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Add a file in Moodle

This guide describes two ways of adding a file to a Moodle space: with the drag-and-drop method and with the activity chooser. Further, this guide explains how to rename a file and how to change file behaviour.

Add a file with drag-and-drop

The fastest way to add files to your page is to drag and drop a file from your computer into the topic/section where you want the file to go:

  1. Turn editing on.
  2. Drag the file(s) from the file explorer into the desired section of the Moodle space. If using collapsible topics the section will need to be expanded before dragging the file into it. While dragging the file(s) from the file explorer, an 'add file(s) here' prompt will display where the file will be added.

Add a file with the activity chooser

  1. Turn editing on.
  2. Click 'Add an activity or resource' in the section/topic where you would like to add the file.
  3. Select 'File' under the section 'Resources' in the activity chooser, in the pop-up window 'Add an activity or resource'.
  4. Click 'Add'.
  5. Type in a name for the file under the section 'General'. All other fields are optional
  6. Click on the 'Add file' icon in the box for 'Select file'.
  7. Click 'Choose file' in the File picker.
  8. Navigate to the location of the file that you want to upload.
  9. Choose the file and click 'Open'.
  10. Click 'Upload this file' in the file picker.
  11. Click 'Save and return to course'.

Renaming files

The uploaded file will retain its original file name, to change this:

  1. Click the pencil icon to the right of the file.
  2. Enter the new file name.
  3. Hit the ‘Enter’ key on your keyboard to save the new name.

Changing file behaviour

By default, an uploaded file is set to ‘force download’, meaning when it’s clicked, (in most browsers) the file will be downloaded automatically. To change this behaviour:

  1. Click on 'Edit' next to the file and select 'Edit settings'.
  2. Select the required option from the drop-down for 'Display' under the section 'Appearance':
    • Embed - The file is displayed within the page below the navigation bar together with the file description and any blocks.
    • New window - The file is displayed in a new browser window with menus and an address bar.
    • Force download - The user is prompted to download the file.
    • Open - Only the file is displayed in the browser window.
    • In pop-up - The file is displayed in a new browser window without menus or an address bar.
  3. Click 'Save and return to course'.

For more guidance on working with Files, see:


The information on this page relates to Moodle v3.6 and was last updated March 2020.

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