Migrating from Moodle
  • 10 May 2024
  • 2 minutes to read

Migrating from Moodle

Article summary

You may find you need to move your Totara site from one server to another, for a variety of reasons including changes to infrastructure and hosting. Before migrating your Totara site, please ensure that the new server meets the minimum system requirements.

If you wish to migrate your site from one server to another, then we recommend you follow these steps:

  1. Go to Quick-access menu > Server > Maintenance mode. 
  2. Enable maintenance mode.
  3. Back up the Totara database on the old server.
  4. Restore the database backup to the new server.
  5. Copy data root from the old server to the new server.
  6. Copy the Totara code from the old server to the new server.
  7. Take the site out of maintenance mode.

This method should be used if you are migrating your site without changing the site's URL.


There are several considerations to take into account when migrating a site from one server to another, these include whether you wish to upgrade at the same time, as well as some security issues. 


You may also wish to upgrade your site (either from Moodle or from an earlier version of Totara) during the migration process. Although this can be a useful way to save time it does pose some risks, mainly that if anything goes wrong during the joint upgrade and migration process it will be harder to know which process triggered the issue. If you carry out the processes separately it will be easier to isolate a problem and rectify it.  

We strongly recommend that you complete the migration and any upgrades separately.

Note that there is no direct path to upgrade from Moodle to Totara 14 or above. Instead, you will need to upgrade from an applicable version of Moodle to Totara 13, and then you can upgrade from Totara 13 to a subsequent version of Totara. See our previous documentation on upgrading from Moodle to Totara 13 for more information.  

Security issues

As you are moving from one server to another it is important to consider the setup of this new server and any security changes that may have occurred during the transition. This is especially important in regards to things like DNS setup as well as internal and external access (the new server might not have the same firewalls setup). It is advised that you consider all of these things carefully to ensure you do not forget to enable something on the new server.

If you have Email-based self-registration enabled as an authentication method then you will need to enter new API keys to ensure that the ReCAPTCHA keys are generated from Google. 

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