I've disabled versioning on a document library that has grown to 4GB in size for only around 900 documents. Although the versioning is no longer enabled the previous versions of the documents still exist in the AllDocStreams table in the content database. How do I get SharePoint to automatically release the space used by the no longer used versions of the documents?

I'd read somewhere that the unused documents are removed when the user next updates the document and SharePoint determines the previous versions are no longer required. However, I'd prefer to release the space immediately if possible.

1 Answer 1


Here are two solutions using PowerShell:
PowerShell Script to Delete All Versions in a Document Library
SharePoint PowerShell: Delete old versions of documents and items.

Essentially this should work (from first link):

$web = Get-SPWeb http://localhost
foreach ($list in $web.Lists)
  # examine if BaseType of list is NOT a Document Library
  if ($list.BaseType -ne "DocumentLibrary") 
    # forget the rest and return to top
  # loop through each item
  foreach ($item in $list.Items)
    # work with the file object as we're in a document library
    $file = $item.File
    # delete all versions

I tested the $file.Versions.DeleteAll() and it worked for me

  • I have some event receivers attached to this list that I wouldn't want to fire. Would the "Versions.DeleteAll()" fire them? Also, does this only remove the previous versions and leave the current version in place? Sep 18, 2012 at 13:45
  • When I tested it did not delete my current version, but I strongly suggest you test this yourself! When it comes to firing the event I'm not sure. By the way, I just found this: sharepoint.stackexchange.com/questions/445/… seen it?
    – eirikb
    Sep 18, 2012 at 13:48
  • It's DeleteAllMinorVersions !
    – eirikb
    Sep 18, 2012 at 13:50
  • Hi, it looks to me like DeleteAll() was the correct choice, this remove all current major versions other than the current live one. Sep 19, 2012 at 8:26
  • So my test was correct then, upated the answer yet again :) Thanks for validating
    – eirikb
    Sep 19, 2012 at 8:35

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