Create Versions For Document Library in SharePoint 2013

Let’s go through how to create versions for documents and permissions and versioning settings types in a SharePoint 2013 Document Library.

Need for versioning

The following are the reasons that versioning is necessary:

  • Document libraries support the version controls at several levels.
  • Versioning in lists and libraries enables you to track and manage information as it evolves and to view and recover earlier versions if necessary.
  • In libraries, you can specify whether to track all versions in the same way or specify that some versions are major, such as those in which a new chapter is added to a document, and some are minor, such as those in which a spelling error is corrected.
  • By default, versioning is not enabled, but is enabled in the Document Library settings.

Versioning settings types

The following are the Versioning settings types:

  • No versioning: This is the default setting in which the current version overwrites the older version. There are no previous versions stored. This setting is not recommended especially if your Document Library contains critical or important documents.
  • Create major versions: If you select the “Create major version” then your document versions will be like 1, 2, and 3 and so on.
  • Create major and minor (draft) versions: If you select “Create major and minor (draft) versions“ then your document versions will be like 1.0, 1.1, 1.2, 2.0 and so on.

Library versioning permissions

Permission Default permission level
View Versions Full Control, Design, Contribute, and Read
Delete Versions Full Control, Design, and Contribute
Override Check-Out Full Control and Design
Approve Items Full Control and Design

Procedure to enable the “Document Version History” in library settings

Use the following procedure to enable the “Document Version History”.

If you enable the versioning in your Document Library then you will recover the earlier document easily.

Step 1: Go to your library in your site, that you have created already.


Step 2:
Then click on the “library” option in the top ribbon bar to go to the library settings,

library settings

Step 3: When you click on the “library settings” in the top ribbon bar, you will get the library settings page as shown below:

library settings page

Step 4: Then go to the “Versioning Settings” under “General Settings” and then select “Create major versions” or “Create major and minor (draft) versions” as your wish.

Versioning Settings
Step 5: Then click on “OK” to save the changes in library settings as shown as below:

save the changes in library settings

The Version History option will be available in your Document Library as shown below:

Version History option

How to check the version history

If you modify any changes in your document, the version history will be maintained in your Document Library.

Use the following procedure to check the version history.

Step 1: Click on the document that you want to edit in your Document Library,

  • If you have Office Web Apps installed, you can edit the document in the browser itself.
  • If you have enabled the “Require Check Out” then you should check out the document before editing.

edit in your document library

Step 2:
Edit your document and save the document for changes.

save the document for changes

Step 3: Then select your document and click on the “Open menu (…)”, you will get the following options,

  • Check in
  • Discard the checkout
  • Version History

Before you check the version history, “check-in” the document properly so that other users can edit the document.

check-in the document

Step 4: When you check-in the document you will get a pop-up as shown below:


Step 5: On the pop-up, you can select whether your changes are major or minor, then:

  • Provide your comments in the comment box
  • Select “Ok” on the pop-up as shown below

Step 6: Then you can publish your document. On the top ribbon the “publish” option will be available.

publish option

Step 7: Select the document and click on “Open menu (…)” as in Step 3, you can view the version history as shown below:

version history

How to restore an earlier version document?

You can recover the earlier document if necessary in the SharePoint Document Library.

Step 1: Go to the “Version History” from your document by clicking “Open menu (…)”, you will get the following pop-up:

On the pop-up you can restore the document.

restore version document

When you click on the “restore” option, you will get the earlier version document.


In this article we have explored how to create the version for a document and restore an earlier version of a document in a SharePoint Document Library.