I have a follow up question regarding this solution: Exporting item list version history

I used this method and it worked on a very small list, maybe 10 items.

I tried the same method on a large list, 4000 items and I get and error:

Error Cannot complete this action.

Please try again.

Troubleshoot issues with Microsoft SharePoint Foundation.

I don't have powershell access so I'm looking for any other suggested solutions. Perhaps using MS Access? or simply figuring out why the solution above works for small lists and not large lists, even when the view is limited to only 100 items.


EDIT 1: Upon further investigation, it appears to be a limit based on the number of columns in the SharePoint list. Not the columns in the view, but total columns in the list. I've tried the method on a list with 1000+ items but only 4 columns, this worked without any issue. My understanding is that the XML Version history option only works on lists with fewer than 30 columns. I also believe this includes the default columns that are pre-populated by SharePoint depending on the type of list you created.

I'm going to test this in about 10 days when I am able to delete some columns from the list I am working with. If it works, I will report back.

  • Further to my previous post. I was using this method on a list and it was working without issue until it stopped working for some reason. The View i was using to generate the data was filtered based on a custom indexed date column (Created). After significant testing, I opted to remove the filter and voila, the &includeversions=TRUE worked again. This is ok for now, since we are not at the 5000 item limit, but i'm going to need to filter the data somehow after that is reached without causing this error again...
    – Sunfrost
    Oct 3, 2018 at 20:55
  • Ok, so the longer term solution appears to be using the Item Limit option in the list view settings. I set the Limit the total number of items returned to the specified amount limit to 4999 items. Taking into consideration that the IncludeVersions=TRUE setting treats 1 item as 1 version, so in reality you wont get 4999 IDs, it will depend on the number of versions per ID.
    – Sunfrost
    Oct 3, 2018 at 22:54

1 Answer 1


I was able to delete the columns that I didnt need anymore and this allowed me the leverage the solution outlined in: Exporting item list version history

This brought the total columns in the "view" page to 40. This includes all the default columns created by SharePoint (i.e. created by, modified by, columns for fields linked to edit/version history...). Custom columns I have are around 20.

One thing to also note about this solution is that if you use the "item limit" options in SharePoint to have paged results for your view you will only receive the number of XML results equal to your Item limit, where each XML result is 1 version history of each entry.

(i.e. if you have a list of 1500 entries and they are all only 1 version, you can get 1500 results exported with an item limit of 1500).

If you have 1500 entries with 3 versions each, and keep your item limit at 1500, your XML output will the first 500 entries in it, 3 versions of each or (1500 entries total).

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