Configure site collection version and upgrade settings

When Office 365 upgrades become available, the SharePoint Online administrator (also called the global admin) is the first to hear about it. Because SharePoint Online has a hierarchical structure, the upgrades are delivered in a cascading way, starting with the top level or tenant level of the hierarchy and then flowing down to site collections and sites below.

Hierarchy showing how upgrades start at the top of the tenant and flow downward

The SharePoint Online administrator determines who is allowed to upgrade site collections and can restrict upgrade permissions to a select group, or delegate upgrade responsibilities to site collection admins. Each method has its benefits.

Limiting upgrade capabilities makes sense when you want to arrange a coordinated rollout of new features, or you have highly customized sites that need thorough testing before being upgraded. Alternatively, it's helpful to delegate upgrade tasks when you have numerous site collections within your subscription. If, for example, you have team sites, personal sites, publishing sites, project sites, and so on, delegation spreads the work around and enables site collection admins to determine when the time is right to implement the upgrades for their individual sites.

Note   This article explains how to grant or restrict the ability to upgrade sites and site collections. If you want to know how to upgrade, see Upgrade your team sites to SharePoint Online 2013.

About site collection versions

One of the best things about SharePoint is the ability to easily create team sites and other kinds of sites whenever business needs dictate. If you're rolling out an upgrade, you don't want it to interfere with workday tasks or prevent users from creating sites when and where they need them. Thus, the concept of versions. With versions, you can update your subscription to the new environment but allow your users to continue creating sites that look and feel like the old version. Why would you want to do this? Consider the following scenario:

Rob, the SharePoint Online administrator at Contoso just upgraded his subscription at the tenant level but is still working out the plan for upgrading the hundreds of site collections within his tenant. At the same time, the marketing team is preparing to announce some new products and needs to collaborate with partners in various geographical locales can't wait until the upgrade process is complete so they create a 2010 project site to use until their project wraps.

You can choose whether to allow versions within your subscription. This is also where you decide if users should be allowed to upgrade their own site collections. Here's an explanation of your options.


Use when...

Allow creation of old version site collections, but prevent creation of new version site collections. Prevent opt-in upgrade to the new version of site collections.

You want to tightly control the upgrade process and prevent users from using the new features until a later time.

Allow creation of old version site collections and creation of new version site collections. Allow opt-in upgrade to the new version site collections.

You want to give users free reign to do what's best for them in the newly upgraded environment.

Prevent creation of old version site collections, but allow creation of new version site collections. Allow opt-in upgrade to the new version site collections. (This is the default choice.)

You're ready for users to use the new experience now.

To configure version and upgrade settings for all site collections
  1. Sign in to Office 365 with your work or school account.

  2. Go to the SharePoint admin center. You must be signed in as the SharePoint Online administrator to access the admin center.

  3. Choose Settings.

  4. In Global Experience Version Settings, select the desired option.

  5. Select OK.

    Note   Options appear dimmed (unavailable) if this is a new subscription or if the root (tenant) level of an existing subscription hasn't been upgraded yet.

To enable or disable upgrades on select site collections
  1. Sign in to Office 365 with your work or school account.

  2. Go to the SharePoint admin center.

  3. Go to Site collections and select the one you want.

  4. On the ribbon, select Upgrade > Site collection upgrade settings.

  5. For Allow Upgrade, choose Yes or No.

  6. Select Save.

Applies To: SharePoint Online

Was this information helpful?

Yes No

How can we improve it?

255 characters remaining

To protect your privacy, please do not include contact information in your feedback. Review our privacy policy.

Thank you for your feedback!

Change language