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I'm working in SharePoint 2010 and I'm trying to do some farm clean up so I ran a report on the largest files across all sites. I'm seeing .one (OneNote) files at the top of the list. The largest is almost 7GB!

The library that it is in has major versioning turned on. Is there a workaround for this? What can i do to reduce the fileszie and what can i do to make sure other OneNote files in the farm don't grow to be that size?

Is it solely the content within the file or is there something behind the scenes going on with SharePoint?

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I have had the same issue with a SP 2010 Enterprise farm with Office Web app installed. I was not able to fully understand what is going on but let me explain what I do understand and how I resolved it.

First, incremental versioning doesn't seem to be implemented in SP 2010 but seems to be in SP 2013 as per this article here. This can lead to enormous OneNote files sizes if versioning is enabled on the library. So the what we decided to do was to move the OneNote files on different libraries with versioning disabled.

One other thing to consider is that I also have another SP 2010 farm with Foundation only and without Office Web app and the versioning is disabled but only for OneNote files. I haven't been able to find anything on the net on how to configure that but I know it is possible.

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In my opinion OneNote files work better in basic document libraries that don't have versioning or anything else turned on. OneNote handles its own version history and other things related to Office Web Apps when users use it in the browser or sync it to their client applications. From my experience OneNote files just don't work well with the SharePoint version history, library columns etc.

I also encourage or remind users that OneNote it is simply a notebook for taking notes and that official documentation belongs in other places such as word docs etc.

If you compare the other locations OneNote Notebooks can be stored such as a hard drive, network drive, or cloud storage such as OneDrive they by default don't have versioning or columns like SharePoint can so that is why I choose to make the storage places in SharePoint the same if possible.

If you do make a new NoteBook in another library be sure to inform your users to disconnect(right click > close) and re-connect(open from new location on SharePoint) the notebook when it moves from one location to another as it will bread the synced connection in their OneNote client applications. I typically use the client application to connect, disconnect, and move sections/pages around.

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