One of the key features of SharePoint is versioning. But if not planned correctly versions can become your nightmare on a SharePoint project. During project planning phase perform requirements analysis on versions and once implemented educate end-users on how to use versioning correctly.

Versioning is a very good feature but Office documents can be huge so it is a good plan to limit the number of versions you want to keep in your document libraries.

Lesson 1 – Setting versioning limits

This lesson is very important, and, as a SharePoint consultant, you must know this by heart [:D]. It will also be useful for the following posts in this series.

You can restrict number of versions in following ways:
1) You can limit the number of major versions
2) You can limit a number of major version that will have minor versions
3) You CANNOT limit a number of minor versions to keep for a major version


Lesson 2 – Reaching version limit

When you hit your version limit the oldest version will be deleted. If major version limitation is set to 3, the following will happen when you publish version 5.0


In next post I will try to explain the most common questions you will be asked about versioning by end-users on a SharePoint training.


  1. Eman Says

    Dear Toni

    There have been lots of discussions regarding document versioning in our department.

    I’ve heard that SharePoint keeps entire documents in past versions rather than just the delta, as done by some other versioning tools.

    Is that true? This can quickly consume disk space in a big company or department even if we limit the version tree as described in the blog.

  2. Toni Says

    I think you have to correct information. Sharepoint stores the complete copy of each version into database. It was probably designed in such a way because old binary formats were hard break into deltas. I do not know if there is any improvements with Office 2007 formats.

    On a large implementation I would suggest limiting the number of versions to keep. If that will not be sufficient for you, you might wanna consider Enterprise Vault ( It is a very good archiving software for Microsoft SharePoint and Exchange.

    If you have any questions please feel free to drop me a line,

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