How to Exclude Suggested Viva Topics

4 January 2022

The amazing thing about Microsoft Viva Topics is how well the AI engine is able to discover and group together lots of content from across your SharePoint Online estate. It is really quite phenomenal to see Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing in action like this and we're getting the same positive and excited reaction from our clients who are using Viva Topics.

But this huge technical achievement and capability, is also Viva Topics' Achilles heel. Because when you enable Viva Topics to start discovering content, you will without any doubt end up with a lot of suggested Topics to sift through. Initially all Topics land as 'Suggested'. To elevate their status, the knowledge manager moves their status to 'Confirmed', after which they can be enriched, curated and 'Published'. 

Licensed users will see Topic Cards will show up for any word/phrase that Viva Topics recognises within a rich text area in a modern SharePoint page experience (soon to also work in Outlook emails and more).

End-users will, by default, see both Suggested and Published Topics. However, Topic Cards for suggested Topics are sign-posted as 'SUGGESTED TOPIC', as you can see here:

Suggested Topic


One of the biggest and most common pieces of feedback we've had since day one of demonstrating and enabling Viva Topics, is that customers want to choose whether Suggested Topics should be visible to end-users at all.

Here is a quick video covering this subject and how to turn off Suggested Topics visibility for your Microsoft 365 tenant.


Naturally, as part of the wider adoption of Viva Topics, we recommend considering and planning the Topics content life cycle process. You will need a process in place to confirm and publish Topics. During that process, you will also want to curate and enrich the published Topics further. 

Knowledge Managers and Subject Matter Experts are obviously the natural candidates to get involved in this early and/or to own it.

Author bio

Gabriel Karawani

Gabriel Karawani

My focus is the vision and evolution of our Atlas Digital Workspace for Microsoft Office 365. As one of two co-founders, my role is a wonderful mix of technology and business. I have had the privilege of working with most of our awesome colleagues, clients and partners from day one. I get excited about new technology and helping our clients find ways of doing what they do even better. The Microsoft stack with Office 365, Azure and related services is a key enabler in my world of delivering the best possible digital workspace solution on the planet. Together with our customers and our partners we are driving innovation to take advantage of AI, ML, Cognitive Services, to enable our users to participate, know and achieve more.

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