SharePoint Versioning – Major/Minor Versions


Versioning in SharePoint is not new, but it is still a major part of how we plan out and Govern our sites.  Even with the low costs of storage space thee days; we still find ourselves in need of Governance in a major way when it comes to version control.


  • How may versions?
  • How long to keep them?
  • What libraries need versions?
  • Do we need to adjust our site collection quotas if we enable versioning?
  • And many more questions that go along with versioning.



Versioning is often a small part of a companies backup/restore policy.  It should be at least if implemented properly.  This is sometimes the first catch in a deleted or destroyed document.


A closer look at versioning. 


We now have the ability to save versions as major and minor drafts.  With content approval on, only Major version are subject to approval.  This again can create many copies without an approver to control these versions.  This is a good and bad thing for a few reasons.  One, SharePoint does not have the ability to save differential versions.  This means we end up with a full copy version of the document every time.  A Major version will hold copies of all the minor versions.  Space can quickly add up on this.  There must be some restriction of how many versions we allow per document.  The nice thing is we can control how many major versions we have and how many drafts of these versions we keep.  Remember SharePoint will keep full copies – even for the drafts.  So as I just learned there are actually 511 drafts per # of major versions you decided to keep drafts for.  So below we see 3 major versions and we want to keep drafts on 2 of those major versions.  So in this case we could end up with 511 x 2 for drafts.  That can add up quickly.


Thanks for the comment on how many drafts will be created  


Let’s set this up.



Go to Document Library Settings


Next choose Versioning Settings from the General list


Now we can change the settings as we discussed.




So with versioning in place we can now allow content authors to keep data up-to-date and even apply a small level of backup/restore to our policy.




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2 Responses to SharePoint Versioning – Major/Minor Versions

  1. Camden says:

    Thank you. Needed this

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