Bulk-Downloading Documents off Moodle

Edit: Some links for backing up your email are at the bottom

If you are like me, there are many readings you did during college that you want to hang on to, or at least the syllabi of your classes. I’ve been meaning to make a nice and tidy backup of my readings for a while but never got around to it. Now seems like a good time to do it. Our email access ends tomorrow. And while there’s a chance we get to keep our Moodle access, I don’t want to place any bets. Unfortunately, Moodle doesn’t have a “download all” button. I tried various approaches, and the one that worked best for me is the following.It still requires you to repeat the step for each class, but then at least it downloads all the files for a course at once. Click on an image if you need a bigger version.

Walkthrough below the fold.

1. You need to have Firefox for this, and install theDownThemAll extension

2. Navigate to the page of the class whose documents you want to save.


Right-click anywhere on the page, and click “DownThemAll!”

3. A Window will open with all the links.


As you can see there are many links on the page (see on the left and the right, for instance) so we want to filter out only actual class readings.

4. Adjust the Filter settings


Into the “Fast Filtering field,” copy the following:


Also make sure the “renaming mask” setting is as shown, and that you have selected the proper download location.

4.  Click “Start,” and You’re done!


This is of course not perfect, like I said you’ll have to do this for each course. But it sure beats clicking through every single damn assignment.

The program actually remembers the settings, so all you have to do now is open a tab for each course, bring up the DownThemAll window, change the download folder if you want a different one for each course, and click download. It took me 10 minutes to do that for all of them, and then I just waited for the download to finish. No problems there.


All of these require that you set up an account with your email application. For Windows that will be Outlook/LiveMail, for MAC Mail or Outlook. (Thunderbird will not work with the type of server we have, and I’m unsure about Mail, might have to use Outlook). Setting up is usually pretty straightforward – most of the time they find the settings automatically. If they ask you for the server type, it’s a microsoft exchange server, and the server name is exmail.dickinson.edu. More info can be found at Dickinson’s tutorial site.


Outlook: here . Should work pretty much the same for all versions, otherwise just google “export outlook emails” and your version and it should give you a guide

LiveMail: Click on the Top left icon. Click “Export Email.” Click  “export messages”


Mail: here


Those are all about exporting because I assume setup works well. Before exporting, make sure you have all your emails and attachments – scroll all the way down in some of your folders, and click on an attachment just to verify you have them. Then hit export. I’m not the biggest expert but I’d be glad to help if you need, email is mweylandt@gmail.com, and facebook of course. Cheers!


2 thoughts on “Bulk-Downloading Documents off Moodle

  1. Hi there
    I am having a problem with this add-on. I am on a Mac. When I select the files, it starts downloading them, but then switches to a php.html. When I click on that once its finished dowloading it is our authentication page.
    Is there a way around this glitch or, even better, a way in Moodle to download multiple files simultaneously?

  2. hiya. Sorry about the late response!
    Not sure what this is, but it seems like your session has expired (in other words, moodle has ‘forgotten’ you and logged you out — if you pointed your browser to the webpage again you’d have to enter your password again)

    Is your moodle set to remember your login details? If so, you might have to have a word with whoever administers the page to let the connection last a bit longer so you can download the documents in time.

    Sorry if that doesn’t help, far from an expert myself!

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