rather than the blank restore, to bring all of your records, accounts and other information back online.

As you can see, when it comes to upgrading Moodle, it’s all about following a few precautionary steps. If you’ve moved Moodle to another server, backed it up, or installed it before, upgrading is a breeze.

And now you know how to upgrade Moodle.


Nicole Lewis is the Lead Author & Editor of MyLMStips. MyLMStips is dedicated to providing the most engaging topics, information, tips and tricks surrounding Moodle®. It's a place where Moodle® users can receive guidance on how to get the most out of it and increase their productivity and progress.