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Files and folders

This guide describes ways of adding files to a Moodle space as individual file resources, folders containing multiple files, and as links within the course content. Files refers to any type of file - word documents, PDFs, multimedia, text, spreadsheets and so on - making it easy for you to add supporting documentation to your Moodle spaces.

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.
  3. Drop the file to add it as a file 'resource'. Rename, move and amend the default behaviour for the file as required.

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. Press the Enter key to save the new name.

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 Resources section.
  4. Click Add.
  5. Type in a name for the file under the General section . 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.

This also works with mobile devices although the exact sequence of steps may vary slightly according to the device.

Change the default 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 for files such as PDFs, images and multimedia (word documents, spreadsheets etc will not display and can only be downloaded):

  1. Click on Edit next to the file and select Edit settings.
  2. in the Appearance section, select a display option from the drop down list.
    • 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.

Add a Folder (of files)

The Folder resource enables you to add a number of related files to a single folder. They are used:

  • For a series of files on one topic, for example a set of past examination papers in pdf format or a collection of image files for use in student projects.
  • To provide a shared uploading space for teachers on the course page (keeping the folder hidden so that only teachers can see it).
  1. Click Add an activity or resource.
  2. Choose Folder from the list of Resources and click the Add button.
  3. Type the folder name and add a description.
  4. Drag and drop files from your computer into the Files box under Contents.
  5. Optionally, rename files by clicking on them and typing a new name in the box. Click Update.
  6. Click Save and display to view the folder.

For more guidance on adding files and folders to Moodle please see:

Add files to labels, pages, descriptions etc. using the text editor

Files can also be inserted into any editable area within Moodle - course and section headers, labels, pages, individual activity descriptions - i.e. anywhere that the editing toolbar appears.

As a general rule we do not recommend this method as it is not possible to selectively hide/show them, restrict access (based on date or group, for example) or monitor whether students have accessed them.

There are a number of methods for adding files depending on the file type:

  1. For any type of file, click on the Link icon in the text editor.
    1. Browse repositories
    2. Select an existing file, or click Upload a file, and then Choose file.
    3. Browse to find the file to be inserted, click on it, and then press the blue Upload this file button.
    4. The file will be inserted as a link which can be edited using the text editor.
  2. For images, click on the Insert or edit image icon.
    1. Select an existing file, or click Upload a file, and then Choose file.
    2. Browse to find the image to be inserted, click on it, and then press the blue Upload this file button.
    3. Add a description of the image, or tick the Description not necessary box if this is a decorative image.
    4. Change the size the image will display at, if required,
    5. Click on Save image.
    6. The image will be inserted into the page.
  3. For multimedia, click on the Insert or edit an audio/video file icon. See Add audio and video to Moodle for more details.
The information on this page relates to Moodle v3.8 and was last updated February 2021.

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