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Administration FAQ

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Changing text in Moodle

The language editing interface in Administration > Language> Language customisation enables you to easily change any word or phrase used on the site. You may need to search through several files to find the word or phrase you are looking for. The file moodle.php contains all common site-wide phrases and the admin.php contains many admin phrases.

How do the limits on uploaded files work?

See File upload size for more information.

File upload sizes are restricted in a number of ways - each one in the list restricts the following ones.

1. Not very likely these days (i.e. check if the other settings don't work), there is a setting in Apache 2 which you may need to change. You can change the limit by adding or editing a line in Apache's /usr/local/apache2/conf/httpd.conf with the upload size in bytes (check your operating system's documentation for the correct location - e.g. under /etc/apache2 is a common alternative):

LimitRequestBody 10485760

2. PHP also has limits. If you have access to it they are set in your site-wide php.ini file. On shared hosting you may be able to set these in a .htaccess file or a php.ini. You are recommended to check with your hosting company how this works on their systems.

In a php.ini file the lines will look something like:

    upload_max_filesize 64M
    post_max_size 64M .htaccess the entries will look like this:

php_value upload_max_filesize 64M
php_value post_max_size 64M

An .htaccess file usually can be placed in the root of your Moodle install and will affect the whole Moodle. A (non site-wide) php.ini file may need to be copied into all the directories it needs to affect. The following are a good start:

   * public_html
   * moodle/admin
   * moodle/course
   * moodle/files
   * moodle/repository
   * root of your moodledata directory

Please note that a server re-start may be required for the above changes to take effect.

3. Moodle has a site-wide limit called maxbytes that may be set in Settings > Site Administration > Security > Site Policies > Maximum uploaded file size.

To find out the server limit setting in php.ini (without server access, just using the Moodle administration interface), check out Site Administration block > Server > PHP info (Tip: search for filesize)

4. A limit may be set by teachers in the Course settings.

5. Activity modules such as Forums and Assignments have their own limits which may be set when adding or editing the activity.

See also

How to change upload file size on a Windows localhost

In a localhost (using a Complete install packages for Windows on a computer) for 1.6 it is easy to change the uploaded file size to something larger than the default 16M.

Here is an example of how to change the upload file size to 100M.

  • Find ../php/php.ini and open it with WordPad by right-clicking -> Open With -> then choose WordPad.
  • In this file scroll or do a search on the text "_max_" to find upload_max_filesize = 16M
  • Change that line to
upload_max_filesize = 100M
  • In the same way, find post_max_size = 16M
  • Change that line to
post_max_size = 100M
  • Save the file.

After any changes to the php.ini file you need to restart Apache. So restart xampp and browse to localhost. You should find that the Upload file size in Configuration now reads 100M.

See also

  • Instructions below on How to change the maximum execution time

How to change the maximum execution time

A side-effect of increasing the file upload limit is that the php scripts may execute beyond the limit set by default (300 seconds/5 minutes). To change this, look for max_execution_time in php.ini and change to something like this:

max_execution_time = 600

If you are using Apache and have a .htaccess file to change php settings, add this line to your .htaccess file:

php_value max_execution_time 600

Restart your webserver for these changes to take effect, and check that the values have been changed by looking at your phpinfo output in the moodle admin -> environment page.

I have forgotten the admin password

First, try using the button "Send my details via email".

It is possible to reset the admin user's password using command line tools provided with Moodle.

Failing that, if you can access the database using an administration tool, you can modify a password there. Passwords for all users, including admin, are stored encrypted in the table mdl_user. Copy the guest password (the encrypted version of "guest") into the admin password field, login using it, then change the password.

Additional solutions are detailed in the discussions change admin's password and login/password.

My log table has disappeared - No logs found!

The most likely cause is that the mdl_log table has become corrupted. See the How to check your database for corruption.

My style sheet changes aren't showing up

Browsers usually cache style sheets and so a forced refresh (CTRL + F5) is required before any changes show up. Also, in Settings>Site Administration>Appearance>Themes>Theme selector, click "clear theme caches".

Site-wide scales

  • To add a site-wide scale, available in all courses, go to Settings>Site administration>Grades>Scales and click the button "Add a new scale".
  • As an administrator you also have the right to add site-wide scales within a course by going to Settings>Course administration>Grades>Scales. (A regular teacher cannot do this.)

Why do I see [[missing strings]]?

Double square brackets around text indicate that language strings are missing. Try checking for untranslated words or phrases in Administration > Language > Language editing and update local language packs in Administration > Language > Language packs (or Administration > Configuration > Language in Moodle 1.6).

Language strings for non-standard modules and plugins are generally contained in a lang folder within the module or plugin folder. For sites which have migrated to UTF-8, it may be necessary to re-name the folder e.g. en should be re-named en_utf8.

How do I find the version of Moodle currently installed?

See the Moodle version information.

How do I repair a corrupted Moodle database?

Typically, you might see an error message like './moodle/mdl_quiz_grades' is marked as crashed and should be repaired. See How to check your database for corruption for the solution.

My site is stuck in maintenance mode

Sometimes Moodle gets stuck in maintenance mode and you'll see the message "This site is undergoing maintenance and is currently unavailable" despite your attempts to turn-off maintenance mode. When you put Moodle into maintenance mode it creates a file called maintenance.html in moodledata/1/maintenance.html (the site files folder). To fix this try the following:

  • Check that the web server user has write permissions to the moodledata folder.
  • Manually delete the maintenance.html file.

Incomplete page displayed when I click "Turn Editing On"

When you see an incomplete page, it is normally a sign that an error occurred. To find out more, turn on Debugging, and you should see an error message which may help you to diagnose the problem.

This is usually as a result of an incompatible contributed module or block that you have installed. Follow these steps:

  1. Follow the module removal instructions in Installing contributed modules or plugins.
  2. Re-visit your course page and try clicking on the "Turn Editing On" button again.

If you find an incompatible module or block, please report the problem to the person named as the maintainer in the Modules and Plugins database.

"a required parameter (id) was missing" when uploading a file

This message sometimes is generated when attempting to upload a file larger than the upload limit.

How can I change the URL of the moodle service

You should configure your Apache server, at httpd.conf, using Listen, Port and DocumentRoot directives and Directory section. After restarting Apache, you also must open config.php in a text editor, and change the line:

   $CFG->wwwroot   = 'http://mydomain/testmoodle';

Your Moodle site will also contain absolute links to resources which point to the previous URL. To change this see the migrating a complete Moodle site instructions.

See also: Forum discussion

How do I enable/disable debugging?

See Debugging. If you are getting a blank or partially complete page, it is probably a sign that an error is occurring. Turning on debugging will let you see what the error message is, which may help you diagnose the problem.

I cannot login to the Moodle CVS servers

When attempting to login to the Moodle CVS servers, you may receive a "login aborted" error as shown below (this example shows the eu cvs server, with the command in bold):

C:\gnuwin32>cvs login
Logging in to
CVS password: <- (blank password entered)
cvs [login aborted]: connect to failed:
Connection refused

To fix this problem, check that you have entered the CVS command correctly and that port 2401 is open on your firewall.

Why is a page blank, or half missing?

A blank page, or a page that seems to have half missing, is normally a sign that an error occurred. If (as is recommended on production systems) you have display of error messages turned off, it can be very hard to understand what is going on.

The solution is to turn on the debugging options temporarily. Then, when you go back to the problem page, you should see the error message. Once you had finished solving the problem, remember to turn debugging off again.

How can I fix just one bug, without upgrading my whole site?


  • You are experiencing a particular bug.
  • You have searched in the tracker, and found that your problem is MDL-abc, and that it has been fixed in the latest version.
  • For some reason, you cannot upgrade your whole site, even though the latest version probably has security fixes.

Then, how can you get the fix for just this one bug, without upgrading your whole site? Well, if you are prepared to manually patch the code, you can probably get this information from the tracker. Please see this guide.

How can I change centre of the Front Page from course categories to something else?

Go to Front Page > Settings and change "Front page" to None all down. Change "Front page items when logged in" to None all down. Ensure that "Include a topic section" is checked. Save changes and return to the front page. Turn editing on, obviously, and you should now see the "Add a resource" and "Add an activity" drop down combo-boxes. Select "Add a resource" and select "Insert a label". You can then edit the label in any way you want to in the WYSYWYG editor.

How can I change the initial login screen?

Edit one of the language files. Settings > Site administration > Language> Language customisation, look in the moodle.php file. Look for loginusing or loginsteps or loginstepsnone string variables.

How can I change the initial login screen help?

To change or add a help message for the login go to Settings > Site administration > Plugins > Authentication > Manage authentication. Type your help message in there in the Instructions text box.

Users can not login, they need cookies and debug mentions config.php

Your site's config.php file probably has extra lines. There should be no spaces or lines after the final ?>.

Hint: Sometimes blank lines are hard to see. Make sure they are not there.

After using the 'Login as' function, why am I logged out of Moodle?

After using the 'Login as' function, for security reasons you are automatically logged out of Moodle when you return to your normal role. If you login again you will be redirected to the page that you were on previously.

See also