How to use the LearnDash Importer & Export

Before you get started with the LearnDash Importer/Exporter you should read this document in its entirety. 


  1. You must have the latest version of LearnDash installed. We don’t recommend trying to import/export from previous versions of LearnDash. 
  2. A backup, while a backup is not required like anything that involves data you should ensure you have a full backup so you can revert should the worst happen. 

How to Export Your Courses From LearnDash #

Providing you already have the plugin installed go to your wp-admin > LearnDash LMS > Import Export. 

That’ll open up the main Import Export Screen like this:

Let’s explore this in some more detail. 

LearnDash Export Data Types #

There are two data types you can use either XML or JSON. Both work as well as each other and it doesn’t matter which one you use, we supplied this option for developers that may want to manipulate the data further before importing. 

LearnDash Chunking  #

The Max Chunk size may seem like an odd option at first but in essence what it allows is for smaller files as part of the import to prevent timeouts on slow servers. 

A higher chunk size equals a faster import but on slower servers or shared hosting then you’ll want to lower the chunk size to ensure the import completes. 

LearnDash Export Post Types #

As part of the import, export plugin it’s possible that you can export specific post types only from LearnDash for example courses, lessons, topics, quiz. You don’t have to export entire courses if you don’t want to.

If you select “Courses” you’ll then be presented with an option to select either all courses or specific courses like so:

Clicking “Select Courses” will show the option to select specific courses. 

Exporting Your LearnDash Content #

Once you’re happy with your selection click on “Export” and then you’ll see a zip file will download. 

Note: For the zip archive to generate ZipArchiver must be enabled on your server as a PHP module. While most hosts have this enabled some do not. That’s why we save the folder so you can retrieve it later. 

If the zip file doesn’t generate you will need to access your server (usually by FTP) to retrieve the exported file which is always at this location:


Cleaning Up Exported Content  #

There’s an option to clean up the exported content on the page. Clicking this button will remove all exported files from the immerseus exported folder on your server. 

Importing Your LearnDash Content  #

When you import your LearnDash content you must be uploading a zip file. That means if in the previous step the zip didn’t generate and instead you downloaded a folder, you’ll need to zip that before uploading. 

Once you have your zip file go to your wp-admin > LearnDash LMS > Import Export > Import. 

Please read the following instructions carefully. 

The importer uses something called action scheduler this means the tasks are processed in the background. While slower to process than other options this ensures the content doesn’t time out when importing. 

Because of this you may think the importer is stuck. It isn’t. If there is any error or the importer is stuck you’ll see a specific error message and then can reach out to our support team for assistance. 

So how long will it take to import? This depends on the amount of content you are importing and your server specifications. In general a single course could take a few minutes and all your courses, lessons, topics, quizzes etc could take hours depending on the number of them. 

When you start the import your screen will look like this:

Notice how it says 0 of 0 files? This is because the import is pending, this is while the importer is analyzing the zip you’ve uploaded. 

Once the zip has been analyzed it’ll show the actual number of files like so:

The next step in the process is for the importer to actually import your content into the site which will update the status to completed like this:

As you can see from the above screenshot the status for that file is now completed. 

In some instances depending on the chunk size for some of the items in the list you’ll have multiple files. If you click on “Show more details” you’ll be able to see all those files like this:

The final stage in the import process is mapping the content, this is one of the slower processes of the import so don’t worry if it appears “hung” as it’ll be going through making sure the content is associated correctly. 

Once everything is complete you should all green “Completed” next to each step and be able to check out your newly imported content!

LearnDash Import Export Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q) #

Q: Is all content kept in association like courses, quizzes and questions?

A: Yes. All content keeps its associations including the places in the relevant course, quiz and lesson builders. 

Q: Does this work with shared course steps? 

A: Yes, the importer, exporter is compatible with shared course steps but in beta. This means that although it will work, it’s under active development so if you come across any issues let us know and we’d be happy to help.

Q: Why is the importing process taking so long?

A: The importing process depends on the power of your server and how much data you’re importing. If you have thousands of lessons it’s going to take a while. But don’t worry it will complete! 

Q: Is this compatible with TinCanny or xAPI?

A: No, xAPI content is not supported by the LearnDash Importer Exporter. 

Q: Is this compatible with H5P? 

A: We don’t have specific compatibility with H5P however if you use one of the many H5P plugins that content will be moved over if it’s in the content area of a lesson/course. 

Q: How can I contact you? 

A: Drop us a message via our contact form here, or use the beacon in the bottom right of your screen. 

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