Microsoft is rolling out mandatory versioning

Last month Microsoft announced as part of their Office 365 Roadmap that versioning settings are being updated. The rollout has begun this month and will be completed worldwide by the end of July. With protecting data at the forefront of their thinking, Microsoft has decided to implement mandatory versioning.

This update is for all OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online team site document libraries, including both group-connected team sites and team sites not connected to an Office 365 Group.

Microsoft says that the most common form of data loss in the lifetime of SharePoint Online is down to unrecoverable changes. They are looking to prevent this data loss by introducing mandatory versioning of documents. So, unwanted changes will be able to be undone as well as other recovery scenarios being covered.

On the one hand, this feature will ensure that unnecessary data loss can be prevented, which is, of course, a good thing. On the other hand however, it keeps a minimum of 100 versio0ns per document. If you have hundreds of documents (many of us do) then the storage implications of this look to be troublesome – possibly a reason for Microsoft to raise the per-user allowance from 500 MB to 10 GB.

John Votaw, a Principal Consultant at Business Agility said; “This is a welcome improvement to Office 365; it will better ensure that data is not lost over time and provide a more consistent service for end users.”

As this setting is mandatory, you will no longer be able to disable versioning – Developer APIs will be allowed to disable this, however, Microsoft highly discourages this.

What happens to my current settings on document libraries in SharePoint team sites and OneDrive?

Current libraries that have versioning enabled but are set to retain fewer than 100 major versions will be updated to retain the new minimum. if your libraries are already set to retain 100 or more major versions will not be affected, including those with the default setting of 500.

If you want to know more about projected updates regarding SharePoint, you can read our article about SharePoint 2019 here and our piece on AI in SharePoint here.