Tip #8: Make a subgrid “+” button launch a new record form

In Microsoft Dynamics CRM, to add a record to a subgrid on a form, you hit the + button in the upper right hand corner. You will notice that for some subgrids you will get a lookup field, while others will give you a new record form.

The reason for this different behavior is that the new button (+) can either function as “add new” or “add existing.” For example, when you are adding an opportunity, you probably will want to have the new button create a new opportunity, while when adding a contact to an account, you may want to have the user select from an existing list of contacts (or search existing first, then add a new one).

To control the behavior of the new record button on subgrids, look at the child entity being selected in the subgrid..If the lookup field for the parent is required, the user will get a “new record” form when clicking the + button. If the lookup field for the parent entity is not required on the child entity, the user will get the lookup field to “add existing.”

29 thoughts on “Tip #8: Make a subgrid “+” button launch a new record form

  1. Andy says:

    This can also be achieved by Hiding the “Add Existing” button using your favourite ribbon editor….

  2. […] For instructions on how to make the “+” button add a new record rather than reassociating an existing one, see my tip from CRM Tip Of The Day. […]

  3. […] For instructions on how to make the “+” button add a new record rather than reassociating an existing one, see my tip from CRM Tip Of The Day. […]

  4. […] For instructions on how to make the “+” button add a new record rather than reassociating an existing one, see my tip from CRM Tip Of The Day. […]

  5. It looks like this behaviour has changed after applying the “Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Service Pack 1 and CRM Online Spring ’14” update (codename “Leo”).
    Even though the lookup field on the child entity is not required, we still get the ‘Add new’ dialogue instead of the expected ‘Add existing’ lookup… 🙁
    The release notes don’t mention any changes to this behaviour.
    Is there a fix to get the lookup back?

    • Joel Lindstrom says:

      yes, use the Ribbon workbench and hide the add new button from the subgrid view will make it default to add existing with the lookup view.

      • Matt Johnson says:

        I just tried this but now the + button has gone completely from the sub-grid. Any ideas?
        It’s pretty frustrating that they’ve made these undocumented changes to functionality.

        • Joel Lindstrom says:

          Most likely this is because you have removed the related entity from the navigation bar on the form customizations. If you add it back to the navbar, you should once again see the + button.

          • Srinivas says:


            Its visible from my system but I am not able to see in client system. Any particular reason..I thought its browser issue..Anything wrong in that. Please help me on that,Thanks.

    • John Voorhis says:

      Strangely enough, I have a Spring ’14 online updated instance that has the “Correct” behavior – The related attribute is Required, and the “+” pops the new record window. I made the change to required after the update was applied.

  6. Nicole Williams says:

    On the account form, I have a subgrid for recent orders. When I first added the sub-grid it was set to Orders(Customer). When I used the + button it launched the new order form. However the associated view button was missing from the icon.
    I have since changed the sub-grid to Orders(Client) which gave me the associated view icon. However now when I use the + button it wants me to enter the new order in the subgrid instead of launching the form. How do I get both the associated view icon and launch new form? SP1 RU3.

    • Joel Lindstrom says:

      the instructions presented in this post are the standard insturctions. Either make sure that the customer field is required and/or hide the add existing button on the order form subgrid ribbon/command bar.

      typically the reason that the associated record grid button is missing is if the navigation bar link for orders is removed from the navigation area. Sometimes configurators remove the link from the navigation bar because there is a subgrid on the form; however, this makes the associated grid button disappear.

  7. VS says:

    What a great tip!!! Thank you very much.

  8. Elish says:

    Do you know how can I do that the user couldn’t create new record from the subgrid. they could add only created record.

  9. Saurin says:

    Million $ post, appeared as first result in search and saved a lot of time

  10. Tim Dailey says:

    Love this, I’ve used it several times over the years and when I forget how to do it I always find this post. Bookmarking, pdf’ing, saving!! This is so simple yet so efficient. Why doesn’t Microsoft document this sort of trick?
    Thank you for your site.

  11. deepa says:

    hi when we add new record from subgrid parent id already assigned with that record but if again we are creating new record from that record parent id is not attached with that record in crm 2013 but it is working fine in 2011??

  12. Jennifer says:


    My form has the desired behavior of allowing the user to add a new record to the sub grid when the “+” is clicked; however, it currently launches the quick create version rather than the main form. Can I control which add new form it uses? I’ve set the form order so that the main form is first in the list. Any suggestions?

  13. […] For instructions on how to make the “+” button add a new record rather than reassociating an existing one, see my tip from CRM Tip Of The Day. […]

  14. Great, thanks for saving me so much time…

  15. Naveed Abdulhameed Saqib says:

    It worked! Thanks a lot guys. Keep up the good work.

  16. Jason says:

    Any idea how this works using the new unified interface (model-apps)? In the web client, we are able to open a new window just by ensuring that “quick create” is not checked on the entity, but with the unified interface it always appears to open in the same window.

  17. George Gitere says:

    Thank you so much for the tip

  18. Scott Sewell says:

    Still relevant. All these years later.

  19. David G says:

    Is this supposed to work in Dynamics 365?

    For the Contact : Account relationship, Account is set to not required. However on the Account form, clicking the + button on the Contact subgrid causes the ‘add new’ window to open, rather than the ‘add existing’ lookup field.

    • Joel Lindstrom says:

      Note–Microsoft has made some changes over the years for specific relationships like Account/contact. This tip is still accurate, but specific system relationship may have hard coded behavior based on updates.

  20. Lotfi says:

    Thank you, great post!

  21. Priyanka Kamble says:


    I have added subgrid which still shows Add New button instead of Add Existing even when navigation bar has related entity. Please suggest how to add existing record in subgrid instead of adding new record from + icon

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