How to not lose content!

Deleting courses or parts of courses can be nerve-wracking and sometimes we delete the wrong thing by mistake. However, if you understand and configure your Totara LMS Recycle Bin, it gives you a safety net to avoid permanently losing your deleted items.

If you’ve not done it before – let’s help you get it done.

Configuring the Recycle Bin

Step 1: Navigate to the Recycle Bin settings by selecting the cog icon then select Plugins from the menu.

Step 2: Select Admin Tools from the left-hand list to display the settings that you have control over.

Let’s walk you through these settings.

There are five settings that can be controlled. Select each marker to find out more about each one.

Both the course and category recycle bin lifetimes are set to one week by default, and you need to tick both the course and the category recycle bin to be able to use them.

The autohide setting, when turned on, is a handy reminder that if the link to the recycle bin is visible, there is something that has been recently deleted that may need to be investigated

Our ten top tips and tricks 

Take advantage of our experience of working with a number of clients and check out our top tips to save you time and energy.

Tip 1:Remember there are multiple recycle bins

Unlike the recycle bin on your computer, in Totara, each individual course and category has its own unique recycle bin. If you can’t see a deleted item or course, make sure you are looking in the correct recycle bin.

Tip 2:You can only recycle entire activities or resources

The course recycle bin only holds entire activities or resources. Deleted items within activities, e.g., individual quiz questions or assignment attempts, cannot be recovered.

Tip 3:Be patient!

Depending on your site’s scheduled task frequency, it can take a while for deleted items to show up in the course recycle bin.

Tip 4:Think about whether your deletion is affecting course completion

The consequence of deleting an activity that contributes to the completion criteria for a course is that it will remove it from the completion criteria. There is a risk that it could result in learners’ completion status changing and so you need to manage the impact before deleting the activity.

Tip 5:Consequences of restoring activities

Restoring an activity will also restore all completion data associated with it, but will not add the activity back into the completion criteria for the course. This needs to be done manually, but once the relevant scheduled task has run, the original completion criteria will be applied once again to enrolled learners.

Tip 6:Confirmation dialogs

When deleting an item at a course level, a pop-up dialog will remind you that the item will be available for a short time in the recycle bin. However, when deleting an entire course, this message does not display. Rest assured that as long as the category recycle bin is enabled, the deleted course will still end up in the recycle bin.

Tip 7:Restoring a course

Restoring a course restores all associated enrolment and completion information.

Tip 8:No recycle bin for categories or subcategories

It is important to remember that there is no recycle bin for entire categories or subcategories. If you delete a category, it will not be recoverable.

Tip 9:The ‘Miscellaneous’ category

Every Totara site comes with a category that is called ‘Miscellaneous’ by default, although it may have been renamed on your site. This category cannot be deleted.

Tip 10:Permissions for recycling

By default, people with ‘editing teacher’ permissions or more can use the recycle bin. Site administrators can edit recycle bin permissions for system roles, choosing who can view, delete, or restore items.

Don’t forget the Totara Help pages

To take your further, and in case you didn’t know already, Totara have lots of resources available on their Totara Help pages. Check it out to help you effectively control your Totara learning management environment.