Automatic deletion of TUNI Moodle courses: shortened retention period and inactivity rule

Automatic deletion of TUNI Moodle courses: shortened retention period and inactivity rule

by Moodle 1 -
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The automatic deletion process of old courses was introduced in TUNI Moodle in January 2023. Two changes will be made to the deletion process on 5.2.2024: deleted courses will be stored for 6 months instead of the previous 11 months and inactivity will be added as a deletion criterion in addition to the end date of the courses. Teacher: note the maximum retention time of student submission and other work defined in the University and TAMK's Information Management Plans on your Moodle courses.

TUNI Moodle has thousands of outdated, long-unused courses that teachers have not deleted from Moodle themselves. Almost identical courses cause confusion for both students and teachers, unnecessary courses burden Moodle servers and they have student assignments and other student works that should be deleted according to the university and TAMK’s information management plans 6-12 months after the final assessments has been made. The automatic deletion of courses was introduced for these reasons at the beginning of 2023.

From the beginning of February 2024, the deletion process will automatically include those courses that no one has visited in over two years. This rule is completely separate from the end date of the courses. As a teacher, you will receive an email if one of your courses is moved to the trashbin based on this rule.

When the course has been in the trashbin for more than a month and the teacher has not restored it active during this time, the course area will also be hidden from the teacher. Previously, the course area has been stored for another 11 months, during which IT helpdesk has been able to restore the course at the teacher’s request. From 5.2.2024 onwards, this latter storage time will be shortened to 6 months. There are two reasons for the change: requests for deleted courses have been made at the beginning of the storage time window and a shorter storage time will free up Moodle server resources faster, especially disk space.

Teacher: If you have TUNI Moodle courses that ended over a year ago, you have received email messages about their transfers to the trashbin . From February onwards, you may receive messages about courses whose end date you have modified or removed, but no one has visited in two years. Your Outlook email may have a Focused Inbox (default), which may cause Outlook to redirect emails sent by Moodle to the Other view. If you wish, you can force all new Moodle emails to be important by selecting a Moodle message in the Other view and choosing
Move > Always Move to Focused.

If you suspect that some course that you need and want to save has been moved to the trashbin, you can search for notification messages in your email using the following sender and subject information:


  • Älä vastaa tähän sähköpostiin (TUNI Moodle) noreply-tuni [at]
  • Do not reply to this email (via TUNI Moodle) noreply-tuni [at]>

Subject is one of these:

  • TUNI Moodle: Your course has been moved to trashbin and will be deleted
  • TUNI Moodle: Your course has been deleted

Do this as teacher if your old course is still needed in the future:

  • If it is less than a month since the course was moved to the trashbin: find the course in Moodle and restore it from the trashbin. Remember to edit the end date in the course settings. 
  • If it's been more than a month since the course was moved to the trashbin and you received a "course deleted" message: contact the IT Helpdesk, tell them the name of the course and ask them to restore it from the trashbin. 
  • The course has not yet been moved to the trashbin: if necessary, edit the end date in the course settings by 1-2 years ahead, or disable the end date completely if you know you will need the course for years ahead (master/template course from which you will copy the new courses). Do not set the course end date to the 2030s or later!

If you want to delete the student submissions but save the Moodle course content and assignments, first duplicate the assignment activity (Turn editing on > activity Edit menu > Duplicate) and then delete the original assignment activity. Note that deleting the activity will also delete the student submissions and grading data from the Moodle grade book, so do this at the earliest 6 months after the final assessment. Deleted course content can be restored for 7 days in the course's own Recycle bin.

For more information and instructions for teachers on how to prevent the course from being automatically deleted:
Moodle quick instructions: Automatic course deletion process