SharePoint Site Left Navigation or Quick Launch

In this tutorial, I will explain everything about SharePoint site left navigation or quick launch. I will show you how to customize SharePoint quick launch and how to enable audience targeting in the left navigation in SharePoint Online.

SharePoint quick launch

Like any other website, a SharePoint site needs a quick launch or left navigation so that users can access important information quickly or easily.

By default, the quick launch navigation is presented at the top of a SharePoint communication site, as shown in the screenshot below.

sharepoint quick launch

In a SharePoint team site, the quick launch navigation is presented on the left side of the site, as shown in the figure below:

sharepoint site left navigation

The navigation pane can be located at the top of a SharePoint team site.

In SharePoint, we can easily customize the left navigation using a few clicks.

Note: You need to be a SharePoint site owner to add/modify or customize SharePoint left navigation or quick launch.

SharePoint site left navigation customization

Now, let us see how to customize the left navigation in SharePoint Online. To add/remove links from the quick launch, follow the below steps:

  • Click on the Edit link, hover to add links where you want to add them, click on the + icon, and the Add dialog box will display. Here, choose Link and then provide a display name and address. If you want to open the link in a new tab, then check the check box “Open in a new tab”.
  • Here you can add any links like, list, library, pages, etc, even you can add external links. Then click on OK.
sharepoint online left navigation menu customization
  • If you want to reorder the links, click on “…” and then on the Move up or Move down options. These options allow you to change the order of links in SharePoint quick launch. To make this a sublink, click on the “Make sub link” option. If you do not want the link in the navigation bar anymore, click on the “Remove” option.
sharepoint online site left navigation customization
  • If you want to Edit the navigation link, then click on the Edit option above. It will open the Edit dialog box like below. Modify accordingly, and click on OK, then Save.
sharepoint left navigation menu customization

This is how to edit the left navigation bar in SharePoint Online.

  • If you want to add a heading instead of a link, in the Add dialog box, choose the Label option and provide the Display name, as below. This will create a heading that is not clickable or that is not a link.
sharepoint quick launch open in new tab

This will be helpful when you want to add a heading without URL in the SharePoint quick launch.

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SharePoint left navigation missing

If you do not see the SharePoint left navigation, check if the option below is enabled.

  • Click on the Settings icon -> Change the look. Then, in “Change the look”, click on Navigation.
  • Now, check the “Site navigation visibility“; it should not be off like below. If it is Off, On it and the left navigation or the top navigation will start appearing.
sharepoint left navigation missing

Hide left navigation in SharePoint Online

Sometimes, you might not need to left navigation or the quick launch in the SharePoint site. In that case, you can hide left navigation.

  • Click on the Settings icon, then click on “Change the look“. Then click on “Navigation” in the “Change the look”.
  • This will open the Navigation screen; click on “Site navigation visibility” and set the toggle to off.
sharepoint hide left navigation

After this, the navigation will not appear on the SharePoint team or communication site. Refer to the screenshot below:

sharepoint site remove left navigation

SharePoint quick launch: Open in new tab

Opening a link in a new tab is simple in the SharePoint quick launch. For this, Edit the link and then select the check box “Open in a new tab” in the Edit dialog box like below:

sharepoint quick launch open in new tab

Audience Targeting in Left Navigation in SharePoint Online

There will be scenarios where you want to hide a few links from a group of people from the left navigation in SharePoint.

You can implement this by using the audience targeting feature. Follow the below steps to implement audience targeting in the left navigation in SharePoint Online.

  • To implement audience targeting, you need to create a Microsoft 365 group and add users to it. You can create a Microsoft 365 group from the admin center or even from Outlook.
  • For example, in this case, I have created a group as “SPGroup1” and added one user to it.
  • Now, edit the left navigation and then click on “Enable site navigation audience targeting” like below:
audience targeting left navigation sharepoint online
  • After that, edit the link for which you want to enable audience targeting. Then, in the Edit dialog box, you will see one option as “Audiences to target.” add the Microsoft 365 group and click on OK.
sharepoint navigation audience targeting
  • Now, you can see that User 1 can see the link as a part of the Microsoft 365 group. In the right side image, you can see User 2 cannot see the link as the u
sharepoint online navigation audience targeting
sharepoint left navigation audience targeting

This is how to enable audience targeting for left navigation in SharePoint Online.

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I have also created a complete step-by-step video tutorial; you can check out:

Add a Page to the navigation menu in SharePoint

From the pages library in SharePoint, you can add a page to the navigation menu. For this:

  • Open the SharePoint pages library, select the page that you want to add to the quick launch, and then click on “Add to navigation” from the command bar.
sharepoint add page to navigation menu

This is how to add a page to the SharePoint left navigation menu.

How to Add Top Navigation Bar in SharePoint Online

By default, the left navigation menu appears on the left side of the SharePoint site, but if you want to add the top navigation bar, then follow the below steps:

  • Click on the Settings -> Change the look, then click on Navigation.
  • On the Navigation dialog box, choose Horizontal from the Orientation. Then, from the Menu style, you can either choose the “Mega menu” or “Cascading” option like below:
add top navigation bar in sharepoint online
  • Then Save. Now, the top navigation will appear like below:
how to add top navigation bar in sharepoint online

Hide Left Navigation on a Page in SharePoint

If you want to hide the left navigation bar in the SharePoint online modern page, then by using the out-of-the-box features, you can not do it.

If you are using modern SharePoint, then you can develop an application customizer using SPFx.

Conclusion

I hope you now have a complete idea of how to customize the left navigation or quick launch in SharePoint Online. I also explained how to enable audience targeting in the left navigation in SharePoint online.

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