Restore Navigate Up on SharePoint 2013 AND SharePoint 2016!

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 recommend 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.

Homepage discussions Restore Navigate Up on SharePoint 2013 AND SharePoint 2016!

This topic contains 43 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Howard Waxman Howard Waxman 3 months, 1 week ago.

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    Mike Walsh

    A useful article that would have been better without the totally unnecessary “At BrightWork” plugs in the middle of it.

    Profile photo of Donal McCarthy
    Donal –

    I hear you Mike, but to be perfectly honest, I think it is a relevant point, in what after all is a company blog.
    At BrightWork, we are constantly amazed at the lack of decent cross-site reporting in native SharePoint. With every version we have expected to have had some of our thunder stolen, but it hasn’t happened yet and we do think it is partly because Microsoft really do see SharePoint sites as islands.


    Mike Walsh

    You have BrightWork in big letters at the top of the page. You have BrightWork throughout the right-hand column. There’s no need to have it in the text of every blog post especially when it adds nothing to the content of that blog post.

    I very nearly didn’t add a link to this post to my “FAQ” site’s Articles on SP 2013 section because of that part of the article. It survived because the solution presented was one that didn’t require the use of any BrightWork product so it wasn’t simply an ad post.



    I can get this to work, however, whenever I modify the Master file and set it as the default for the Home page, it locks out permission to anyone who is not in the Admin group, even though they are still listed as having permission. Oddly, it doesn’t lock them out of my subsites when I do this, only the main page.

    Any ideas?

    Profile photo of Donal McCarthy
    Donal –

    Hi Jordan,

    Sorry no idea – we’re not using 2013 in anger yet so I hadn’t tested this in the real world.

    Let me know if you work it out.



    René Fritsch (@rfritsch)

    Jordan, did you check in and publish your newly created master page? If not, that’s the reason why only SiteCollection Admins can see it.



    This works.. but not if you have theme applied (composed look). Then “up” image will not work.. Then you move this: ThemeKey=”v15breadcrumb” .. and image shows up.

    Profile photo of Donal McCarthy
    Donal –

    Thanks Marin – very useful addition.


    Lorraine Blake

    Hi, I have followed this to the letter. But when on a subsite it only shows where I am not anything above.

    Am I missing a setting.

    Profile photo of Donal McCarthy
    Donal –

    Hi Lorraine,

    I think this might be your issue.

    The navigate up setting follows the sites navigation inheritance rules specified in the Top Link Bar page.

    If your site is set to not inherit links, then the Nav Up will (at best) only show the Site Collection home and the site home.

    Let me know if this is the issue.




    Thanks, I think this might have solved my problem!

    I was using SharePoint Designer and the right-click “Set as Custom Master Page” option to use my modified master files but like you said they were unpublished so I had to go into the Site Settings to Publish them.


    robert chiverton

    I am enjoying the brutal honesty of Mike Walsh… quite valuable feedback in my opinion.



    That’s really cool! Thanks!


    Omkar Baviskar

    Hello Marin,
    I tried the same solution but after changing the look Show up image is not visible.I understand you suggested to “move this: ThemeKey=”v15breadcrumb” ” However can you give some more details like where we should move this Themekey parameter?

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