I have a question from users in the business, when they upload a new document (an updated version of existing in SharePoint) they notice that the columns that had been previously been filled are still filled with all the old documents data.

For example Column name = approvedby, so here it will have a user's name who has approved it because it is a new document they expected that when they upload a new document it is meant to be blank columns.

The document library has a flow, where it writes in the columns who approved it. So my question is, is the behavior normal in SharePoint? Or is the flow adding the data to the newer documents?

  • "approvedby" is out of the box column or the custom column you created? Also, it will not be set to blank value automatically after replacing existing document. Apr 21, 2021 at 12:55
  • I used the name as an example but it is a custom column that was created. So judging from your reply, if it is a custom column it retains data regardless if a newer document has been uploaded to replace it?
    – Sikh19
    Apr 21, 2021 at 13:34
  • yes, added our conversation as an answer below. Apr 21, 2021 at 14:10

2 Answers 2


This is absoultely standard behaviour. By adding a "new" document, you are not adding a new document, just a new version of the existing document, and you are only updating the content not the attributes of it. If you want to clear those values you need to write a flow to handle that.


This is a default behavior of SharePoint.

When you upload a new file with same name as existing file & replace the existing file, SharePoint will retain all the metadata/column values of existing file.

SharePoint will not set blank values to columns automatically after replacing existing file/document.

  • Thank you! That does make sense. I will pose the question to the user's about using a Flow
    – Sikh19
    Apr 26, 2021 at 10:53
  • Great, glad it worked for you. Please Upvote(^) and accept as an Answer as it helped you & it will help others with similar question in future to find the correct answer easily. It also removes the question from "Unanswered questions" list. Apr 27, 2021 at 13:58

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