Changes to the default versioning setting for SharePoint Online document libraries

Today I learned that Microsoft has recently enabled the “Create major versions” option in all document libraries in SharePoint Online where versioning was not enabled yet. This option is from now on also enabled for document libraries on all newly created sites. You can find the corresponding Microsoft Support article here:


Good thing they have set the maximum number of major versions to keep to 500 Smile

I believe this is actually a great way to increase user adoption for SharePoint Online. Versioning in SharePoint gives you the possibility to revert to an earlier version of a document if you want to. Also, in Word you have the option to compare two different versions, a great way to quickly see what has changed in a new version of a document.



Now that versioning is enabled by default, users will be able to experience the benefits of versioning without any required meddling of a site admin.

Of course for users with sufficient permissions can still change the versioning settings for a particular document library, for example to enable minor versioning as well, or to limit the number of major versions to keep to a more realistic number than the 500 Microsoft has chosen for us.

Be aware that there is a caveat here as well: storing multiple versions of a document will obviously increase the amount of storage SharePoint Online will be using in your tenant. But I believe the benefits are greater than the costs.

2 thoughts on “Changes to the default versioning setting for SharePoint Online document libraries

  1. Eric Burger (@spiekerdijk6)

    Hi Maarten, thank you for updating us on default version settings in SP Online. I was triggered to comment by the last couple of sentences in your blogpost: that every new version of a document would add the change (delta) AND double its total volume was something of a draw back for implementing versioncontrol. It has been announced that this would change with SharePoint 2013, as only the deltas would be added with each new version.

    This was also tested by some clever bloggers:

    But the Technet pages for Office 365/SharePoint Online (volumes/limits) seem to undeline your statement about increasing storage. I tried to find support form official Microsoft pages on this subject, but didn’t find any…

    1. Maarten Eekels Post author

      Hi Eric, actually, I don’t mention how much additional storage is required, whether deltas or full versions are stored 🙂 In SharePoint Online you cannot control how documents or new versions are stored. Microsoft does that for you. But as far as I know, only deltas are stored in SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business.


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