SharePoint 2010: I have several libraries that have version history enabled. In trying to save storage space and money, I need to delete duplicates/old copies. If I just turn off version history, does that delete all the old versions?

2 Answers 2


Versions will not get delete until you explicitly press the Delete All Version button.

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You can easily validate this by creating a test library, then add a document and create multiple versions. Then change the setting and select Versioning equals No. Add some changes to the file. Then again go back to setting and select Versioning equals Yes. Check the version history and you can see all of the previous versions.

An interesting read about this topic http://naimmurati.wordpress.com/2013/08/28/effects-of-temporarily-disabling-versioning-for-a-sharepoint-document-library/

  • Thank you! Just to clarify: deleting all versions will still leave the latest version in my library, correct?
    – Nicole
    Nov 11, 2014 at 15:29
  • @Wilson Yes. The latest version will be retained. Nov 11, 2014 at 15:33
  • Does this apply to SharePoint lists as well? Jul 9, 2018 at 15:49

Disabling the Version will not delete the versions of documents. Recently, we had an issue Document Library which having unlimited version enabled and created thousands of version of each item. this cause big performance issue for the site.

In order to resolve the issue.

  • we limit the maximum versions to 5.
  • Check Out and Check In each documents, this will trim all old versions.
  • for check in & check out, our developer write a small piece of code,which check out/In each document programitcally.

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