You might already know that the most common way to remove visibility to a certain entity on the navigation in Microsoft Dynamics CRM is to remove the users access to that entity in the security role. You can also modify the Sitemap using XML or use the sitemap editor available on Codeplex. What if you want to allow the user to see the entity on the main navigation, but want to change the way it appears at the record level? And why would you want to modify CRM 2011 navigation on an individual record?

  • You want the left navigation item to appear in a sub-grid rather than on the left navigation, so you want to remove it.Modify CRM 2011 navigation
  • You want to re-organize left navigation items and perhaps change some of the headings.
  • You want to remove some items altogether that should not appear.

Since the release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011, it has never been so easy to modify, rename, remove and rearrange items on the left navigation of a record. This can be done right from the Customizations area using the following steps.

  1. Navigate to SettingsàCustomizationsàCustomize Entities and select the desired entity, then select FormsàMain Form (typically, although you may have created other forms)


    Open the desired form and on the Ribbon, select CustomizeàForm

  2. To get in to “Edit” mode, double-click anywhere on the left navigation OR select Navigation on the Ribbon.

    You know you are in edit mode when the section turns white and the Relationship explorer appears on the right.

  3. To delete a navigation item, select it, and hit delete on the keyboard OR select it and click Remove on the Ribbon.

  4. To rename a Group or an individual item, double-click on it. A window pops up, which allows you to change the name of the item.

  5. To re-order the left navigation, simply click and drag the items to the place that you want them.
  6. When finished modifying the left navigation, double-click anywhere on the form to get out of “edit” mode on the navigation OR select Body on the Ribbon. Make sure to Save your changes and Publish the form in order to see your changes reflected in the system.

The best part of editing the left navigation in MS Dynamics CRM is if you accidentally remove something, you can easily change it back. Just click and drag the item from the relationship explorer over to the left again.

Some things to consider when modifying the left navigation:

  • Is it best to use security roles to prevent visibility to the item or remove it on the left navigation of certain records?
  • Is it best to rename the entity globally or just rename the left navigation on a single record?
  • How will modifying the left navigation on this record help users understand CRM as a whole—are you making the changes consistently on all records?

If these things are considered, then you are on your way to using Microsoft Dynamics CRM as a great xRM development platform!!

Happy CRM’ing!

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Joe D365

Joe D365 is a Microsoft Dynamics 365 superhero who runs on pure Dynamics adrenaline. As the face of PowerObjects, Joe D365’s mission is to reveal innovative ways to use Dynamics 365 and bring the application to more businesses and organizations around the world.