SharePoint 2013 - Three level navigation RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hello All,

    I’m new in SharePoint administration. I have created a PUBLISHING site in on-premises SharePoint 2013. Have got NAVIGATION link in site setting for the root level site. My Company have three(3) level menu, e.g.

    (Level1) Department

                    (Level2) IT

                                   (Level3) Development

                                   (Level3) Design

    But when I open the NAVIGATION screen, I see “Structural Navigation: Editing and Sorting“ allow me to add HEADING in level 1 and add LINK in level 2, but I’m not able to add Level 3 menu.

    I have set “Structural Navigation: Display the navigation items below the current site” on and “Maximum number of dynamic items to show within this level of navigation:” = 20 for “Global Navigation”

    For “Current Navigation” too I have same setting, i.e. “Maximum number of dynamic items to show within this level of navigation:” is 20.

    We have activated 

    SharePoint Server Publishing - Site feature and 
    SharePoint Server Publishing Infrastructure - Site Collection Feature.

    No Luck.

    After researching, have updated “MaximumDynamicDisplayLevels”=3” and “StaticDisplayLevels=3” in SEATTLE.master, complete code block below:













    Can anyone suggest how to show three level menu for my company site?

    Thanks in advance for your kind help.


    • Edited by Adv SharePoint Dev Tuesday, August 19, 2014 8:32 AM lack of info in earlier post
    Tuesday, August 19, 2014 8:15 AM

All replies

  • Hi,

    You can use Managed Metadata for navigation.

    For Reference:-



    • Proposed as answer by hhancock Monday, October 27, 2014 6:19 PM
    Tuesday, August 19, 2014 8:23 AM
  • Thanks Rahul, tried that. That too showing 2 level menu.


    Tuesday, August 19, 2014 8:34 AM
  • Hello,

    Did you find a resolution for this. We are in the midst of a migration of our intranet from an old Web CMS to SharePoint 2013 publishing sites. For various reasons we decided that using managed navigation would not work for us. We are building out structural navigation as part of the migration but we are running into this limit. We are using the parameters you mention above and those in conjunction with our js/css for branding I think we have control over the navigation. None of this matters however if we can't do the same in navigation maintenance and render the full hierarchy such that site owners can work with it under "Structural Navigation: Editing and Sorting". Trying to understand our options. Any help is appreciated.



    Monday, October 27, 2014 1:02 PM
  • Hi Jorys,

    there is one more thread on msdn forum for this and this is really helpful in your case.Please go through it.


    Soni K

    Monday, October 27, 2014 2:26 PM
  • Are you using On Premises SharePoint 2013 or SharePoint Online? There are different resolutions for each option.

    If On Premises, what level of Service Pack are you utilizing?

    Cathy Dew SharePoint MVP Blog: Twitter: @catpaint1

    Monday, October 27, 2014 2:30 PM
  • Thanks Cathy,

    We are on Prem/SP1.


    Monday, October 27, 2014 2:41 PM
  • Doug,

    This was a known issue with SharePoint 2013 On Premises when it was first released.  The August 2013 CU was the one that fixed this issue.  Can you confirm that this was installed?

    Once this is installed you can customize the top navigation properly.  To do this you should create a copy of the default master page like Seattle.master and edit that and then apply that custom master page. 

    Cathy Dew SharePoint MVP Blog: Twitter: @catpaint1

    Monday, October 27, 2014 3:22 PM
  • Checking Cathy. Thanks!
    Monday, October 27, 2014 4:14 PM
  • Hi Again,

    We are on the August CU’s and have been for a few months. The release notes say this.

    Assume that you add a hierarchy of sub-sites to a SharePoint Server 2013 site on which the Publishing Infrastructure feature is enabled. In this situation, navigation hierarchies do not display more than two levels in the left nor top navigation controls.”

    I’m, not sure what the fix entails. Subsite based structural navigation only? Direct edit of navigation to provide the same multilevel Headings and/or links is not part of the fix? We made a decision to not go with sub site based migration simply because our old CMS used things called sub-channels that were little more than page storage that effected navigation. As such we didn't want a proliferation of sub sites without organizational/security requirements. So we migrate pages and rely of building out the hierarchy programmatically in the navigation edit. The though being that site owners can then build out or reorganize their sites as they wish to use sub sites or not, as they wish after migration. It all works quite nicely if it weren't for these limits.

    Thanks again.

    Monday, October 27, 2014 5:37 PM
  • As suggested by Rahul, you should probably look into Managed Metadata navigation.
    Monday, October 27, 2014 6:20 PM
  • I'm glad to hear you have applied the August CU.  Until that point you were not able to put any level of flyout navigation in SharePoint 2013 On Premises beyond a 2 level flyout.

    You can make this work with Structured navigation where you edit using Headings and Links, however, it will limit you from adding headers and links beyond a second level.  SharePoint is best utilized using a Sites and Pages structure.

    I would suggest that you first increase the navigation levels in the master page to 4, and then try this with subsites and headings. You can utilize the edit of navigation from the publishing infrastructure to set this up and modify it to look the way you want.

    I do not agree that Metadata Navigation is the answer for what you are looking to do, especially if you are wanting to use this navigation across multiple site collections. But unfortunately there are limitations in the system.

    Cathy Dew SharePoint MVP Blog: Twitter: @catpaint1

    Monday, October 27, 2014 6:33 PM
  • Thanks Cathy,

    Yes if we used managed metadata we would be building a unique term set for each of hundreds of intranet sites only because of the limits encountered. We didn't want to base our post migration term sets and taxonomy on the migration of content from an old CMS with somewhat outdated content. We have done a cleanup and are down from 500 sites to about 250 but the remaining sites content, that will migrate, should not be the foundation in terms of managed metadata of anything moving forward.

    So our plan of attack will be...

    1.) Sub site Based Hierarchy Approach - Simply test to see if, when we add sub sites n levels deep, that the hierarchy renders in local nav and can be maintained n levels deep in navigation maintenance. It is unclear to me if the MaximumDynamicDisplayLevels and StaticDisplayLevels need to be adjusted after the Aug13 CU's.

    2.) Navigation Direct Edit Based Approach (Current) - Test to see if a site absent of any sub site structure, but who's current navigation has been modified to contain n levels of headings and pages, is reflected in local navigation and can be maintained in current navigation maintenance. Again adjusting  MaximumDynamicDisplayLevels and StaticDisplayLevels as needed.

    If as I suspect that #1 works fine and #2 does not then we may have to look at switching back to a sub site based approach even if we wind up with site collections full of sub sites containing 3 pages each. The alternatives are either a lot managed metadata term sets built by our migration script or massive customization to make #2 above work to n levels deep.

    Thanks Cathy for your insights. Does the above seem like a sound approach?


    Monday, October 27, 2014 8:19 PM
  • Hi Doug,

    Yes this sounds like the best approach for what you are trying to do.  I know its not ideal, but managing the navigation with Sub Sites even if it is for 3 pages at a time will work.  Just puts more overhead on initial management.

    Good Luck!

    Cathy Dew SharePoint MVP Blog: Twitter: @catpaint1

    Monday, October 27, 2014 9:12 PM
  • Hey Rahul,
    What about 2,3 or 4 level navigation?

    That's not working for me.

    Friday, October 28, 2016 7:07 AM
  • I know this a really old thread, but for people like me, here's the work around for this:

    1. Site Settings > Navigation (under "Look and Feel")
    2. In "Current Navigation" it should be set to "Structural Navigation"
    3. Sort manually
    4. Add heading that you want to be level 1 menu item (if not already present)
    5. Add heading that you want be level 2 menu item (with or without it's own URL link, either way works).
    6. Click OK to save.
    7. In SharePoint Designer edit your master page.
    8. Find V4QuickLaunchMenu vertical quick launch (horizontal is obviously your top menu or Global menu).
    9. Change the StaticDisplayLevels to 3
    10. Change the MaximumDynamicDisplayLevels to 3 (if you haven't already)
    11. Save the master, but leave it open.
    12. Refresh your browser.  You should now see all the levels in your vertical menu.
    13. Click the "Edit Links" option at the bottom of your vertical menu.
    14. Drag and drop your Level 2 heading to your Level 1 heading so it becomes a child link.
    15. Click save at the bottom of the vertical menu.
    16. Now go back to structural navigation (see step 1).
    17. You should see your level 2 heading below your level 1 heading.  Click on the level 2 heading and then click the "Add Link..." button above.  You cannot drag a link to the level 2 heading.  You must create a new link.  Be sure to tic the box if you want the link to open in a new browser window.  You will not be able to edit this later.
    18. Once your 3rd level links are created, click OK to save.
    19. Return to your master page and change the the StaticDisplayLevels back to 1.  Save your master.
    20. Refresh your browser.  You should now have a 3-level menu.

    You will notice in structured navigation that the 3rd level links are not displayed.  You will never see them again there (even if you change the static display back to 3 again).  You can edit the URL using the "Edit Links" option (step 13).  However, the option to change the target window is not available (as mentioned in step 17).

    The only way to delete the link is to also use the "Edit Links" option.

    Yeah . . . major pain in the (you-know-what).  Thanks Microsoft!

    Wednesday, August 28, 2019 11:34 PM