Supported lists and libraries

Versioning is available for list items in all default list types—including calendars, issue tracking lists, and custom lists. It is also available for all file types that can be stored in libraries, including Web Part pages. By default, versioning is turned off (apart from new OneDrive for Business libraries   )

When versions are created

There are several actions that trigger version creation. When versioning is enabled, versions are created in the following situations:

* When a list item or file is first created or when a file is uploaded. Note that if you have enabled a library setting that requires file checkout, you have to check the file in to create its first version.

* When a file is uploaded that has the same name as an existing file and the Add as a new version to existing files check box is selected.

* When the properties of a list item or file are changed.

* When a file is opened, edited, and saved. A version is created when you first click Save. It retains the same version number for the duration of the current editing session. Even though you might save it several times, the version remains the same. When you close it and then reopen it for another editing session, another version is created.

* During co-authoring of a document, when a different user begins working on the document or when a user clicks save to upload changes to the library. The default time period for creating new versions during co-authoring is 30 minutes. This is configurable per web application in SharePoint on-premises. This setting is not configurable in SharePoint Online.

Based on: How does versioning work in a list or library?

Retrieving versions for all files in one library


1. Add the necessary libraries
#Paths to SDK
Add-Type -Path "c:\Program Files\Common Files\microsoft shared\Web Server Extensions\15\ISAPI\Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.dll" 
Add-Type -Path "c:\Program Files\Common Files\microsoft shared\Web Server Extensions\15\ISAPI\Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.Runtime.dll" 

2. Create the context and test initial input settings (credentials, urls, library paths) by calling .ExecuteQuery()
$ctx=New-Object Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.ClientContext($Url)
$ctx.Credentials = New-Object Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.SharePointOnlineCredentials($Username, $password)

3. Load the list or library in question

4. Configure the CAMLQuery. It will determine whether what items exactly will be pulled. Scope set to RecursiveAll means that the query should loop through all folders and folder levels for all ITEMS.  
$spqQuery = New-Object Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.CamlQuery
$spqQuery.ViewXml ="<View Scope='RecursiveAll' />"

5. Items are not the same as files, but each file is also a list item and they share several properties, such as ServerRelativeUrl. The common properties allow us to identify the files and load their respective versions 
foreach($item in $itemki)
 Write-Host $item["FileRef"]
 $file =

6. I decided to create 2 separate reports. One with file versions, and one with files that did not have any versions. It is up to you to adjust it to your requirements.
    if ($file.Versions.Count -eq 0)
        $obj=New-Object PSObject
        $obj | Add-Member NoteProperty ServerRelativeUrl($file.ServerRelativeUrl)
        $obj | Add-Member NoteProperty FileLeafRef($item["FileLeafRef"])
        $obj | Add-Member NoteProperty Versions("No Versions Available")
        $obj | export-csv -Path $CSVPath2 -Append
      Foreach ($versi in $file.Versions){
      $versi | Add-Member NoteProperty CreatedByUser($user.LoginName)
      $versi | Add-Member NoteProperty FileLeafRef($item["FileLeafRef"])
       $versi |export-csv -Path $CSVPath -Append


The script by design throws non-terminating errors during execution if it encounters folders or document sets which do not possess versions. It is possible to eliminate them, e.g. by excluding content types such as Folder:
if $ContentTypeID -eq ""
or by requiring only Files:
if($file.TypedObject.ToString() -eq "Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.File")

It is, however, not necessary, as the errors do not influence the outcome in the report and, in a very personal opinion, are signs of healthy script execution.* 

See Also

Versioning and SharePoint: the PowerShell perspective series

Part 3 Tweaks and variations 

TechNet Gallery scripts

Create a report on all file versions in the library
Delete all previous file versions in a library  
Restore previous versions in the entire library 
Enable versioning programmatically using Powershell and CSOM  
Enable minor versions programmatically using Powershell and CSOM
Enable versioning for all lists in one site
Enable minor and major versions for all lists in one site
Enable versioning for all lists in SharePoint Online tenant (C#)
Enable versioning for all SharePoint Online lists using Powershell
Enable minor versions for all SharePoint Online lists using Powershell

*Does not apply to all errors.