Improved Version History Controls for SharePoint and OneDrive

Improved Version History Controls for SharePoint and OneDrive

Ever felt like your SharePoint document libraries and OneDrive files were overflowing with outdated versions? Well, Microsoft heard your concerns regarding limited versioning and is introducing a much-needed upgrade to version history controls! With enhanced version history controls, admins can set smarter version deletion options and default organization limits to enhance data protection and storage management. The improved version history controls for SharePoint and OneDrive are in public preview now, followed by the general availability in late August 2024 (MC789209).

What is Version History Controls in SharePoint Online?

Version history in Microsoft 365 SharePoint is like a timeline, providing users with a comprehensive view of a file’s evolution over time. If something goes wrong with a file, like if it gets flawed by human error or malware, users can revert to an earlier version to fix it.

Whereas Version history Controls means how many past versions can be saved in SharePoint or OneDrive. Admins and site owners can set these limits for the whole organization, specific sites, libraries, or individual OneDrive accounts. With this new enhanced version history controls, admins can set their desired level of recoverability and auditability for the organization.

How to Enable the Public Preview of Improved Version History Controls?

You can enable the Public Preview with a simple SharePoint Online Management PowerShell cmdlet.

To run the specified cmdlet, make sure your SharePoint Online Management Shell is version 16.0.24810.12000 or higher and run the following command.

Set-SPOTenant -EnableVersionExpirationSetting $true 

That’s it! With this setting being enabled, you’ll be able to test out the new features in the improved version history controls.

Just a heads-up: Even after enabling, if you come across the message “The requested operation is part of an experimental feature that is not supported in the current environment”, it just means the feature hasn’t landed in your tenant yet.

Improved Version History Controls

New Features of Improved Version History Controls in SharePoint Online

Let’s explore the new features that give admins and users more control over version history in SharePoint document libraries and OneDrive. These updates will help to optimize storage usage and enhance data protection.

Here’s a glimpse of what’s in store for admins:

  1. New Version History Limits in SharePoint Admin Center: Previously, document library owners could only set count-based version limits at library level. Now, admins are provided with a more sophisticated approach:
    • Automatic Version Limits: This feature automatically adjusts version limits and deletes unnecessary versions based on factors like version age, freeing up storage.
    • Manual Settings for Version Expiration: You still have the option to set specific limits by version count or how long you want versions to be retained. By default, the organization-wide limit will be set to ‘Manually delete versions. Within the manual settings, the default settings are 500 and ‘Never expire’.
  2. Organization-wide Defaults: Establish default consistent version storage setting limits for all newly created document libraries and OneDrive accounts within your organization.
  3. Site or Library Level Limits: Override organization defaults inherited for specific sites or libraries to address unique content requirements.
  4. Version Storage Report of a Site or Library: Generate reports in CSV format to analyze current version storage usage for both site and library level and assess the impact of new limits.
  5. Version deletion From a Site or Library: Reduce existing storage space by deleting versions from a specific site or library to align with new limits.

Improved history controls in SharePoint and OneDrive

After the rollout, end users can expect the following changes:

  • New Version Time Limits for Document Libraries: In addition to existing count-based limits users can now set time-based limits to automatically delete versions based on their age. These settings can be found on the library’s version settings page. Expiring version limits will remain unchanged.
  • New ‘Expiring In’ Column in Version History View: Users can now see expiration dates based on library settings. Additionally,they can set individual versions to Never Expire to override library settings.

How End Users Enable and Configure Versioning Settings for a SPO List or Library?

End users can follow the steps below to enable and configure versioning settings in the SharePoint list or document library.

  1. Navigate to the desired list or library.
  2. Click on the Settings (Gear icon) and choose either List Settings or Library Settings.
  3. On the Settings page, locate and click on Versioning settings.
  4. In the Version settings page, users can customize the following options:

For Document Libraries:

    • Decide whether to require content approval for submitted items.
    • Choose whether to create a new version every time a file is edited, specifying major versions only or both major and minor versions.
    • Set limits on the number of versions and drafts to retain.
    • Establish time constraints for deleting versions based on their age. This means that older versions will be automatically removed after either reaching the maximum number of major versions or surpassing a set time limit.

Improved version settings for end-users

For Lists:

    • Determine if content approval is required for submitted items.
    • Users can opt to create a new version each time an item in the list is edited.
    • Specify limits on the number of versions and drafts to retain.
    • Define who can view draft items in the list.

Enable and configure versioning for a list or library

5. Confirm the settings by selecting OK.

Note – Admins can set up alerts in SPO document libraries and lists to stay informed about the versioning preferences set by users. This ensures admins can audit version limit changes, without having to manually check each time. Some of the available audit events available regarding versioning events are,

  • Changes made to organization version history limits.
  • Changes made to site version history limits.
  • Changes made to library version history limits.
  • User deletes versions from the version history of a file.

In conclusion, the updated version history controls in SharePoint and OneDrive offer significant improvements for managing document versions efficiently. By implementing features like automatic version limits and organization-wide defaults, administrators can protect data and enhance SharePoint Online security. If you have any queries, please reach us through the comment section.

Improved Version History Controls for SharePoint and OneDrive

by Praba time to read: 4 min
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