It seems I'm not getting the function of the unpublish button in SharePoint publishing pages. I have a page where I edited and published multiple times. Which means I have multiple major versions and the site is anonymous. I wanted to unpublish the page so anonymous users can't see the page temporarily but it's not working. I can't see any published version in the page version history and yet the page is still anonymously accessible

3 Answers 3


Unpublish will withdraw the last published version, bringing your page back in draft mode. If you had an earlier published version, your users will see that one instead, perhaps that's what is happening? You can only unpublish the last published version (i.e. you can't go and bring back v1.0 that was blank if you are at v15.0)

If you don't want them to see anything you could try publishing a blank page over the current one temporarily? Then anyone without editing rights should see it blank.


"If you had an earlier published version, your users will see that one instead, perhaps that's what is happening?"

No this is not happening. Is really stupid, if you have a published page and then modified it, no problem readonly users are seeing the last published version, but if you unpublished the page goes into draft mode and readonly users get access denied even if there are previous major versions. Why is that ? What is the logic ?

Here: http://office.microsoft.com/en-001/sharepoint-server-help/publish-or-unpublish-a-version-of-a-file-HA101862529.aspx#_Toc269214226 "If major and minor versioning is enabled in your library, the unpublished version become a minor version and, depending on the settings in your library, might no longer be viewable by people who have permissions to view only major versions in the library."

No longer be "viewable" !!!! means readonly users are not able see the previous published version before unpublish


What about moving that page to an archive pages library?

  • Actually, I think this is proposing a solution here, but the poster isn't sure the asker environment would allow for that option (or if the asker already tried it)
    – SPArcheon
    Commented Aug 18, 2016 at 7:41
  • Poster asked for a solution and I have provided 1 of many solutions available.
    – Ali
    Commented Aug 18, 2016 at 23:31

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