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Automatic versioning in SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business is a very useful function. Not in the least because of the possibility to compare different versions of a document by using Office. Just open a document and go to Review | Compare.
A standard library will support up to 500 (major) versions of a document.
To view the version history of a document you can simply select this option from Office, OneDrive client and/or from the library itself. The fourth (more hidden) option is to go to the site storage metrics page. Here you’ll see why you site is as large as it is. And you’ll be able to view the versions of documents. It’s somewhat hidden: https://<site>/_layouts/15/storman.aspx.
All interfaces differ. The one in Office let’s you open specific versions. And the interface for the library and site metrics shows you more details on metadata and comments added when the version was published.
And both the library/site metrics interface and the OneDrive client interface offer additional functions.
A very important function is to either restore or delete a specific version of the document. Deleting versions might sound weird. But it can help to clean up your site. As every version of a document is a complete document, this can take its toll on the site storage quotum.
So deleting versions might solve this. And you’ve got a specific version for this. But here’s the catch. Did you ever see this error-message when trying to remove a specific version?
Then there’s a good change this is because of the retention applied to the document. Either by using a retention label or retention policy. I came across this once when a retention policy was set to a OneDrive for Business location. This location was quickly filling up, resulting in messages that the storage limit was about to be exceeded. So the user tried to clear some versions of documents, but failed.
In the end, we concluded that this OneDrive was probably set to retain all information. We were not sure, because we did not have access to the compliance center. But in the end we were right……
So please be aware of this: setting a label or retention policy will effect the way versioning behaves. Normaly, this will not be a problem, until you do encounter this error-message 🙂