In SharePoint 2013 I selected Keep the following number of major versions to the number 3.

As you can see below my version history has two minor versions and four major versions.

Is my logic correct in that, the preference of 3 does not apply to minor versions but only major versions? Also, the reason I am seeing four major versions is because SharePoint 13 will always keep the first version, so when I use the number 3 it shows the first version and the 3 version are the ones the follow? I hope I am clear.

versioning preference

screen shot of versions

2 Answers 2


Take a look here: 10 things I learned about versions

Versions do not disappear until you edit the document or manually remove the versions.

If you go from "unlimited" major versions to 10 major versions, the documents in your library will keep their 10+ versions until you edit the documents or their properties. So that old document, “Production planning wk. 21, 2011”, with 56 versions, will keep its versions until you edit the document. But… this document will likely not be edited anymore, so even if you limit versioning, the versions stay there forever. I make it a habit of removing all but 3 versions of these documents manually (in the Version History) whenever I find them. I am also thinking about a workflow to do this for all documents in a library.

UPDATE: Assuming you activated the "Keep the following number of major versions" and set its value to 3 only after documents in document library has been uploaded/edited (creating more than 3 versions), you have to edit the document or manually delete unwanted versions in order to trigger the new configuration and only retain the last 3 versions of any document.

  • I'm not sure I totally understand. Dec 28, 2016 at 13:41
  • I added an update
    – Cecilia
    Dec 28, 2016 at 14:03

Your understanding is completely right. The first one is not the version but the document itself. Other 3 are the version of this document which you have specified.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.