When Accidents Happen…

You’ve experienced “system failures” before, right?

Disk drives fail, systems crash, services stop working…

It’s a pain, and we all learn to deal with it in our own special ways.

But once in a while, things go really bad – and then you’ve got to have a backup plan.  You’ve got one of those for LinkedIn, right?

Because if you were Dennis, who recently wrote “My LinkedIn account completely disappeared, I have to rebuild my connections all over again“, you’d be all set with a backup plan…

Not if, but when

Hopefully you already understand that it isn’t a question of if the disk drive on your home computer will fail, but when it will fail – at the most inconvenient point in time!

Yes, people in technology work to make sure that is as infrequent as possible, but there’s always a price to pay, and hardly anyone ever really wants to pay for it.

So that means we all have to live with failure.

LinkedIn Oops…

Because their system is growing as fast as it is, there will be inevitable bumps in the road for LinkedIn.  I’ve noticed some over the years, and if you use the service for more than a passing interest, you’ll find times that things just don’t work right.

But hopefully the problems you face are capacity related…

Losing yourself

But it might be possible that at some point in the future you’ll go to access LinkedIn, and the LinkedIn system will have forgotten all about you.

But they couldn’t do that!

Well – they probably could…  Let’s look at some ways:

  • Some data entry person pressed the wrong keys
  • A technology failure corrupted the data – where your account was stored
  • Another user reported you for “bad” behavior and LinkedIn closed your account
  • Some hacker broke into your account and LinkedIn closed it because of spam
  • Some mischievous individual broke into your account and closed it through the control panel

And we could keep going if we got creative…

The point is – your account might disappear for no good reason.

Could you put that back please

The LinkedIn community knows that customer support is not something that LinkedIn has built a name around.

If you were able to reach customer service, what do you think the chances are that they’d be able to restore your account as it was from last night – before it was deleted?

And if you said pretty good, how long do you think that would take?

My money is on backing up your data and recreating your LinkedIn presence by yourself.

Backing up your profile

When you select “View my profile”, you get to see what your profile looks like to everyone else – and notice that there is the little pdf symbol in the upper portion of the page towards the right.

Press that and download a pdf version of your own profile – right now – and regularly from now on.  (say quarterly)

Now if your profile disappears, you don’t have to recreate it from scratch.

(btw – this also allows you to make a pdf file from any profile you happen to find…)

Backing up your connections

When you visit your connections page, find the “Export connections” link.

Press that and download a backup of your connection information – right now and regularly from now on. (at the same time as you backup your profile)

If your profile (and connections) disapears, you can re-invite all of the people you currently connect to.

Not a duplicate account

So – one last warning before you panic if you happen to login to LinkedIn one day and don’t see your connections and profile information.

It is most likely that you have somehow created a duplicate account, and not really removed your account.  So search for yourself first – and see if that is the case.  Fixing that is also not a whole lot of fun, but it is a different activity than rebuilding an account.

And you’re covered in either case because you have the backups, right?

To your continued success,


Steven Tylock


  1. Dean,

    Well – it isn’t necessary until something happens and then you just kick yourself for failing to realize it beforehand;-)

    And number wise – it isn’t a big deal – so what if one person out of a million loses their account – unless that person happens to be you!

    [And notice how I put the plug in there that your PC disk may go bad at some point as well – you might want to get one of those external USB drives to copy stuff off to once in a while…]


  2. Dear Steve:

    Backed it up when a friend sent me this Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    What about backing up recommendations?


  3. Marty,

    The recommendations are there at the bottom of the saved profile, so you have the text and who they were from.

    Because a recommendation is from one LinkedIn user to another, they would be gone.

    After you re-connect, you can send your friend a note “Hi Bill, with my old account, you had recommended me for work with the Acme Company. Could you do that again please? Thanks for your help in getting this going again – here’s what you wrote before ‘…'”


  4. Thanks, I had been worried about a Linkedin crash and did not know about how to back up my data. Very timely and informative.


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