Selectively remove tiles from the Office 365 App Launcher

This content is 9 years old. I don't routinely update old blog posts as they are only intended to represent a view at a particular point in time. Please be warned that the information here may be out of date.

This time last year, Office 365 gained an App Launcher as part of a new navigation experience for Office 365 on the web. Users can add and remove tiles from this launcher – and administrators can provide new tiles to point to corporate resources – for example a CRM platform or the company intranet.

Unfortunately, not all customers want their users to use all of the features and functionality in Office 365 and the administrative controls to manage the App Launcher for all users are limited.  I’d argue that part of consuming a cloud service is adapting to new features and functionality as they are released but that doesn’t go down well with everyone, often leaving me trying to find ways to disable or hide parts of the service. The following settings may help to selectively remove tiles from the Office 365 App Launcher but It’s not always straightforward – and it’s also subject to change (with a new admin center on the way):

  • Admin: revoke a user’s administrative rights.
  • Instant messaging and web conferencing: remove the Skype for Business Online licence and this functionality will disappear (there is no associated tile).
  • Mail, Calendar, People, Tasks: remove the Exchange Online licence and these tiles will go too.
  • OneDrive for Business, Sites, Office Web Apps: remove the SharePoint Online licence (which also requires that you remove the Office Online licence).
  • Office 365 Store: a switch was recently added to disable this tile, under Service Settings, User Purchasing, Display Office 365 App Store Tile.
  • OneDrive for Business: hide in the SharePoint Admin Center settings, under show or hide options.
  • Office 365 groups: Using PowerShell against Exchange Online, edit the Outlook Web Access policy with Set-OwaMailboxPolicy -GroupCreationEnabled $False -Identity PolicyName. If you only want to apply the change to a subset of users, create a new policy and apply it accordingly.
  • Sites: hide in the SharePoint Admin Center settings, under show or hide options.
  • Delve: turn off the Office Graph in the SharePoint Admin Center settings. Delve will still be there in parts though: for example when users access their profile.
  • Sway: turn off under Service Settings, Sway, Let people in your organization use Sway. Unfortunately it won’t remove the tile [update: yes it will now!].
  • Video: in the SharePoint Admin Center settings, under Streaming Video Service, disable streaming video through Azure Media Services and disable the Video Portal.
  • Yammer: for this one you’re between a rock and a hard place: Yammer Basic is anarchic; Convert to Yammer Enterprise and the tile will be visible to users – you cannot turn it off.

Some of these options merely hide capabilities – they may not be entirely disabled – and my recommendation would always be to leave settings enabled and teach users how to make use of the platform.  In particular, turning off the Office Graph may have wider reaching implications.

Further reading

Meet the Office 365 App Launcher

9 thoughts on “Selectively remove tiles from the Office 365 App Launcher

  1. Could you please update your post to include “Planner”? How to disable and hide its tile from the Apps Launcher?

  2. Sorry Mary, this post was based on experience from an implementation before Planner existed. I’m coming to the conclusion now (and with Microsoft’s drive for broader consumption of all of the services in Office 365, not just the core ones, this is ever-more apparant) that the new functionality is just there and that disabling/removing parts of the Office 365 service is less and less of an option.

  3. In our instance, even though we use Sharepoint Online; for whatever reason – SP does not show in the app launcher. Any ideas?

  4. @Rob, you probably don’t have SP licenses associated to users? Its an honor system for licensing.

    Good article. Also to get the app launcher to update, you have to sign out and clear cache/cookies in my experience. They have some heavy caching for performance.

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