Leaving Linkedin

No – I’m not leaving LinkedIn – but the question seems to come up on LinkedIn Q&A often enough that I thought I might deal with it here.

Before I tell you the super-secret formula for getting off LinkedIn, I’d like to try to change your mind…

Professional Networking

This is the reason to be on LinkedIn.

Are you getting a benefit?  If you don’t see value in the site, I can understand not wanting to hang around.

Solution – get more out of it!  Read the articles I have in the archives over to the right or get the book.

If you can’t see how LinkedIn helps you, send me a personal note, I’d love to have the chance to work through it with you.

Excessive messages from LinkedIn

LinkedIn wants you to know when things are happening – why would you connect to people you know and trust and not want to hear what they’re up to?

But if you really don’t want to hear from LinkedIn, head over to your Account & Settings area and configure your personal preferences in there – so that you never get messages.

People you don’t care about

Oh – perhaps you’ve followed advice from others and have a network of nearly 700 people – that you don’t know.

Well yes, who cares about hearing from people you don’t have a relationship with – that’s like going to a restaurant and demanding that everyone else stop talking while you’re eating…

The solution is not to quit LinkedIn, the solution is to disconnect from people you neither know nor trust.  And again, I’ll refer you to the articles about connections in the archives to the right – that may help get you on track.

If you must

Ok – you’ve tried my advice, but the site still isn’t what you’re interested in – fair enough.

Click into the Account & Settings area.  Find the “Close Your Account” item, and click through the instructions there.

Abandoning an account

So – you tried the official way, you tried contacting LinkedIn support, and you still can’t get satisfaction…  Here’s a way to abandon your account…

Before you start, you need a “throwaway” email account – on one of those free email account sites that is not based on your name.  You also need access to the LinkedIn account in question.

In the Account & Settings area, add the new email account, confirm it, and make it primary.  [see this article for more instructions on changing your email address]

Remove all other email addresses.

Disconnect from all other LinkedIn users.

Edit your profile and replace your name with something anonymous.  Remove all information, or if you must put something in a box, leave it anonymous.

Walk away.

Drastic measures

I don’t give you these instructions lightly – I firmly believe that all professionals are better served with a LinkedIn presence than without.

LinkedIn helps you find others.

LinkedIn helps you establish your personal marketing message.

LinkedIn helps you get found.

LinkedIn allows you to maintain complete control of your experience – to network more successfully.

Consider things very carefully before cutting off your service and don’t expect anyone to be able to undo it later…

To your continued success,

Steven Tylock


  1. For a variety of reasons, please help me leave linkedin. I have attempted to follow your instructions as to how to leave, but without success.

    I may want to re-join in the future, but for now I would appreciate it if my account is deleted.

    Thank you
    Frank M

  2. Dick,

    You know I can’t do that, right? I’m just an author / trainer – I have no connection to the company or website other than my free account…

    But I can tell you how to do it. Click “Settings” -> “Account” -> “Close your account” and follow those instructions.

    Best with that,

  3. Dick,

    Go to LinkedIn.com, select “Sign in”, select “Forgot Password?”, type in the email address and then select “Submit Address”.

    LinkedIn will reset the password and email it to the primary address of the LinkedIn account attached to that email.


  4. Steve,

    More than a year ago I tried to drop LinkedIn to no avail – I’ve been still getting requests. So, on November 7, 2011 I went in again to get off. Today, December 5, 2011, I’m getting more requests.

    When I know the requesters’ email address, I send them a personal message saying that I don’t want belong to the “Hotel California” called LinkedIn, but am always happy to communicate directly with them without an intermediary. (Hotel California = “You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.”)

    IMHO, the logic behind LinkedIn’s “no exit” policy is so they can maintain and brag about high “membership” numbers which helps in the stock’s valuation for IPO purposes.

    LinkedIn is not the only site guilty of this scam. It has been very common with other sites, for a long time. I’m reminded of the early days of AOL where they multiple-counted subscribers and made it very difficult to get off. But, it receives no media attention warning people.

    It’s all about money.

  5. Stan,

    Getting requests doesn’t mean your account isn’t closed.

    Let’s say you completely remove your profile from LinkedIn – great. Then tomorrow your friend Bob thinks to invite you and connect. You’re going to get a message because Bob knows your email address and drops it in there.

    Is that LinkedIn’s fault that Bob wanted to connect?

    My suggestion – use the email filter I describe in this post: Even More Unwelcome LinkedIn Email

    And then forget about LinkedIn. It really isn’t worth that headache.


  6. Thanks Steve — Except that most of the requests I get are from people that don’t know me from Adam! They would have no way of knowing my email address.

    Of course your suggestion will probaly stop new requests but I would have to tediously log-in again, revalidating my identity, and that won’t remove me from LinkedIn’s phony customer count.

    I think the best course is to complain to the numerous consumer protection agencies and SEC. But, I thought I’d get your opinion.


  7. Steve,

    In case you are confused, here is the actual sender of a request on 12/06/11.

    messages-noreply@bounce.linkedin.com; on behalf of; LinkedIn Updates [updates@linkedin.com]

    Perhaps you will note that tghe sender is not some person who happened to have my email address.

    This does not follow your theory about “Bob”.

    Stan C.

  8. Stan,

    No confusion on my end – the email you’ve indicated is clearly a LinkedIn update. These emails are not invitations, but periodic messages sent to account owners.

    You can a) delete the account or b) configure the account not to send you these.

    It is clear that because you received the message the account is not yet deleted.


  9. Steve,

    Are you sure that you’re not confused?

    On 11/7/2011 I received the following:

    Close account Confirmation: MYNAME | LinkedIn

    1 Connection
    0 Recommendations


    Unfortunately, I no longer have a similar message I received from LinkedIn from a year earlier when I had preciously closed the account.


  10. Stan,

    All I can work with is what I see.

    The last time I received an email from “LinkedIn Updates” – similar to what you pointed out a couple comments ago – was in 2007. Since that time, I configured my account to not send me updates, and it hasn’t.

    Your first comment was about getting invitations from people – and I answered that. Your more recent comment was debunking the thought that it was invitation email.

    I’ve never cancelled my account, so I have no direct experience about it – your acknowledgement email is very interesting and I appreciate seeing it.

    If you received that email on Nov 7th, and then received the LinkedIn Updates email on Dec 6th, I have to agree with you – that’s a bug.

    Take care,

  11. Steve,

    Thanks for your kind replies.

    I was probably wrong to assume that you had a way that you would use to point out the “bug” to LinkedIn.

    For me, there seems to be no way to contact LinkedIn other than to, self-defeatingly, rejoin and start the whole process over again.

    As I said originally, it’s a “Hotel California”.

    Best to you,

  12. Stan,

    Way up top I said “I’m just an author / trainer – I have no connection to the company or website other than my free account…”

    My official connection to LinkedIn: I have a free account.

    That’s it, I’m just a user.


  13. Dear Personal Trainer,

    I am retiring from the workforce. I don’t need to be or want to be on linked in any more. I only put one email address on linkedin and I don’t have access to that any more. How can I delete my profile and account from linkedin. Linkedin has not answered my inquiries.


  14. Hi Steve

    Thanks for doing Linkedin’s work for them. I did not realise that people could like or comment on any of my updates and can’t find a way round removing these facilities. Any ideas?

    I’ve been the subject of a hate campaign in the past and avoided Facebook, Blogs and Twitter for that reason but got sucked in to Linkedin though naively thinking it could be more controlled than Facebook.

  15. Rosie,

    I left a comment on one of my connections updates, and he was able to remove it – so try looking again.

    But really – only the people that can see your updates could possibly comment on them… So make sure only your connections can see them. Under settings – “Select who can see your activity feed”. Choices are your connections, your network, and everyone. Choose your connections.

    And then make sure you only connect to people you know and trust. Disconnect anyone that might insult you…


  16. I deleted Linkedin from my Main computer but I still get “Linkedin session expired. Log in again” messages in my Samsung phone – up to 3 times a day!!

    I am retired now and have no need for LinkedIn. Please sort this out for me.

    J Steyn

  17. Johan,

    LinkedIn isn’t something you install on a computer, but a web site. How could you delete it? (Ok – there’s perhaps a mobile App you may have installed, but you called it your main computer)

    If you want to be off LinkedIn, you should login and go to the settings and find the button for removing an account.

    You will still get emails from LinkedIn – I suggest you make a mail rule to auto-sort those into the trash bin.

    Good luck,
    (When you say ‘please sort this out’ for you – you know I have no connection to LinkedIn, right? I’m an independent author. I can’t do anything to help you other than give you this advice.)

  18. Steve,
    Please keep in mind that I am not a Computer specialist. For that reason I ask questions. English is also not my first language, and my first explanation might came over wrong.

    I did remove the account as described on LinkedIn website. I do not get any messages in my desktop from LinkedIn – only on my Cellphone “Linkedin session expired. Log in again” messages in my Samsung phone – up to 3 times a day!!

Comments are closed.