there is an issue where in a document library the default limit for number of versions for a document is 500 but its still creating more than 500 versions for a document. Did u guys see this issue before? please let me know.

  • Biggie, what are the versiong settings do you have for your library? 50 Major versions and no minor versions? Commented Mar 22, 2021 at 23:39
  • default 500 versions , see the screen shot link
    – biggie
    Commented Mar 22, 2021 at 23:43
  • Interesting. I don't see the option "No versioning" in my tenant. Are you sure you are using SharePoint Online? Commented Mar 22, 2021 at 23:54
  • Hmm, that is strange, because it is a document library in a communication site , ya it is sharepoint online , that is so strange, but the question is if you have the limit , why would more versions being created more than the limit, is there any option that blocks older version of files from being deleted while creating a retention policy at tenant level?
    – biggie
    Commented Mar 23, 2021 at 0:17
  • I would love to run a test tomorrow and create 500+ versions to see what happens in my tenant. Maybe it's a bug and 500 means "unlimited"? You can also create a ticket with Microsoft in parallel. Commented Mar 23, 2021 at 4:17

1 Answer 1


I have run an experiment with a fresh document library in a modern team site in SPO. And I could not replicate this behaviour.

Default Library Versioning Settings

  • 500 major versions
  • no minor versions
  • Original document version number: 1.0

Updated the document 501 times

I have updated a freshly created word document 501 times. Thus, the last version number was 502.0


Then I browsed the version history for the file. As a result, I could only see the 500 versions: 2.0 through 502.0. Version 1.0 was not availailable because it was outside the 500 range.

enter image description here

So, you might want to create a ticket via the M365 Admin center.

Update. Retention Policy is the Reason

Turns out SharePoint Retention policies prevent old document versions from being deleted.

When Retention Policy is enabled, this is what you will notice. No old versions are deleted until they are past the retention period:

enter image description here

  • 1
    hi denis, i posted this question in MS forum and i got this response, this might be it, thank you so much for your input and help. this is what they mentioned --> "It may be due to the Retention Policy as someone mentioned in your other post. For items that are subject to a retention policy (or an eDiscovery hold), the versioning limits for the document library are ignored until the retention period of the document is reached (or the eDiscovery hold is released). In this scenario, old versions are not automatically purged and users are prevented from deleting versions. "
    – biggie
    Commented Mar 24, 2021 at 19:08
  • You are right! I've updated the answer with an experiment repeated with the retention policy applied to the site Commented Mar 24, 2021 at 19:53

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