External tool settings

From MoodleDocs

This page explores in more detail the settings for the External tool once you have added it to your course and also covers the Site administration settings.


  • Activity name - add a title, description if required, with your choice of display.
  • Preconfigured tool - this is how Moodle communicates with the tool provider. If in doubt, leave as default. If your administrator has made a tool available site-wide, you will be able to select it here:
  • 'Select content' button - allows to import the link definition from the tool rather than entering it manually. This is the preferred flow when available.
  • Tool URL - This is the URL for connecting to site. If your moodle site uses SSL (is on HTTPS) you will only be able to use a tool that also uses SSL. Make sure the tool URL has HTTPS before attempting to use it or you may get a blank page.
  • Launch container- this is how the external tool will be displayed.
    • Default - if in doubt; leave as default
    • Embed - the external tool will be embedded in the Moodle course page with blocks and navigation bar
    • Embed without blocks - the external tool will be embedded in the Moodle course page but without blocks
    • New Window - the external tool will open in a new window. (A new window or tab will open with the External tool and the old browser window containing the course page will not change.)

The following settings are available by clicking ""Show more":

  • Activity description - give a short description here
  • Display description on course page - choose to show the description along with the activity name
  • Display activity name when launched - have this appear when the student clicks the link.
  • Display activity description when launched - have this appear when the student clicks the link.
  • Secure tool URL - This overrides the tool URL when moodle uses SSL (if your site is configured to use HTTPS in the wwwroot)
  • Consumer key -this tells the connecting LTI compliant site that your Moodle is allowed to connect. The "tool provider", i.e. the manger of the connecting LTI compliant site will issue you with this key. If you are merely linking to a tool with no secure access or gradebook sharing then you won't need a consumer key. If you are linking to a course or activity from another Moodle site, then you can add any consumer key.
  • Shared secret - this is the "password" to connect to the tool - the LTI compliant site.
  • Custom parameters - most times you can leave this blank. The tool provider might use this to allow you to display a specific resource.
  • Icon URL - you can display a different icon from the default External Tool icon by entering its URL here
  • Secure Icon URL - enter the URL of a different icon here if your students are accessing Moodle securely via SSL.


  • Share launcher's name with the tool - this means that the student's name will be displayed on the connected site as in this example
  • Share launcher's email with the tool - this means that the student's email will be displayed on the connected site as in this example
  • Accept grades from the tool - if this is checked, the connecting site will send back grades to Moodle's gradebook. See Using External tool for more information on this.

Site administration settings

Adding a tool site-wide

An administrator can manually configure external tools in Site administration > Plugins > Activity modules > External tool> Manage tools so that they are available across the site.

Adding an external tool

A tool may be configured by an administrator so that it is shown in the activity chooser (in addition to the external tool activity) for a teacher to select to add to a course. Its description, if one is present, will appear in the activity chooser.

Registering an LTI Advantage tool

Moodle allows a simple way to deploy an LTI Advantage tool. If the tool provider supports that flow, you should have received a registration URL. Simply enter that url to a tool in the 'Tool URL' and press 'Add LTI Advantage'.

The tool registration UI will open and guide you to the steps for registration. Once completed, the registration panel will close and the list of tools will refresh. If the registration was successful, the newly added tool should be visible in a pending state.

The pending state allows you to review the tool configuration, the privacy and services granted, apply possible modifications (for example how the tool appears in the activity chooser), then activate the tool to make it available.

In case of errors when trying to start the registration, validate the registration URL with the tool's vendor the registration URL is for an LTI Advantage registration and not for the deprecated LTI 2 registration.

For Tool Developers looking to support the automated registration of LTI Advantage tool, there is an implementation guide available. The registration process is also being standardized by IMS Global LTI Working Group. There is also a Youtube video demo-ing and explaining the flow.

Registering an LTI 1.1 tool using a cartridge

You can register an LTI 1.1 tool type using a cartridge. A cartridge will configure all the information such as launch url, tool name & description and icons for you.

To do this, simply enter the url to a tool's cartridge in the 'Tool URL' and press 'Add Legacy LTI'. You will be asked to enter a key and secret. If you don't have them, you can leave them blank and press save changes.

Entering a consumer key and secret

Registering an external LTI 2.0 external tool

The LTI 2 specifications have been deprecated by IMS Global and are no more the preferred way to integrate an external tool in Moodle.

To register an LTI 2 external tool, simply enter the url to a tool in the 'Tool URL' and press 'Add Legacy LTI'.

This will open the tool, which may in turn ask you to decide on some settings.

Viewing and confirming capabilities

Then you will be shown the capabilities the tool wants to use and you can decide if you want to allow the tool or not.

Viewing more details

On the 'Manage tools' page you can also visit 'Manage preconfigured tools' to view the preconfigured tools in a tabular format.

There are tabs to add an external tool, to view those which are pending and to view those which have been rejected:

Setting up a new external tool

You can also visit 'Manage external tool registrations' to view the tool registrations in a tabular format, or to add an external registration with limited capabilities.

To add a tool with limited capabilities. 1. Click 'Configure a new external tool registration'

Registering an external tool

2. Configure the details on the settings page:

Registration settings page

'Memberships', allow the external tool to request a list of users with a certain role in a specified context e.g. users enrolled in a course.

3. Click the tick/checkmark to register:


4. After obtaining a success message, click to complete the process:

Completing the registration

5. If all requirements are met then you will be able to register automatically.

6. Now go to Site administration > Plugins > Activity modules > External tool > Manage external tool types and click the 'Pending tab'

7. Click the tick/checkmark to activate it:

Activating from the Pending tab

External tool capabilities

For details of how the capabilities work, see the forum discussion LTI configs when add external tool is switched off.