New Version History Every 10 Minutes

Copper Contributor

We have a team working on a document for a proposal. They are in the file the whole day making edits and one user specify who is doing most of the work has a new version added to the file every 10-15 minutes. This is causing issues with tracking the progress of the document as we have hundreds of versions each day. Checking out the document is not an option as several users are working at the same time. Is there a limit on versions, will we start seeing issues with that at some point?


Has anyone else run into something like this when a large team is collaborating on one document?


5 Replies

Hello @HonigKlug  - This is expected behavior, but you may need to think about the version history configuration on that document library.


By default, SharePoint Online document libraries are configured to keep 500 versions of a document.  You can change this number, but you cannot set it lower than 100.


I did have a user configure their library to keep unlimited versions (entering no number).  The library worked fine, but once a document has thousands of versions, the "Version History" menu starts to have issues displaying all of the versions.  (They had a Flow updating documents which causes some documents to have thousands of versions.)


We only knew something was wrong because the user couldn't delete a column they no longer needed in the library. We had to set a version limit and then update the documents so the number of versions would be trimmed down to the limit.


Anyway, here's a Microsoft Support article about changing this setting: Enable and configure versioning for a list or library - SharePoint (



SharePoint online supports 50,000 major versions and 511 minor versions. 

Limiting the number of versions is generally a good practice. It means you can conserve space on the server and reduce clutter for users. But, if your organization is required to save all versions for legal or other reasons, don’t apply any limits.


If your list or library limits versions, you should make sure that contributors are aware that earlier versions will be deleted when the version limit is reached.


Check below documentations for more information.


Microsoft documentations:

  1. SharePoint Online Limits - Versions 
  2. Best Practices and Versioning Trivia 
  3. How versioning works in lists and libraries 

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Keep in mind version saves are incremental saves so if you save 5 versions, total space used is not 5 times the size of original, it's more like 1.1. if small edits.

You are right from a technical point of view: the actual storage is optimized. However, all versions (yes,) count towards your storage consumption. Simple test. Create a very large pptx file and then create many versions and monitor your storage consumption.

@Paul de Jong 

Yes, SharePoint Online does not store document versions as "delta" changes (where only the changes or differences between versions are stored). Instead, each document version is stored as a complete file.
This can be confirmed by looking at the Storage Metrics of the site (where you can see storage consumption on document level too):

To optimize storage consumption, set reasonable version settings on the libraries. You can do this in bulk with a script or by the tool like this:

Then you can also clean up old versions with a script or with the tool: