LinkedIn is the professional social media site and a popular way for people to put their CV out there for employers, seek jobs, and network with old colleagues and contacts.
But LinkedIn is not for everyone.
There are privacy concerns about putting personal information on social media. LinkedIn is also a popular social network for fraudsters and data harvesters. There are plenty of reports of women being harassed through the platform too.
Whatever your reason, it is easy to fully delete your account profile on LinkedIn and in this guide, we will show you how to do it.
How do I delete a LinkedIn profile?
The process for deleting your LinkedIn account via a web browser is straightforward. Below you'll find the key steps to do this swiftly.
- Log in to your LinkedIn account.
- On the LinkedIn homepage navigation bar, click on the Me icon beneath your profile picture.
- Click the Settings and Privacy option.
- Click on Account Preferences from the account tab menu on the left hand side of the screen.
- On the sub-menu, click on the Account Management section.
- Click on the Change button next to the Close Account option.
- On the next screen you will be asked to confirm that you want to close your account and asked why.
- You will then have to enter your password again to confirm the account closure. Do this and then click the blue Close Account button to complete the account closure.
How do I delete my LinkedIn account on mobile?
If you want to delete your LinkedIn account using a mobile app or mobile browser, the process is fairly simple too. Just follow the below step-to-step guide to close your LinkedIn account on a mobile app.
- Open the LinkedIn app and log in to your account if you need to
- Tap the Profile icon in the top left corner of the screen
- Select the Settings option
- Select Account Preferences or Account Management
- Click the Close Account icon at the bottom of the Account menu
- Enter your reason for leaving when requested to do so on the next page and then tap Continue
- Enter your password when asked and then tap Done.
- You will see a notification saying Sorry to See you Go and talking about data loss. Click Continue and your account deletion is underway.
Should I delete my LinkedIn account?
The decision on whether to delete your LinkedIn account is an entirely personal one. There are lots of different reasons why some people want to delete a LinkedIn account including:
- Privacy – A LinkedIn account puts a lot of personal data in the public domain. This can be open to unscrupulous data harvesters and fraudsters.
- Microsoft – LinkedIn is owned by Microsoft and shares user data with them. Some users are uncomfortable with this.
- China – LinkedIn is one of the few western social media companies to comply with the censorship demands of the Chinese Communist Party. Some users are uncomfortable with this.
- Career Change – If you are planning a change in career, you might want to remove details of your former work history from the public domain and ensure it doesn't appear on search engines
However, LinkedIn is also a good way to network with people, put your CV out there if you are looking for a new role and develop your professional skills and knowledge.
The decision on deleting your account is likely to depend on your view on these pros and cons.
However, a premium membership can help to limit other users from viewing your profile, unlike a basic membership. You can set a premium account of your LinkedIn profile on the settings page.
How long until my LinkedIn account is deleted?
Once you have completed the process outlined above, all of your contacts and profile information will be immediately wiped, including your LinkedIn group memberships and pending invitations.
However, it can take LinkedIn as long as seven days to remove all your data from their servers.
Even after those seven days have elapsed, you may find that your LinkedIn account still appears on social networks and searches on the likes of Google, Yahoo!, and Bing.
This is because these search engines take time to update their caches. But it shouldn't be more than a few weeks before your profile stops appearing after you delete LinkedIn.
How to backup LinkedIn data before deleting your account
If you want to permanently delete your account profile from LinkedIn but don't want to lose all of your LinkedIn data, you do also have the option of backing up that data before closing your LinkedIn account.
Just follow this simple process:
- Log in to your LinkedIn account tab.
- On the LinkedIn homepage, click on the Me option beneath your profile picture.
- Click on the Settings and Privacy option.
- On the settings page, click on the Change button next to the menu item Get a Copy of Your Data.
- The drop-down menu gives you the option to download all your LinkedIn data or choose specific data files. Make your choice and then click the Request Archive button.
LinkedIn will send you all the data you have requested. This process can take up to 24 hours. It is advisable not to delete your LinkedIn account until you have received this data.
How to recover your LinkedIn account
If you delete your LinkedIn account and then have a change of heart, it is possible to recover your account. But the window for doing this is just 14 days from the day you complete the deletion process above.
If you decide you want to recover your account, just follow these simple steps:
- Log in to LinkedIn using your old account details.
- Click Reactivate from the options you will see after logging in with your old password.
- LinkedIn will then send you a confirmation email to your registered email address. Click on the confirmation link in this email, and your account is restored.
How to temporarily deactivate your LinkedIn account
If you prefer, you can choose to temporarily deactivate a LinkedIn account rather than removing it completely.
To do this, just choose the Hibernate Account option and all of your public data will be hidden. You can still send and receive messages but they will be anonymous. You can reactive your account at any point after 24 hours.
If you're thinking of cutting ties with LinkedIn, thankfully there are many options.
Everything from completely deleting your account to temporarily deactivating it. You can also recover your account if you change your mind within a specific period.
It's also possible to back up any data from your account if you do decide to make the chop.
All that's left now to do is decide if you really want to remove your account profile entirely or not.