SharePoint Online: How to Enable Global Navigation using App Bar?

Requirement: Add global navigation in modern SharePoint Online

How to Create Global Navigation in SharePoint Online?

You may probably know that there is no global navigation in SharePoint Online. This can be a bit confusing if you work with multiple site collections, as you have to navigate back and forth to access different sites. Luckily, we have the new App Bar – The latest addition introduced to Microsoft Sharepoint Online, which provides quick access to Sites, Recent files, News, and other commonly used features, located on the left-hand side. This blog post will look at how to use the App Bar in Sharepoint Online to create global navigation across site collections to provide a consistent navigation experience.

Although we have implemented managed navigation using term sets in the past (Create Managed metadata for navigation, Enable publishing feature, and set the site navigation to “Managed Metadata”), there are some drawbacks like, It doesn’t work for Modern group-connected SharePoint sites, non-responsive and changes may not reflect immediately. Now, You can enable global navigation in SharePoint Online in a few simple steps. This will give your users an easy way to navigate between sites within your organization. Plus, it’s a great way to improve the usability of your intranet.

Pre-requisites:

  1. You have a Home site configured in SharePoint Online – Getting Started with Home Site in SharePoint Online.
  2. You have enabled the “App Bar” feature – How to Enable or Disable the App Bar in SharePoint Online using PowerShell?

Add global navigation in SharePoint Online using the Home site and App Bar

How do I create global navigation in SharePoint online? By default, the global navigation is not enabled in the App bar. This post will show you how to create global navigation in SharePoint Online using App Bar!

  1. Login to your “Home Site” with the site owner or higher permissions, and customize the home site’s navigation items (You can find your home site/configure home site from SharePoint Admin Center >> Settings >> Home Site. More instructions: Getting Started with SharePoint Online Home Sites). sharepoint online global navigation bar
  2. Click the Settings icon from the Home site, then “Global Navigation” (It takes a moment to get this menu item If you have just configured the home site!).how to create global navigation in sharepoint online
  3. Turn on the Enable global navigation option. Optionally, You can add a custom image for the Home site logo on the app bar.
  4. Configure the links for global navigation by clicking “Edit Global Navigation”. You can add links/sub-links or labels with the specific sites that are most critical in your environment and build the mega menu.sharepoint online home site global navigation
  5. You can configure either a custom global navigation or have the global navigation be sourced from your home site navigation. I have set the “Navigation Source” to “Hub or global Navigation”. Hit save to commit all your changes.

This replaces the default Home icon (linked to the SharePoint Online Start page) with the “Global Navigation”. Here are the before and after screenshots:

App bar Home Icon without Global Navigation – Linking to the SharePoint start page (https://YourDomain.sharepoint.com/_layouts/15/sharepoint.aspx):

With Global Navigation tab replaced the Home:

Microsoft Documentation: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/viva/connections/sharepoint-app-bar

Points to Ponder:

  • It’s a good idea to hide the site navigation when you have Global navigation implemented (Setting >> Change the look >>Header >> Choose Extended).
  • The SharePoint app bar applies only to modern SharePoint sites in the tenant – Classic SharePoint sites don’t get the app bar (One another reason to migrate classic sites to modern experience, other than consistent user experience!).
  • Apart from the Home site, you can also use the Hub site navigation to establish consistent top navigation across all sites associated with the hub.
  • Setting audience targeting on the global navigation links is also possible.

Salaudeen Rajack

Salaudeen Rajack - SharePoint Expert with Two decades of SharePoint Experience. Love to Share my knowledge and experience with the SharePoint community, through real-time articles!

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