Content Migration from Moodle to Canvas

From Help Wiki


When migrating content from Moodle to Canvas, you can choose all or specific content. Expand the steps below for detailed instructions.


  • To make sure you don't miss anything, select ALL Moodle content and delete/hide what you don't want at the Canvas site.
  • IMPORTANT: If migrating quiz question banks, be sure to select ALL Moodle content for the backup file.


(Click "+" button to view instructions.)


Step 1: Create a Backup (mbz) file of your Moodle site

Go to your Moodle site (you do not need to turn on editing):

  • From the Administration block
    • go to Course administration
    • click on Backup

Opens to page: 1. Initial Settings

  • Under Backup settings, uncheck Include enrolled users
  • The only three settings that should be checked are:
    • Include activities
    • Include blocks
    • Include filters
  • Click the blue Next button.

Opens to page: 2. Schema settings

  • Under Include:
    • The boxes for every item are checked (selected) by default (all user data should have a red X)
    • TIP: Leave all content selected to ensure you don’t miss any items - you can always delete/hide content at the Canvas site.
  • To deselect items, click an item’s checkbox
  • To deselect an entire section (and all its items), click on the checkbox next to the section’s name (e.g. “Week 1”)


  • Student data and student work posted by students is automatically removed during this process.
  • BUT if you, as faculty, posted students' work, it will need to be removed by deselecting it.
    • (Be sure to double-check the content on your new site for any previous student work and names.)
  • When finished, click the blue Next button.

Opens to page: 3. Confirmation and review

  • Skip the Filename and Backup settings sections at top
  • Under the Included items section: double-check that the content you would like to be included in the backup file is indicated with a green checkmark.

When finished, click the blue Perform backup button.

Allow some time for processing (process time will vary depending on amount of content).

After backup has been performed, the next page you should see is 5. Complete, showing the message: The backup file was successfully created. Click Continue.


Step 2: Download the mbz file to your computer

Now you should be at the page: Import a backup file

  • Locate the mbz file from the list under Course backup area (should be at top of the list, the one with the most recent day/time stamp.)
  • Click the Download link (to right of the file name)
  • Save the file to your computer.


Step 3: Import the Moodle/mbz file into your Canvas site

See Instructure's illustrated Canvas guide: How to import content from Moodle into Canvas or follow the directions below:

From your Canvas site, click on Settings at bottom of the Course Navigation menu (sidebar on left)

  • From the Course settings page, right sidebar, click on Import Content into this Course

At the Import Content page:

  • for Content Type: select Moodle 1.9/2.x from the drop-down menu
  • for Source: click Choose File - browse to and select the mbz file on your computer
  • Skip Default Question bank or make a selection (if you skip it and select "All content" at the next step, all your quiz content will be migrated over)
  • for Content: select All content or Select specific content (if you select the latter, you will be prompted to make specific selections after clicking "Import")
  • At Options click Adjust events and due dates to access the options to shift or remove dates
  • When finished, click the blue Import button

Allow some time for processing (import time varies depending on amount of content).

Import completion will show under Current Jobs as green if successful, or yellow if there are any error messages.

Hide, delete, and/or reorder content on your Canvas site as needed.

If you would like help with migrating content, please contact Academic Technologies for assistance.