Exporting D2L courses

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About this article

This article includes instructions for exporting a D2L course as a zip file that can be archived and shared with others. It is intended for instructors.

Exporting versus copying

Exporting a D2L course differs from copying components from one course to another. When you export a course, you are saving a copy of that course to your laptop's hard drive, external storage, or a network directory. You might do this to back up your course and prevent it from being purged. Each semester, Minnesota State purges D2L courses that are more than two years old. You might also want to share the course with another instructor, either here at WSU or at another school that uses D2L. The exported course can simply be imported into an empty D2L course shell. The export process results in a .zip file. You can actually search through this zip archive to find individual files and extract files from it. However, you do want to retain the original zip file, because this is the file you will import into D2L if you or your colleagues ever want to reuse all or some of the course components.

Fig 1. Exporting a D2L course and files.

Where are my export files saved?

Unfortunately, D2L does not allow you to specify the name or save location of the .zip export files. They will be saved to your laptop's Downloads folder or whatever folder you specified in your browser settings if you changed the default save location. From there, you can move them to another location. You can also rename them if you wish.


  • From your D2L course, select Edit Course. Then select Import/Export/Copy Components.
  • Select Export Components and Include course files (Fig 1). Select Start.
  • Choose Select All Components or select the individual components you wish to export. Select Continue.
  • Select Continue again to confirm.
  • Assuming that everything checks out on the Export Summary, select Finish.
  • Select Click here to download the export zip package.
  • What happens next depends on the browser you are using, but the .zip file will download to your laptop's Downloads folder. The name of the file is preset by D2L and will be something like D2LExport_2010935_201562034.zip.

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