Our team recently discovered (the hard way!) that not all objects in SharePoint 2010 have versioning enabled by default. From what I've discovered, it seems pages, master pages, and page layouts have versioning on by default. Is there a list of what objects are version-controlled by default in SharePoint?

We enabled versioning on the SiteAssets folder after two of us worked on the same CSS file and I accidentally overwrote the file another user had checked in. I had had it open for over a week. Then, carelessly, I said yes to save it when it said there was a newer version on the server.

What objects can be/should be version controlled? How many versions do you keep? Do you do minor/major versions?

Your guidance is appreciated. Thanks.

1 Answer 1


Those are the only ones I recall that are versioned by default.

As far as what to version, that depends on the governance policies and the specifics of the functionality of the site in question. Not everything needs to be version controled. My general rule of thumb is if there is something more than one person is going to be working on over the span of a week or more, then that is a good candidate for check in/out and versioning.

Also things like CSS and scripts files, whether in the Site Assets, Style Library, or a plain document library are great candidates for check in/out and major/minor versioning. This allows you to tweak styles and the tweaks are only impacting those who have the ability to view draft versions, not everyone until the file is checked in and published as a major version.

As far as the retention, I typically put a cap on 5 major versions to retain and draft versions for 5 versions unless some business process dictates otherwise. Everyone's environments and policies differ, so versioning needs to be applied on a case by case basis.

  • 2
    Eric has a very good description here for you. One thing that is important for you to know, is that each time there is a version, there is an entire copy of the file saved in the database, both for major and minor versions. It is important to use it only where it is needed, and to limit it so that you don't grow your databases to an unmanageable or unsupported size.
    – Lori
    Sep 12, 2011 at 13:01
  • Thank you, Eric and Lori. It's good to have this lifesaver, but good to realize it takes up space on the db.
    – Alex C
    Sep 12, 2011 at 16:30

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