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Please see Totara 14 help for the latest version.

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When navigating your Totara site there are a few key features to be aware of. 

  • Navigation block: Provides contextual navigation and quick access to various areas across the site. 
  • Team: Allows managers to view information related to their team such as learning plans and appraisals. 
  • User menu items: Shows when you click the dropdown menu under your name shown (by default) in the top-right corner of the screen. Contains your user profile, messages, user preferences, and user grades. 
  • Find learning: Allows you to browse and search for courses, programs and certifications (as well as resources and playlists if you are using Totara Engage) on your site.
  • Dashboards: Allow you to present content and navigation elements to different users in different contexts.

(This video is taken from the Totara for beginners course in the Totara Academy, where you can access more resources and learning materials - including other videos). 

As a Site Administrator you can change your site's navigation settings under Quick-access menu > Appearance > Navigation. Here you can determine preferences for the site such as the default home page, whether to show course categories, and how many courses to display.

The following settings can be changed:


Default home page for users

This determines the home page for logged-in users. Choose from:

  • Site home page
  • Totara Dashboard (default)
  • Totara grid catalogue / Find learning
Home page for guests

This determines the home page for guest users. Choose from:

  • Front page (default)
  • Totara Dashboard

If you want guest users to see a different dashboard to logged-in users then you will need to create two dashboards and configure them appropriately. The first dashboard should be set to Available to all logged in users and should have guest access disabled. The second dashboard should be set to Available to no users and have guest access enabled. When this setting is set to Totara Dashboard, users will see the second dashboard if they access the site as a guest.

For any dashboard you want guests to be able to access you must enable Allow guest access in the dashboard settings.

llow users to select their default page.

Show course full names

If enabled courses in the navigation will be shown using their full name rather than their short name. 

Show course categories

When disabled this hides course categories from being displayed in navigation menus, navigation blocks, and within the breadcrumbs. Enabling this setting means that course categories will always be visible to a user even where they may not be enrolled or have access to those categories.

If there is only one category on the site then it will not be displayed in the navigation bar.

Show My course categories

If this setting is enabled then courses on the user's My courses page (listing courses in which they are enrolled) will be shown in their respective categories.

Show all courses

This setting determines whether users who are enrolled in courses can see Courses (listing all courses) in the navigation, in addition to My courses (listing courses in which they are enrolled).

Show My courses expanded on Dashboard

If enabled, My courses is initially shown expanded in the navigation block on the Dashboard.


Sort My courses

This determines whether courses are listed under My courses according to:

  • Sort order: This is the order set in Site administration > Courses > Manage courses and categories
  • Course full name: Sorted alphabetically by the course full name
  • Course short name: Sorted alphabetically by the course short name
  • Course ID number: Sorted numerically by the course ID number
Course limit

Limits the number of courses shown to the user when they are either not logged in or are not enrolled in any courses.

Use site name for site pages

If enabled the site's short name will be used for the site pages node in the navigation rather than the string 'Site pages'.

Link admin categories

If enabled all Site administration menu items will be displayed as links in the navigation and will lead to the Category administration pages.

Always link course sections

Always try to provide a link for course sections. Course sections are usually only shown as links if the course format displays a single section per page. If this setting is enabled a link will always be provided. Please see Creating Courses for more information on course formats.

Show front page activities in the navigation

If enabled, front page activities will be shown on the Navigation block under site pages.

Add links to view user posts

If enabled two links will be added to each user in the Navigation block to view discussions the user has started and posts the user has made in forums throughout the site or in specific courses.


Navigation settings.

The Totara Academy has a whole course dedicated to Totara for beginners where you can learn more and give it a go yourself.

Provide feedback about this page using the link in the bottom right of this page. 

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