Note: You are currently viewing documentation for Moodle 3.0. Up-to-date documentation for the latest stable version of Moodle may be available here: Managing repositories.

Managing repositories

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Enabling repositories

Repositories can be enabled by an administrator in Site administration > Plugins > Repositories > Manage repositories.

A repository plugin may be set to one of three possible statuses:

  • "Enabled and visible" means available for use in the File picker
  • "Enabled and hidden" means not available in the File picker
  • "Disabled" means not available for use and if content has been added to your site you will be given the following message:
Are you sure you want to remove this repository plugin, its options and all of its instances - [Repository Name here]? If you choose "Continue and download", file references to external contents will be downloaded to Moodle. This could take a long time to process.

With options to Continue, Continue and download, or Cancel.

The order in which repositories are shown in the file picker may be set using the up and down arrows.


Repository plugin: it is also called a repository type. It can be named Box, Flickr, Mahara, Youtube... Adding a plugin allow users to create instances of this plugin. Only instances are displayed into the file picker. Type only exist in order to let a Moodle administrator to deactivate/delete all instances of a type in one click.

Repository instance: An instance is displayed into the file picker and it is the access point to an external repository. An instance can have specific settings (for example be linked to a personal account).

  • First case: when you add the plugin, an instance is automatically created and can not be edited. The Moodle administrator cannot change the instance name. The instance name displayed into the file picker will be exactly the same as the plugin name. For example Youtube, Box...
  • Second case: the plugin allow the Moodle administrator to add multiple instances. An instance has a name for example Flickr Public access to Martin account, Martin's Mahara...
    For this second case it is important to identify two different kind of instances:
  1. Common instances: The instances set by Moodle administrator in these same administration pages will be available into any file picker.
  2. Private instance: A teacher can set some instances available only for a course, and an user can set some instances only available for himself. In order to set instances for a course the teacher will go to the course page, and in order to set instances for a personal use, a user will go on his profile page. An administrator cannot add/edit private instances from the administration pages.

Common repository settings

Common repository settings can be set by an administrator in Site administration > Plugins > Repositories > Common Repository settings:

Cache expire

You can specify how long in seconds file listings are cached locally when browsing external repositories.

Timeout settings

If users are reporting timeouts when using repositories, an admin can increase the timeout for downloading or synchronising files.

Get file timeout

Timeout in seconds for downloading an external file into Moodle. Defaults to 30.

Sync file timeout

Timeout in seconds for syncronising the external file size. Defaults to 1.

Sync image timeout

Timeout in seconds for downloading an image file from external repository during syncronisation. Defaults to 3.

Allow external links

With some repositories such as Flickr and Wikimedia, users can have the choice whether to copy the media into Moodle (the preferred solution) or to make a link to it instead.

Defaults to Yes.

Legacy course files in new courses

This repository is not normally available in new courses as it is designed for upgraded 1.9 courses. However, if it is checked here then it will appear when new courses are created - but certain backup and restore features won't work with it.

See Legacy course files for more details. This should not be enabled in sites not originally upgraded from Moodle 1.9.

Defaults to No.

Allow adding to legacy course files

When 'Legacy course files' is available in a course, this setting controls if users are able to add new files to it. When enabled, users will be able to add files and directories, as well as delete. When disabled, users will not be able to add files and directories.

Repository capabilities

Authenticated user role:

Manager, Course creator, Teacher, Non-editing teacher Roles: