Enable managed navigation for a site in SharePoint

Applies to: SharePoint Online SharePoint Server 2016 SharePoint Server 2013 Enterprise.

In SharePoint, you can decide between two navigation methods: structural navigation or managed navigation when you’ve enabled the publishing feature on your classic SharePoint experience site. Structural navigation is based on site structure. Managed navigation is based on term sets.

Managed navigation allows you to define and maintain your site navigation by using term sets. With managed navigation, it’s how you tag your content with terms from a term set that specifies the exact location where your content will display rather than your content’s location. Managed navigation creates friendly URLs. Managed navigation can also help create friendly URLs. To use and customise structural navigation instead, see Customise the navigation on your SharePoint site.

Notes: 

  • Mega menu navigation layout is not supported with managed navigation.
  • If you used the Publishing Portal Site Collection template to create your site collection, there’s no need for you to perform this procedure. By default, managed navigation is enabled for Publishing Portal sites.

Before you begin

Before you enable managed navigation, ensure that:

  • You’re a member of the Owners SharePoint group.

Enable managed navigation for a site

  1. From Settings Small Settings gear that took the place of Site Settings. , click Site settings.
  1. On the Site Settings page, in the Look and Feel section, choose Navigation.

Settings look and feel with Navigation selected

  1. On the Navigation Settings page, in the Global Navigation section, press Managed Navigation: The navigation items will be represented using a Managed Metadata term set.

Global navigation settings with managed navigation selected

  1. In the Current Navigation section, click Managed Navigation: The navigation items will be represented using a Managed Metadata term set.

Current navigation section with managed navigation selected

  1. In the Managed Navigation: Term Set section, mention the term set that you’ll utilise to specify your site navigation.

Select a term set

  1. Click OK.

Show Hide ribbon option, with OK selected

About managed navigation

Managed navigation grants you permission to define and maintain your site navigation by using term sets. With managed navigation, it’s the way you tag your content with terms from a term set that determines your content’s presentation location. For example, in previous versions of SharePoint, if you wanted to add a new page under “About our company,” you had to add that page under the “About our company” branch within your content. With managed navigation, you can add a page to the branch that makes the most sense to you. By tagging that page with a term, and using Search Web Parts, it will appear in the correct place in the navigation. To learn more on creating term sets, see Create and manage terms in a term set.

Managed navigation brings friendly URLs to the surface. In previous versions of SharePoint, the URL to a page contained a reference to the Pages library and any folders within that library, for example: http://www.contoso.com/pages/products/cameras/camera-accessories.aspx. With managed navigation, URLs are based on the terms in the term set that drives your site navigation, for example: http://www.contoso.com/cameras/camera-accessories.

In a cross-site publishing scenario (only available on SharePoint Server 2016 or SharePoint Online), it is fairly usual for the publishing site to use managed navigation. The following example shows how the friendly URL for a page is built from terms in the managed navigation term set.

Managed navigation and friendly URL

Note: A term set created in the SharePoint admin centre can only drive managed navigation for one site within the tenant. A term set created in a site collection can only drive managed navigation for one site within that site collection. To learn how to plan a term set, see Plan navigation term sets in SharePoint.

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