Customize the navigation on your SharePoint site

Customize the navigation on your SharePoint site

If you're a site owner or have edit permissions on a SharePoint site, you can customize the navigation for your site. You can add, remove, or edit the links on the left-hand menu on a team site (also known as the Quick Launch menu) or the top menu on a communication site to give users quick access to sites and pages.

Notes: 

  • If your site has been customized by the owner, the left-hand menu or top menu may not be available.

  • In SharePoint Online, you can only customize the left-hand menu on a team site at this time unless you are in classic mode.

Select your version of SharePoint below for the steps to customize the navigation on your SharePoint site.

Note: Some functionality is introduced gradually to organizations that have opted in to the First Release program. This means that you may not yet see this feature or it may look different than what is described in the help articles.

  1. Click Edit at the bottom of the left-hand menu.

    SharePoint Left Nav

    Note: If you don’t see Edit, you might not have permissions to customize the site navigation. You must have at least Manage Lists permissions. Contact the site owner either to get permissions to make the changes yourself or to have the changes made for you.

  2. Hover over the location in the menu where you want to add a link and click + and then the down arrow.

    Add a link to the SharePoint team site left navigation

  3. On the Add a link dialog box, choose one of the following link options:

    • URL to add a link to any item, internal or external to your company. Just enter the address and a display name for the link.

      Add a URL link to the left navigation of a SharePoint team site

    • Conversations to add a link to the Office 365 group conversations associated with the team site. Just enter a display name for the link. The address is automatically added and cannot be edited.

    • Calendar to add a link to the Office 365 group calendar associated with the team site. Just enter a display name for the link. The address is automatically added and cannot be edited.

    • Notebook to add a link to the OneNote notebook associated with the team site. Just enter a display name for the link. The address is automatically added and cannot be edited.

    • Planner to add a link to the Microsoft Planner instance associated with the team site. Just enter a display name for the link. The address is automatically added and cannot be edited.

    Then, click OK.

  4. You can also add a page to the menu from the Site Pages list. Select Pages from the left-hand menu, select the page you want to add, click ... either next to the page in the list or in the top navigation bar, and then click Add to navigation.

    Add link to left-hand menu

  5. When finished customizing the navigation, click Save or, to discard changes, click Cancel.

Note: Recent items are handled automatically by SharePoint. You can't add links to the Recent menu.

  1. Click Edit to the right of the top menu.

    SharePoint Top Menu

    Note: If you don’t see Edit, you might not have permissions to customize the site navigation. You must have at least Manage Lists permissions. Contact the site owner either to get permissions to make the changes yourself or to have the changes made for you.

  2. Hover over the location in the menu where you want to add a link and click + and then the down arrow.

    SharePoint edit top menu

  3. On the Add a link dialog box, in the Address box, enter the URL for the link you want to add.

    To add a link to a page in the left-hand menu, follow these steps:

    1. Navigate to the page you want to add a link to.

    2. Copy the URL from the address bar.

    3. Paste the URL into the Address box

  4. In the Display name box, enter the display text for the link. This is the text that will show up on the menu.

    Then, click OK.

  5. When finished customizing the navigation, click Save or, to discard changes, click Cancel.

  1. Click Edit at the bottom of the left-hand menu on a team site or to the right of the top menu on a communication site.

    Note: If you don’t see Edit, you might not have permissions to customize the site navigation. You must have at least Manage Lists permissions. Contact the site owner either to get permissions to make the changes yourself or to have the changes made for you.

  2. Next to the link that you want to edit, click ....

  3. Click Edit.

    Edit a link in the left-hand menu

  4. When you are done editing the link, click OK.

  5. When finished customizing the navigation, click Save or, to discard changes, click Cancel.

  1. Click Edit at the bottom of the left-hand menu on a team site or to the right of the top menu on a communication site.

    Note: If you don’t see Edit, you might not have permissions to customize the site navigation. You must have at least Manage Lists permissions. Contact the site owner either to get permissions to make the changes yourself or to have the changes made for you.

  2. Next to the link that you want to move, click ....

  3. Click either Move up or Move down.

    Move a link up or down in the left-hand menu

  4. Repeat these steps until the link is in the desired position.

  5. When finished customizing the navigation, click Save or, to discard changes, click Cancel.

This creates an indented link under another link. You can add only one level of sub links on either the left-hand menu or top menu. In a top menu, such as on a communication site, this creates a single-level drop down menu.

Left-hand menu

Illustration of a sub link

Top menu

Add navigation items as sublinks for drop down look
  1. Click Edit at the bottom of the left-hand menu on a team site or to the right of the top menu on a communication site.

    Note: If you don’t see Edit, you might not have permissions to customize the site navigation. You must have at least Manage Lists permissions. Contact the site owner either to get permissions to make the changes yourself or to have the changes made for you.

  2. Next to the link that you want to make a sub link, click ....

  3. Click Make sub link.

    Make a link a sub link in the left-hand menu

  4. When finished customizing the navigation, click Save or, to discard changes, click Cancel.

This moves an indented link out from under another link.

  1. Click Edit at the bottom of the left-hand menu on a team site or to the right of the top menu on a communication site.

    Note: If you don’t see Edit, you might not have permissions to customize the site navigation. You must have at least Manage Lists permissions. Contact the site owner either to get permissions to make the changes yourself or to have the changes made for you.

  2. Next to the sub link that you want to promote to a primary link, click ....

  3. Click Promote sub link.

    Promote a sub link to a primary link

  4. When finished customizing the navigation, click Save or, to discard changes, click Cancel.

Some links, such as Recycle Bin are system links and can't be removed.

  1. Click Edit at the bottom of the left-hand menu on a team site or to the right of the top menu on a communication site.

    Note: If you don’t see Edit, you might not have permissions to customize the site navigation. You must have at least Manage Lists permissions. Contact the site owner either to get permissions to make the changes yourself or to have the changes made for you.

  2. Next to the link that you want to remove, click the ellipses (...).

  3. Click Remove.

    Note: You can't remove the Recycle bin link at this time.

    Remove a link from the left-hand menu

  4. When finished customizing the navigation, click Save or, to discard changes, click Cancel.

If you have owner or admin permissions, you can turn the left-hand menu off for your team site.

  1. Click Settings Office 365 Settings button , and then click Site Settings.

    If you are using an Office 365 group connected site, you might have to click Site Contents in the left-hand menu and then click Site Settings on the top right menu.

  2. Under Look and Feel on the Site Settings page, click Navigation Elements.

    Navigation elements in Site Setting menu
  3. Uncheck Enable Quick Launch setting, and then click OK.

    Uncheck Quick Launch menu

If you've enabled the publishing feature on your classic SharePoint experience site, the left-hand menu will show links to modern experience lists or libraries if you've added them to your classic experience site in addition to showing items from the term store. For more information, see Enable managed navigation for a site in SharePoint and Enable publishing features.

Editing links in SharePoint Server 2016 or SharePoint Server 2013

To get started editing the links on your site, click one of the EDIT LINKS options on the page.

Edit links

Change links in the Top link bar: Click EDIT LINKS near top (see "1").

Change links in the Quick launch bar: Click EDIT LINKS on the side (see "2").

Note: If you don’t see EDIT LINKS, you might not have permissions to customize the site navigation. You must have at least Manage Lists permissions. Contact the site owner either to get permissions to make the changes yourself or to have the changes made for you.

  1. Go to the Site Contents page: Click Settings Office 365 Settings button , and then click Site contents.

  2. Click EDIT LINKS on the Quick Launch or Top link bar, depending on where you want to add a link.

  3. Click the app you want to add, and then drag it to where you want it to be on the Quick Launch or Top link bar.

    Drag app from Site Contents to navigation

  4. Click Save.

    Save quick launch bar changes

To add a link to another site, type in the URL.

  1. Click EDIT LINKS on the Quick Launch or Top link bar, depending on where you want to add a link.

  2. Click + link.

  3. Enter a display name for the link and a target location, making sure you include the http://.

  4. Click OK to add the new link to the Quick Launch or Top link bar.

  5. Click Save.

    Save quick launch bar changes

Note: You can't rename or remove Recycle Bin.

  1. Click EDIT LINKS on the Quick Launch or Top link bar, depending on where you want to edit a link.

  2. Rename: Click directly on the link you want to rename and start typing the new name. Click outside the name, and then click Save.

  3. Remove: Click the X corresponding to the link to remove it from the navigation panel, then click Save.

    Save quick launch bar changes

Renaming a link doesn't affect the page address or URL that the link references.

  1. Click EDIT LINKS on the Quick Launch or Top link bar depending on the location of the link that you want to move.

  2. Select the link that you want to move, and then drag it to its new position in the navigation area.

    To indent or create a sub link, drag the link under and slightly to the right of the link you want as the top link.

  3. Repeat these steps for each link you want to move.

  4. When finished, click Save.

    Save quick launch bar changes

Note: You can drag items out of Recent to the main Quick Launch bar. However you can't drag items into Recent.

For sites in site collections where publishing features are enabled, you have more navigation options to choose from, including showing subsites and displaying the same navigation as a site's parent site navigation (also called inheriting parent navigation). If you don't see these options, check with your site administrator.

  1. On the site where you want to change navigation settings, click Settings Office 365 Settings button , and then click Site settings.

  2. On the Site Settings page, click Look and Feel, and then click Quick Launch or Top Link bar..

  3. Choose options for the Quick Launch or Top Link bar, for example, to show subsites or to display the same navigation as the parent site (inherit parent navigation).

The links that appear on the left side of your site are called Quick Launch links. By default, Quick Launch includes links to recent items as well as important items like lists and libraries. The links at the top, in the Top Link bar, typically show subsites under your site.

Quick Launch

When you create a new list or library, a new link appears automatically under Recent on Quick Launch. Only the five newest links appear in the Recent section.


The Recent link on the Quick Launch displays the recently created pages, lists, and libraries

Note: When you create a new page, it doesn't automatically appear in Quick Launch. You have to create a link to the page and add it yourself.

Top Link bar

You can also customize the navigation links on the Top Link bar of your site to change capitalization, rearrange the order, or add links to the subsites that users visit most often.

Top navigation of a site

Related links

To add links to your page rather than the left hand menu or top menu, see Add a link to a page.

To create new pages that you can link to, see Add a page to a site.

To change colors, background, and how your site looks, see Change the look of your SharePoint site.

To change the name, description, logo, or other site settings, see Manage your SharePoint team site settings.

To create a site in SharePoint Online, see Create a team site in SharePoint Online or Create a communication site in SharePoint Online.

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