Let’s bring the breadcrumb back to SharePoint 2013!

By default SharePoint 2013 doesn’t have a breadcrumb (like the 2010 version used to have). This was a very helpful feature to navigate back in your site and some users really miss it.

This post was updated on 12th June 2014 to solve the missing icon issue reported by some users.

The good news is Microsoft didn’t remove it from SharePoint 2013, it’s just hidden in the Seattle master page.

To get it back working, you can follow these steps:

  1. Open your site with SharePoint designer
  2. Navigate to All Files -> _catalogs -> master page
  3. Edit the Seattle.master in advanced mode and copy all the code
  4. By default it’s not possible to edit the original master. To create a new one click on File -> Blank Master Page
  5. Create new master page

  6. Check out the new master, edit it in advanced mode, delete all the existent code and paste the one from the original Seattle
  7. Search for
  8. Delete the CSS attribute
    style="display:none;"
  9. Two lines bellow change the visible attribute of the SharePoint:PopoutMenu to true
  10. After editing your code it should look like this
  11. If you are using one of the themes from SharePoint your breadcrumb icon will not appear as it should, to get it back add the script below before the closing tag </body>
  12. Save the modified master page, check it in and publish the major version
  13. Open your SharePoint Site, go to Settings -> Site Settings -> MasterPage under Look and Feel and select the new master page for the Site master and System master options
  14. Select master page

  15. You will see a new icon on the left side of the menu.
    Here’s your breadcrumb!
  16. SharePoint 2013 breadcrumb

Heads up!

If you are using the latest version of BindTuning themes you don’t have to do anything to get the breadcrumb back, it’s included by default

BindTuning breadcrumb

63 thoughts on “Let’s bring the breadcrumb back to SharePoint 2013!

  1. Good one!
    But you should pint out that this master page setting under look and feel is only available for Publishing site. For Team site no need and nowhere to do that. After checking in the master page it works. Thanks!

    1. Hi Allan,

      If you are not using SharePoint Foundation, you have the ability to get the master page option for all kind of sites including the team sites, the only thing you have to do is activate the publishing features.
      I’m glad that you manage to get this to work! :)

  2. Is there a certain name you need to use in SharePoint Enterprise for this option to become available under the Master Page Dropdown?

    1. Hi Jed,

      You need to activate the SharePoint publishing features, first at site collection level and then at site level. If your SharePoint version do not include the Publishing features you can set a new master page using SharePoint designer.

  3. Hello João,
    I created publishing site collection, then newly created a master page and applied it in the top site of the site collection referring to your instruction. However, the breadcrumb is failed to be dispalyed in my home page yet. :(

  4. I am really new to SharePoint, but how do you “publish the major version”. At step 10, I am not sure what to do. In SharePoint Designer, I can right-click over my new file and there are options for “Set as Default Master Page” and “Set as Custom Master Page”. Am I in the right neighborhood?

    1. You can do this using a javascript.
      Add an empty div to your page layout, and then in the master page you can run a script that will get the code from the breadcrumb and will fill the empty div.
      Something like this:

      var breadcrumb = $(“.breadcrumbArea”).html(); // This is the breadcrumb code
      $(“#breadcrumb”).html(breadcrumb); // This is the empty div

  5. This works for me. However, if I change the look of the site, the icon becomes invisible. It is still there – if I click on the space where it is, the menu pops up – but the icon is invisible! Has anyone else experienced this?

      1. Yes. I tried both editing seattle.master directly (it allowed me to do this), and creating a copy as you suggested. I had the same result both ways.

        1. I’m experiencing the same issue. It appears to me to only work 100% of the time on Publishing Portal site collections. If I turn on the features on a team site and then add a new Masterpage with the code suggested, it will not show the icon but the navigation works. What can be done to keep the folder image visible?

          1. Hi Jeffrey,

            Please make sure that you are using the modified master page across all sites, and also check if the master page is checked in and published as a major version.

  6. Has anyone seen this issue? Navigation Level 2 is not visible anymore in this scenario:

    Level 1 (own Top Link Bar)
    Level 2 (Top Link Bar of parent)
    Level 3 (own Top Link Bar)

  7. Hi, I have the same problem as Peter, the icon does not display. The HTML is there, just the img tag src URL is not correct, it shows …spcommon-2D7B5F9E.themedpng but that files does not exist in /_themes/3/, rather it should be spcommon-B35BB0A9.themedpng. When I edit the img src URL to the file that does exist then the image appears. But in the master page it shows as IconUrl=”/_layouts/15/images/spcommon.png?rev=23″. Not sure how it morphs from there. Any thoughts?

  8. I did this on a sub-site to test it and it worked great. Then I did it on the top-level site and something weird happened — the dropdown is there, but it’s invisible (i.e., if I click in the area where it should be, the dropdown appears, but you can’t see the little folder). Any ideas?

      1. I am using office 365 and i am getting the same issue. I have applied custom master page and changed the theme but the navigation icon is missing. But when i click that area breadcrumb pops up.

    1. Hi, I got it to work thanks but it is only displaying for sites and not for libraries or other location you go on the site. In 2010 the bread crumb shows you where you are but here I can only see sub sites and nothing else. How can I fix it?
      thanks,
      bahram

  9. I am getting the same problem, the icon is missing but navigation is there. it occurs when i change the theme from look and feel, it automatically changes my master page to seattle.master from my custom master. but when i apply my custom master page again the navigation comes out but icon is missing.

  10. This is a terrible breadcrumb design, two clicks to get where you want instead of one. I prefer traditional breadcrumbs where the breadcrumb path is always showing in the upper area of the page. This little SharePoint breadcrumb icon with expanding breadcrumb menu is much slower. It doesn’t take much space to always have a static display of breadcrumbs…it’s worth it!

  11. Great article. Is there a way to just lay out the breadcrumbs in a line across the top that is present all the time? Like Home>project1>project1_dates. This is what my users really want.

  12. Hi, it work very good in all pages, but in powerpivot gallery it show at back, how ia can put the popup in front of silverligth?

  13. Small tip to avoid the ugly javascript, if you replace ThemeKey=”v15breadcrumb” with ThemeKey=”spcommon”, it works as expected.

  14. Hi
    Thank you for article. I have a question for you, I did follow your steps, everything working exceptional but it doesn’t working for sub sites which was created by code. It’s working when I refresh master page, otherwise it doesn’t. Please give a solution to overcome this issue in share point 2013.

  15. Hello

    Though the custom master page for SharePoint Online 2013 site gave the breadcrumb but I no longer see the quick launch navigation links to the left..custom master page was built on a copy of Seattle.master..kindly suggest a fix

  16. Nice post if you are using Seattle. If you are using the BindTuning Metro solution you can’t move it to the top of the page!

  17. Hi,

    I can’t use the new article but I am able to use the this one.

    When i’ve edited the master page. I get a blue bar with the correct icon, but with no text next to it?

    If i click the icon it gives the dropdown.

    Many Thanks

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