Moodle Restore Deleted Assignment

Have you ever deleted an activity or resource accidentally when creating your Moodle course and wished there was an “undo” button? Or even inadvertently deleted a whole course and really panicked?!

A new feature of Moodle 3.1 is the addition of a Recycle Bin that allows teachers to recover course content they have mistakenly deleted. And if you have the right permissions in your Moodle system – Administrators and Managers – you can also recover accidentally deleted courses.


How does it work?

Whenever you go to delete an Activity or Resource in your course page you always get a reminder message asking you if you are sure you want to delete that content. (see Figure 1)


(Figure 1)


If you select “Yes” by accident, now in Moodle 3.1 you can easily retrieve the content.

Once you refresh your page you now have a link to the Recycle Bin in the Course Administration Block.


The recycle bin is available by default in all courses and categories, but the link in the administration block is only visible once something has been deleted. (See Figure 2)

(Figure 2)


Once you have linked to the Recycle Bin you will see any course content that you have deleted. (See Figure 3)

(pathway – Course Administration – Recycle Bin) (Figure 3)


The Site Administrator can even decide how long items stay in the Recycle Bin until they are permanently deleted. (See Figure 4)

(Figure 4)

Pathway – Site Administration – Plugins – Admin Tools – Recycle Bin.


The exact same process works for deleted courses in categories.


If you would like to find out more about how the Recycling Bin feature in Moodle 3.1 could enhance your learning, or if you are considering an upgrade to Moodle 3.1, please contact us on +44 (0) 28 9042 2000 or email


Other related articles of interest

Top 5 features of Moodle 3.1

Moodle 3.1 features – Competency- Based Education

Moodle 3.1 Features – Assignment Grading


Check in next week when I will be discussing the Moodle 3.1 Tagging and Pinned Discussions Forum features.

Main page ► Managing a Moodle site ► More features ► Recycle bin

What is the recycle bin?

  • The recycle bin allows teachers to retrieve course elements they have mistakenly deleted. It also allows those with relevant category permissions to restore deleted courses.
  • If deleted items are not needed, they are automatically permanently deleted after seven days (or a time specified by the admin.)
  • The recycle bin was the first project funded by the Moodle Users Association.

How does it work?

Deleted activities

1. Before a course teacher deletes an item, a reminder message appears:

2. If you mistakenly click 'yes', all is not lost. After a short while, a 'Recycle bin' link will appear either via the gear menu or in the Administration block (depending upon your theme). (The delay in the 'Recycle bin' link appearing is because it requires the cron to run and the page to be refreshed.)

3. Click the link and then click the 'restore' icon to retrieve the assignment or other item you accidentally deleted.

Deleted courses

1. Access the category that the course was in before you accidentally deleted it. 2. From the category administration block, click 'Recycle bin'.

3.Click 'Restore' to restore the deleted course:

Activity deletion in progress

A message 'Activity deletion in progress...' is displayed whilst an activity is being deleted.

Note: The cron should run every minute to ensure that activities are deleted promptly.

How is it set up?

  • The recycle bin is available by default in all courses and categories, but the link in the administration block is only visible once something has been deleted.
  • Administrators can modify the settings from "Recycle bin in the Site administration, and can decide how long an item or a course will remain available until it is permanently deleted, and make the recycle bin visible in the administration block even when empty. If preferred, the recycle bin can be disabled.

Recycle bin in Moodle 3.1

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