LinkedIn is an amazing professional networking platform that allows you access to diverse career opportunities.

Many of us are fond of the platform because it allows us to connect with people we’d not typically meet on a daily basis, like business leads and CEOs of multinational companies, and create rich professional networks.

Like how every good thing must come to an end, it might get to a time when the platform has served its purpose for you and you want to delete your account permanently. That time for you may be when you need to reset and restart your career or have found an old account that’s no longer relevant.

The History: How LinkedIn Came to Be

LinkedIn is a social media platform that provides professionals with numerous opportunities to connect and interact.

Recruiters use the platform to look for and vet suitable job candidates, companies use it as a marketing and networking tool, and individuals like you and me use it for networking and job searching.

The platform was co-founded by Reid Hoffman, Eric Ly, and some others in December 2002 in Reid’s living room, before it was officially launched on May 5th, 2003. It was an instant hit, as barely a year and a half later, in August 2004, the platform reached 1 million users.

LinkedIn’s outstanding success is not shocking as the company is full of positive people with many positive experiences to share. Its success caught the eye of the tech giant, Microsoft, who acquired the company back in December 2016. 

After the acquisition, a desktop website redesign was commissioned, which saw an increase in users to 500 million in just four months.

Today, the platform has over 850 million users spread across 200 countries and territories globally. 

What Does Deleting Your LinkedIn Account Mean?

Here are the specific things you can expect when you delete your LinkedIn account:

  • Your profile is no longer visible on LinkedIn.
  • Search engines like Bing, Yahoo, and Google may continue displaying your file until they clear their cached data.
  • You’ll lose access to contacts, connections, and information you had added to your account.
  • You’ll need to forget about the endorsements and recommendations you’ve collected.

However, according to LinkedIn’s privacy policy, deleting your account and clearing all your data doesn’t mean it’s completely wiped off the company’s hard drives. The company will continue to hold onto your information as necessary to comply with its legal obligations until you ask them to delete all or part of it.

Deleting a LinkedIn account is an easy process that involves a few steps that we’ll discuss below. Read on for the step-by-step instructions!

3 Steps to Delete Your LinkedIn Account Permanently

As we’ve already mentioned, deleting your LinkedIn account is as easy as ABC.

Following the correct steps ensures your LinkedIn account is gone in a matter of minutes but leaves you the choice to reactivate it within 14 days, should you change your mind.

Step 1: Cancel Your Premium Membership

LinkedIn Premium is a paid subscription that allows members access to “premium” services while using the platform. The perks of a Premium membership include access to data and analytics, more tools to make your profile stand out to recruiters, and admittance to LinkedIn Learning.

If you’re on the basic plan, jump right on to the next step.

However, LinkedIn Premium members need to delete their accounts and revert back to having a LinkedIn Basic account, which is the only one you can delete.

Here’s how to unsubscribe from LinkedIn Premium:

  1. Click on the Profile icon at the top of the homepage.
  2. From the dropdown menu, select Access My Premium.
  3. Click Manage Premium account.
  4. On the Premium Subscription Settings page, select Cancel Subscription.
  5. Follow the prompts to cancel your LinkedIn Premium subscription.

Step 2: Backup Your LinkedIn Account Data

An easily forgotten step when deleting a LinkedIn account is backing up account data. It ensures you can recover and restore important data should you rethink account deletion.

From Data Privacy, navigate to How LinkedIn Uses Your Data and choose Get a Copy of Your Data. Then, check the boxes of what you want backed up, and click Request Archive.

LinkedIn allows you to back up connections, articles, messages, recommendations, invitations, and contacts. Here’s how to complete an account backup:

  1. Click on the Me section on the top-right side of the screen. 
  2. Select the Settings & Privacy option.
  3. Under the Data Privacy section, scroll down to the How LinkedIn Uses Your Data option.
  4. Choose Get a Copy of Your Data and check the boxes to select the kind of data you need.
  5. Click Request Archive.

Please Note: It can take up to 24 hours for you to receive a copy of your data at your primary email address in the form of a zip file that includes a .csv file with your connections.

Step 3: Open Your LinkedIn Account Menu

Under Settings, click on Account Preferences and navigate to Account management, where you will select Close account.

At the top right of any LinkedIn page, you’ll find the account menu open. Follow these steps:

  1. Click the Settings & Privacy option on the menu. 
  2. Select Account Preferences and scroll down to Account Management.
  3. Under Account Management select Close Account.
  4. On the first account deletion page, select the reason that best describes why you’re deleting your account.
LinkedIn prompts you to offer a reason for your account deletion, which you can select here.
  1. Type a description of your reasons for leaving, then click Next to complete the deletion.
  2. The last page will ask you to verify your account by typing in your password, then select Close Account to take down the account for good.

LinkedIn will bid you goodbye with the ever-so-popular, “We’re sorry to see you go,” and a warning about data deletion. 

When you close the last page, your public profile will be erased, and you’ll be logged out of your account within 24 hours. The account will no longer be accessible and, after those 24 hours, your email will be ready to be used for another account.

Summary 

Permanently deleting your LinkedIn account is a walk in the park. But, unless it’s extremely necessary, we’d advise you to try hibernating the account instead, because the platform has so much to offer.

Backing up your data will help to ensure you don’t lose all your information, and you can use this when you restore your account after the 14-day grace period LinkedIn offers.

How to Delete Your LinkedIn Account Permanently FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What happens after deleting your LinkedIn account?

Deleting your LinkedIn account means you lose all your account data, including profile, pictures, followings and contacts, endorsements and recommendations, ignored or pending invitations and messages, and group memberships.

Can you reopen your LinkedIn account?

Did you delete your LinkedIn account in the heat of the moment and now that you’ve cooled off, you want it back? Don’t worry, because LinkedIn allows users to reactivate their deleted accounts within 14 days of account closure.

Unfortunately, though you can reopen your account using the same email you’d initially signed up with, you won’t be able to recover your following, group memberships, endorsements, recommendations, or ignored and pending invitations.

LinkedIn account reactivation is fast and easy; simply follow these steps:

  1. Open the LinkedIn login page.
  2. Enter your credentials and click on Sign in.
  3. Select Reactivate from the options provided.
  4. Look out for an email that seeks to confirm whether you want to reopen your account.
  5. Confirm, and you have your account back.

Alternatively, open the original account closure email you received after deactivating your account. Click on the reactivation link provided and it will reopen your account and redirect you to the account login page.

Can I temporarily deactivate my account?

Yes! LinkedIn offers users who want to temporarily deactivate their accounts the option to Hibernate Account.
Hibernating your LinkedIn account means:

  • Your profile is hidden from other users, including your connections.
  • Your profile doesn’t appear in searches on the platform.
  • Endorsements and recommendations you give to others remain visible, but are only shown as “A LinkedIn member.”
  • Messages, comments, and views on posts are identified as “ A LinkedIn Member” with a generic profile picture.

With hibernation, you won’t lose any account data, and you can reactivate your account after 24 hours.

Expert Tip: Hibernating your account automatically cancels your LinkedIn Premium subscription plan.

How do you turn on hibernation?

Hibernation follows very similar steps to deleting your LinkedIn account:

  1. Click the Me icon at the top of the homepage.
  2. Select Settings & Privacy from the dropdown menu.
  3. Click on Account Preferences.
  4. Choose Account Management.
  5. Select Change next to Hibernate account.
  6. Pick the option that describes your reason for hibernating your account.
  7. Verify your account by entering your password and clicking Hibernate account to complete the process.

How many LinkedIn accounts can you have?

The LinkedIn End User License Agreement (EULA) prohibits users from having more than one profile. This means it’s illegal to have two separate LinkedIn profiles or accounts in your name (whether real or fake).
LinkedIn has a way of detecting this malpractice, and they have the right to shut down both accounts without any notice. However, you can simultaneously run a personal LinkedIn account and separate company accounts for your business.

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