Microsoft has sent out an announcement today May 22nd 2018 informing all Office 365 tenants that versioning is now the default setting for all SharePoint document libraries, One Drive for Business and Team sites.
These changes should be completed worldwide by July.
All SharePoint and OneDrive libraries will be set to retain a minimum of one hundred major versions. Existing libraries that have versioning enabled but are set to retain fewer than one hundred major versions will be updated to retain the new minimum. Libraries already set to retain one hundred or more major versions will not be affected, including those with the default setting of five hundred.
With these changes, the Document Library Settings page will no longer support the ability to disable versioning or configure it to retain fewer than one hundred versions.
While this update does increase the number of possible versions saved for any document, most customers will not notice a significant increase in storage requirements based on this change. Also, earlier this year we announced plans to increase the SharePoint Online per user license storage allocation, allowing greater collaboration and storage capacity for organizations using Office 365 and SharePoint Online.
Some organizations may have some reservations about storage concerns but overall this is a good change.
On May 21st the SharePoint conference took place where one highlighted new feature was the ability of SharePoint and OneDrive to recover from a ransomware attack.
In the scenario they had a normal user open a suspicious file causing the attack. This can just about happen to anyone by accident! Any files that the client machine had were then encrypted by the virus. Microsoft Defender noticed the attack and was able to prompt the user about the encryption. A safe recovery point was selected and all files were returned to their original state within a few minutes.
Without versioning this scenario quickly turns into a disaster for the user.
While we may have some storage concerns about the extra space required to handle file versions this is just one example of the advantages of having versioning enabled.