The left nav menu on a 2013 site has begun misbehaving. A week ago it worked perfectly, but now whenever I use the "Edit Links" button, several symptoms appear:

1) All links appear with an "x" next to them instead of some having the "show/hide" icon.

2) The "x" does nothing when clicked (can't delete links).

3) Links cannot be re-arranged.

4) Link names cannot be edited by clicking next to their text.

Once in a while (cannot pinpoint why) when I click "Edit Links" everything works as normal. But the vast majority of the time it is afflicted with the symptoms described above. Repeatedly closing/opening the edit menu does not seem to change the results. Clearing cache and/or refreshing the page do not change results. Using different browsers does not change results (it either works on all of them at the same time, or is broken on all at the same time, so it looks to be a problem internal to the site).

I can't find any other instances of this online, though it's tough to search for considering the strange symptoms. Has anyone else ever seen this, or does anyone know where to start troubleshooting?

Edit: As requested by Magali here is a screenshot of the menu while it is misbehaving. Several of the links are supposed to have the visible/hidden icon instead of the "x" and at this point links can be dragged around but when you drop them they just go back to their original position. The "x" is non-functional (cannot delete a link) and they also cannot be modified.


  • Have you checked for JavaScript error on the page? Use Developer toolbar of whatever browser you are using and make sure there is no java script error. If so, fix it. Jan 27, 2014 at 18:25
  • No JS errors. You made me curious so I checked compatibility view settings in IE too, but being off or on didn't make a difference.
    – thanby
    Jan 27, 2014 at 18:31
  • Just a wild guess, but check the source code to see if there is an element that is layered on top of those list item elements. That might explain why you can't delete or move a link, since you would always click on the element on top of the links instead of the actual link elements.
    – Magali
    Jan 28, 2014 at 13:33
  • 1
    My only other guess would be that the JS isn't running properly. If you have a JS file that runs on every page, could you add a line with just console.log('test'); in it? Then see if you get that line in your console. In my environment whenever I have an error in JS it affects all my JS files and scripts, so if you get the line in your console then we can be sure that there are absolutely no errors with JS. Or add a new link, that might be a good test too. Other than that, do you have any subsites that do or do not have this problem?
    – Magali
    Jan 28, 2014 at 13:41
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    @K48 Yeah check out the answer I wrote. It's the second one down.
    – thanby
    Nov 14, 2016 at 15:13

8 Answers 8


Is it a term-driven navigation? If so, you can re-arrange them in the term set by sorting them. Could you perhaps make a screenshot of the navigation when it is showing these symptoms?

Does the quick launch look like this on all sub sites? I found a post here that had a screenshot of a navigation with the same issues as yours.
I'll investigate this problem further since I don't think the blog post is a real solution, I'll get back to you.

  • See my edit above. The navigation is just basic OOB. Unfortunately re-arranging them isn't what I need, I actually need to edit or delete one of them.
    – thanby
    Jan 28, 2014 at 13:21

I turns out there was interference from a newer version of jquery that was installed by Brava for SharePoint. Once we rolled it back to the original jquery version things worked just fine (along with many, many other little bugs in the pages that had become maddening). Unfortunately this means that the specific version of BSP wasn't compatible with our environment, but such is life.

  • Thank you for posting the root cause once you found it. I'm frankly quite puzzled by the voting system here, as this answer is definitively the answer to your question, yet has been outvoted by other, non-working answers. Jun 14, 2016 at 17:26
  • That's one of the major paradoxes of SE. Most of the time when that happens it's for a good reason, the person accepting the answer might have picked an inferior version of it or just picked one that eventually led them to the solution when another answer had it clearly stated. I think it also takes you less seriously if you answer your own question because it's possible you're taking credit for someone else's work. It's difficult to find a perfect algorithm to determine which is the case, hence instances like this one.
    – thanby
    Jun 15, 2016 at 12:59

I am answering on the assumption of this being an on prem environment.

everything from the read, e.g. "A week ago it worked perfectly", "Clearing cache and/or refreshing the page do not change results" makes me immediately think about load balancing problems.

try removing the cache on the frontend balancers level, perhaps it will help, as it did for me


go into site settings, navigation and make changes there.

  • To add more value to your answer can you please elaborate it with steps and explanation. It will help other users.
    – Asad Refai
    Jun 24, 2015 at 18:48
  • This was helpful for me. The link is Site Settings -> Navigation, and then all of the links were there and I was able to Hide them. Not the root cause, but was an effective workaround in my case.
    – Jason
    Jul 30, 2020 at 20:50

I am very new to SharePoint 2013 and had this issue. My site navigation, found under site settings>navigation, was set to automatic.


I think a better solution is to make sure that when you set up page links in the left hand menu you must use the URL from the address bar of the browser, rather than using the "copy link" feature within SharePoint. I had this same problem, deleted all the original links (you must delete all or none will actually be deleted) and then reinstalled the links using the URLs from the browser address bar.


I had this same issue. I created site pages and they were automatically added to the site navigation. Turns out I had to Check In those documents before I was allowed to hide them from the navigation.


Try checking for duplicate urls in your list of links

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