Open edX® Tutorial: How to import a course backup.

If you have already used the Export feature to export a course backup file to your computer, then this tutorial will teach you how to import that backup. If you are not yet aware of how to export a course backup, then you should first read our other tutorial named How to Export a Course Backup.

As mentioned above, in this tutorial you will learn how to use the Import feature to import a course backup. Before we go any further it is extremely important to remind you that when you import a course backup it will 100% override all the learner data back to zero. So, only Import a course backup if you are sure there is no user data in the course (i.e. the course has not started yet and learners have not been enrolled into the course yet).

Let’s start by quickly reviewing what data is exported with a course Export:

  • Values from Advanced Settings, including MATLAB API keys and LTI passports
  • Course Content (all Sections, Sub-sections, and Units)
  • Course Structure
  • Individual Problems
  • Pages
  • Course Assets
  • Course Settings

Now let’s remind ourselves about what data is NOT exported with a course Export:

  • User Data
  • Course Team Data
  • Forum/discussion Data
  • Certificates

Okay, now you are ready to learn how to import a course in Open edX Studio.

Note: If you already know how to navigate to the course Outline from inside Studio, you can go directly to Step 2 below.

Step 1: Navigate to the course Outline from inside Studio.

In order to access the course Outline page, you first need to sign into Studio. From the Studio Home where all your courses are listed, click the course name of the course you want to enter. In the below image the course name is indicated as “Demonstration Course”, just click that to go inside the course to the course Outline.

Image: A screenshot of the Open edX Studio Home page.

Open edX Studio Home


When you click the course name, you will immediately be taken to the course Outline, as shown in the below image.

Image: A screenshot of the course Outline in Studio with the Section and Subsection you added in our previous tutorial How to Add Course Sections and Subsections.

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Step 2: From the course Outline, click the Tools dropdown in the navigation menu.

When you click the Tools dropdown, you will see some options such as Export and Import. Go ahead and click Import! This will take you to the Import page.

Image: A screenshot of the Tools menu dropdown showing the Import option.

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Step 3: From the Import page, click the green Choose a File to Import button and follow all the steps.

When you click the green Choose a File to Import button (as shown below), the system will prompt you to choose a file on your computer to use. You must upload a tar.gz file as explained in our previous tutorial How to Export a Course Backup.

Image: A screenshot of the green Choose a File to Import button on the Import page.

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Image: A screenshot of the choosing your tar.gz file from you computer.

Multiple Choice option.


Choose your tar.gz file and click Open. The screen will update asking you to confirm that this is the file that you want to use to replace your course. Click it to confirm!

Image: Screenshot of the green button titled Replace my course with the selected file.

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 A list of processes will start. These include Uploading, Unpacking, Verifying, Updating Course, and Success (as shown below). A green checkmark will indicate a successful completion of these steps (as shown below).

Image: Screenshot of the Import processes starting up.

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Image: Screenshot of the Import processes completing and showing the green checkmark.

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Step 4: View the Updated Outline

That’s it, you have successfully imported your course backup. That’s all there is to importing your course backup. You can click the blue View Updated Outline button to view the updated course Outline.


Note: If you had Course Team members already enrolled into the course before you do the Import, then you will need to re-enrol those users into the course, then after that you need to upgrade their status to Course Team again. If you want to learn how to add Course Team members to your course, you can view our previous tutorial named How to Add Course Team Members. 

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