Navigate Up on SharePoint

Restore Navigate Up on SharePoint 2013 AND SharePoint 2016!

December 19, 2012 by

Note: This blog post was updated to reflect the fact that the technique also works on SharePoint 2016 and Office 365; however, you should be aware that Microsoft strongly recommends not editing Master Pages in O365.

With every new version of SharePoint, one of the things that we have to do is work out the implication of various features being pulled or deprecated. You can find a TechNet article on the subject here (SharePoint 2013) and here (SharePoint 2016).

With SharePoint 2013, the removal of the Design view from SharePoint Designer is probably one of the biggest. One that really surprised me was the removal of the Navigate Up menu that replaced the site breadcrumbs in SharePoint 2010. This article will tell you how to bring it back.

You will need SharePoint Designer 2013 for this. SharePoint Designer 2013 is currently the tool to use on SharePoint 2016 and afaik there are no plans for SharePoint Designer 2016.

This is the Navigate Up menu in a 2010 site.

Navigate Up on SharePoint 2010

At BrightWork, we have always seen SharePoint as something that should be structured hierarchically, with parent sites and child sites. It seems that our friends at Microsoft see sites as islands. It may be the ability BrightWork has to report across multiple sites and lists that has made us see SharePoint this way!


Anyway – back to how to bring back the Navigate Up menu to a SharePoint 2013 or SharePoint 2016 site. To appreciate it, you should create a hierarchy of a few sites and apply the change to the site at the bottom of the hierarchy.

  1. Open the SharePoint site in SharePoint Designer.
  2. Create a copy of the seattle.master.
    Note: It is important that you make a copy for reasons that I explain at the bottom of the post.
  3. Open the seattle_copy(1).master for editing and search for class=”ms-breadcrumb-dropdownBox” – it should be on line 368.
  4. Delete the style=”display:none;” at the end of the line.
  5. Delete the Visible=”false” immediately underneath.
    Essentially you:
  6. Click Save.
  7. Make the seattle_copy(1).master the default master page.
  8. Return to your site and refresh. You should now have a Navigate Up menu in the Top-Link bar!fini

Note: One side effect of making a change like this is that the new Change the Look Feature seems to stop working. As far as I can make out, this will happen if you make a change to the default master page. This is why I got you to make a copy of the master and use that too make your changes.


Image credit 

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