SharePoint App Bar

Intro to the SharePoint App Bar

What is it?

The SharePoint App Bar will appear along the left navigation on all SharePoint sites. There are 4 different components:

  • Global Navigation
  • Frequent and Followed Sites
  • Recommended News
  • Recent Files

Global Navigation is being talked about the most.

Visualizations of SharePoint app bar

There are multiple types of navigation within Microsoft 365 for a Communications Site. These include the Global Nav, Hub Site Nav, Top (site-level) Nav and App Launcher. For a Team Site, the only difference here is a Quick Launch (site-level) that replaces the Top Nav.

Visualizations of SharePoint navigation elements in communication site

Visualizations of SharePoint navigation elements in team site

Poll Results

When asked how people were feeling about the new SharePoint App Bar, most have seen it or are looking for it and want it, with a minority of people who are planning to turn it off. Many questions were asked within the community on where it is, what it is, and how to turn it on.

Twitter poll about the SharePoint app bar

Don’t see the App Bar yet?

The SharePoint App Bar may be visible earlier if you have targeted release for selected users on.

In the Admin Center, under Org settings, find release preferences to find this setting. There’s a way to turn this setting on for users and also for tenant, but not for both.

Admin center modification for SharePoint release preferences

Don’t see the Global Nav yet?

Under Settings, find Global Navigation settings, toggle over to Enable global navigation. Users are able to choose between “Home Site Navigation” or “Hub or Global Navigation.”

The Global Setting supports audience targeting in the navigation elements. If you want to hide things from external users or folks who are not in the managers group, etc. you are able to do so.

Visualization of where to set up SharePoint global navigation

Planning for the App Bar

  • Make a home site
  • Plan what belongs in global/hub/site/quick launch nav
  • Raise technical literacy for things like following sites
  • Consider transitioning to SharePoint news

Global Navigation Planning:

As your planning your global navigation remember things like the Hick Hyman Law. This is the idea that the more options there are, the longer it takes us to make a decision. You don’t want to have every single item possible in your global navigation. Break these tiers out accordingly to ensure they align with people’s top tasks.

Visualization of Hick Hyman Law

  • Keep link behavior consistent
  • End users should be able to predict which are links and which are not
  • Align navigation to top tasks
  • Use clear-front loaded labels
  • Complete user testing with 15 users minimum

When your screen is smaller… The App Bar is at the bottom.

SharePoint app bar responsive location


Creating a Home Site or delaying the App Bar is simple, but be sure to plan.

Set-PnPHomeSite -Url https://[tenant]

How to turn it off (until October 31, 2021)

  • Get-PnPTemporarilyDisableAppBar
  • Set-PnPTemporarilyDisableAppBar

App Bar Limitations

  • Can only postpone App Bar until October, cannot turn off

  • App bar shows on all sites

    • Plan your audiences for audience targeting

      • Azure AD groups (including security groups and Microsoft 365 groups) are supported with the exception of AAD dynamic groups
    • Can’t turn off global navigation on a specific site

  • Only one home site navigation informing global nav

  • No extensibility placeholders

  • Responsive design considerations

    • Smaller screen issue

Natural next step: Setting up Viva Connections

Visualization of Viva Connections in Microsoft Teams


How are you planning to use the App Bar? Continue the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #AskSympraxis and mention @SympraxisC.