Configure Global Navigation in SharePoint 2010

In most publishing sites, you want all pages and sites to display the same navigation settings. SharePoint 2010 can dynamically display all subsites and pages within a subsite in your global navigation. Pages display in a drop-down list.

Each site in your publishing site can have its own global configuration settings. So you need to perform the following steps for each site. The settings you make in a subsite, such as whether to display pages, impacts navigation for the entire site, not just what the visitor sees when they’re on that site. Follow these steps:

  1. Browse to the publishing site or subsite you want to configure global navigation for and then choose Site Actions→Modify Navigation.

    The Site Navigation Settings page appears.

  2. In a parent site, such as the top-level site, use the Global Settings section to indicate whether you want to display navigation items that are below the parent site.

    Select the Show Subsites options to display each subsite in the global navigation. To show the pages that have been created in the parent site, select Show Pages.

    Scroll down to the Navigation Editing and Sorting section of the page to get a sneak peek at your global navigation hierarchy.

  3. In a child site, use the Global Settings section to determine whether the subsite will display the same global navigation items as its parent site.

    Select the Show Subsites and Show Pages options to display subsites and pages on the current site and any other site (parent or child) that opts to display navigation for the site you are configuring.

    A child site can be a parent site to another site.


    For example, all publishing sites include a Press Releases subsite. If you enable Show Subsites and Show Pages, the top-level home site will also display any pages and subsites of the Press Releases navigation option. Here is the Press Releases navigation menu from the parent site when the Show Pages option is selected.

  4. Click OK to save your global navigation settings.

Here is the global navigation menu for a typical publishing site. This site’s parent site is configured to show subsites and pages. The subsite, Press Releases, is configured to show pages.

Typical Global Navigation Settings
Appears in Global Navigation When You Select This Option
Subsites automatically appear in the global navigation as soon as they’re created. Select the Show Subsites check box in each site in your hierarchy. If this option isn’t selected in the parent site, no subsites appear in your global navigation.
Pages automatically appear in the global navigation as soon as they’re approved. Select the Show Pages check box in each site in the hierarchy. If this option is selected in the parent site, the parent’s sites pages appear as siblings to any subsites in the global navigation.
All sites have the same global navigation. Make sure that in each site’s global navigation settings, you select the Display the Same Navigation Items as the Parent option.
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