In my SharePoint list, I can see version numbers. When I click a document in the list, I see that Version History in the Documents tab is greyed out, and it does not appear in the context menu for the file. Versioning for other lists in the same site is fine, so I don't believe that this is a permissions issue, and the sysadmin has informed me that I have full access anyway. Versioning settings for the list is set to create major versions.

Does it make sense to see version numbers, and to have versioning turned on for the list, yet not be able to access the versions of the files at all?

  • It really is wierd. If Version History does not appear in the context menu, it probably should not be versioned. Is this a custom list or list created from a list template or something? Can you try to delete and recreate the list again if possible?
    – Deepu Nair
    Commented Mar 21, 2012 at 6:52
  • @DeepuNair I am unable to delete the list and start again entirely, but have created another list in the same site and it works fine. I think the list in question is a Document Library - the settings for the list are entitled "Document Library Settings".
    – sennett
    Commented Mar 22, 2012 at 21:44

1 Answer 1


The ribbon performs three checks before enabling the Version History button:

  1. Only one element has been selected
  2. The user has ViewVersions permissions to that item
  3. The List has versioning enabled

You (or someone with access) can check these settings in powershell

$w = Get-SPWeb SITE_URL
$l = $w.Lists["Shared Documents"]

Should show true


Should show ViewVersions with your user or a group which you belongs to

  • Thanks for your helpful response. The issue still arises when all three of the conditions you mention are met. I'm starting to wonder whether the data as become corrupt.
    – sennett
    Commented Mar 22, 2012 at 21:44

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