How to Delete Your LinkedIn Account or Temporarily Deactivate It

Paper document with the LinkedIn logo going through a shredder
Want the fast version? Click here to read a summary.
How to Delete Your LinkedIn Account or Temporarily Deactivate It: A Quick Guide

Do you rarely check your LinkedIn account or just want more privacy online? Permanently deleting or temporarily deactivating (called hibernating) your LinkedIn account is the answer. Here’s how to do it.

How to delete your LinkedIn account:

  1. Log into your LinkedIn account and tap your profile image where it says, “Me.”
  2. In your Profile dropdown, look under Account and select “Settings and Privacy.”
  3. Click on “Account preferences.”
  4. Scroll down to “Account Management” and then choose “Close account.”
  5. Choose the option that explains why you are closing your account.
  6. Enter your password to close your account.

If that sounds too permanent, you could deactivate your account temporarily.

How to deactivate your LinkedIn account:

  1. Log into your LinkedIn account and tap your profile image where it says, “Me.”
  2. In your Profile dropdown, look under Account and select “Settings and Privacy.”
  3. Click on “Account preferences.”
  4. Scroll down to “Account Management” and then choose “Hibernate account.”
  5. Choose the option that explains why you are hibernating your account.
  6. Enter your password to deactivate your account.

Once you hibernate your account, LinkedIn will show a generic icon and “A LinkedIn Member” where your photo and name used to be. This way, information is saved but not connected to you personally. This gives you some additional privacy online without the final act of deleting your account.

For more details on how to deactivate, reactivate, or delete your account on LinkedIn, keep reading!

Do you only check your LinkedIn account every six months? Are you concerned about how much information you are sharing online? You don’t need that LinkedIn account anymore and it’s time to delete or deactivate it. We’ve laid out how to delete your LinkedIn account in a few simple steps. 

If deleting your account permanently (yes, it’s gone for good) feels too final, you can deactivate or “hibernate” your account temporarily instead. Either way, read our “things to remember” so you know what you will or won’t lose once your delete or deactivate your LinkedIn account.

How to Delete Your LinkedIn Account in 5 Steps

Less is more in terms of what you want social media accounts sharing about you online, so removing one account isn’t a bad idea. LinkedIn’s privacy policy states that your account information is removed from LinkedIn within 24 hours. Then, within 30 days, LinkedIn will remove account-related logs and de-identify personal information. Here’s how to close your LinkedIn account in 5 steps.

Step 1: Log into your account

Open your browser and log in to LinkedIn (you can’t delete an account in the LinkedIn app). At the top right of the page, tap your profile image circle where below it says, “Me.”

Screenshot of the LinkedIn website with the "Me" profile part highlighted

Step 2: Go to your profile

Under the Account tab, select “Settings and Privacy.”

Screenshot of the "Settings & Privacy" section highlighted on the LinkedIn website

Step 3: Click on “Close Account”

Find “Account preferences” on the left sidebar. Scroll down to “Account management” and choose “Close account.” 

Screenshot of the "Close Account" option on the LinkedIn website

Step 4: Select a reason

Now, LinkedIn will tell you what you’ll lose by closing your account including your connections, messages, endorsements, and recommendations. Beneath that message, you’ll see “Tell us why you’re closing your account.” Choose the reason and hit “Next.”

Screenshot of the "Reason to close your account" page on the LinkedIn website

Step 5: Enter your password

Finally, LinkedIn will require you to enter your password one more time, for security reasons. Enter your password and click “Close Account.” Additionally, check the “Unsubscribe me from LinkedIn email communications, including invitations” box or you’ll continue to receive emails from LinkedIn.

Screenshot of the "Last step before closing your account" page on the LinkedIn website

It will take LinkedIn up to 30 days to delete to wipe all your information from its servers. Then, once it’s gone, it’s gone permanently. That’s why we want you to take note of what you will lose once your account is deleted.

Things to Remember Before You Close Your Account

Before you close your account for good, be aware of what content will be lost. In most cases, you can reopen your account within 14 days, but you cannot recover certain elements linked to your account.

What you will lose permanently after you close your LinkedIn account:

  • All invitations
  • All recommendations and endorsements
  • Memberships to LinkedIn groups
  • Followings (including influencers, authority figures, companies, etc.)

Don’t want the account, but still want your list of connections, posts, or recommendations? LinkedIn allows users to request a copy of their data at any time, and we highly recommend you do this as a backup. You never know what the future holds!

Back up your LinkedIn data

When you download a copy of your data, you can still see the content you posted or your connections. However, if a connection has their email address private, you won’t be able to see it in your data download. A copy of data is useful, but not entirely comprehensive of your LinkedIn activity and access.

How to get a copy of your data:

  1. Go to your Profile, select “Settings and Privacy.”
  2. On the left sidebar, under “Data privacy,” select “How LinkedIn uses your data.”
  3. Select “Get a copy of your data,” which is the second choice on the main page.
  4. Tick the boxes next to the data you would like to receive.

Screenshot of the "Get a copy of your data" page on the LinkedIn website

Within ten minutes to two days, LinkedIn will send you all the requested data files. If you’re still worried about losing parts of your LinkedIn data, there’s another option to consider: deactivation.

How To Deactivate or Hibernate Your LinkedIn Account in 5 Steps

If you have no use for your LinkedIn account right now, but don’t want to commit to deleting your account, “hibernating” or deactivating your LinkedIn account is the way to go. Here’s how to do it.

Step 1: Log in to LinkedIn

Open your browser and log into your account on LinkedIn. Keep in mind that you can’t delete an account in the LinkedIn app. At the top right of the page, tap your profile image circle where below it says, “Me.”

Screenshot of the LinkedIn website with the "Me" profile part highlighted

Step 2: Navigate to “Settings and Privacy”

Go to your profile and under the “Account” tab, select “Settings and Privacy.”

Screenshot of the "Settings & Privacy" section highlighted on the LinkedIn website

Step 3: Hibernate account

Next, on the left sidebar, select “Account preferences.” Scroll down to “Account management” and choose, “Hibernate account.”

Screenshot of the "Hibernate Account" option on the LinkedIn website

Step 4: Provide a reason

Now, tick the box next to the reason for hibernating or deactivating your LinkedIn account (this is optional).

Screenshot of the "Reason to hibernate your account" page on the LinkedIn website

Step 5: Enter your password

Finally, enter your password in the password box to deactivate your LinkedIn account.

Screenshot of the "Last step before hibernating your account" page on the LinkedIn website

Important note: If you are a group admin or associated with an enterprise product, you will need to take extra steps before closing your account. Premium subscribers will automatically have their subscription canceled upon closing or hibernating their account.

How to Reactivate Your LinkedIn Account

You’ve taken a break from social media (good for you), but now you’re ready to reactivate your LinkedIn account. Congrats. It’s simple, but remember, you can only do this if you hibernated your account. If you closed your account, you need to open a new LinkedIn account from scratch. If it’s been less than 14 days since you closed your account, LinkedIn might be able to reopen it but not all data is recovered.

To reactivate our account, simply open LinkedIn’s site and log in with your email and password.

Screenshot of the "Sign in" page on the LinkedIn website

Hibernate or Delete LinkedIn Account: What’s the Difference?

Hibernating or deactivating your LinkedIn account means your data is still there, but your information is invisible to other users. If you had endorsements, posted comments, written posts, or made recommendations, LinkedIn will show “A LinkedIn member” and a generic icon instead of your name and photo. You won’t show up in any searches and your profile will not be visible.

When you delete or close a LinkedIn account, any information not downloaded beforehand is permanently deleted. You can’t reopen your account after 14 days. If you don’t want to delete your account, you can also manage your LinkedIn privacy settings to control what LinkedIn knows about you.

Deleting Your LinkedIn Account is Easy

There’s a lot of reasons you might want to delete your LinkedIn account. If your account was hacked, you want more online privacy, or you’re just sick of social media, deleting your account will solve those problems, in part. But remember, after 14 days, you will not be able to reopen your account at all. It may take slightly longer for your name to disappear from search engines like Google. On a side note, Google actually knows quite a bit about you already.

If you just need some space from this social media site, hibernating (LinkedIn’s version of temporarily deactivating) an account will make your information invisible to internet users without deleting it. It’s never a bad idea to reduce the amount of information available about you online! If you want to go further, here’s how you can delete your Facebook and Reddit accounts completely.

How To Delete or Deactivate My LinkedIn Account: Frequently Asked Questions

Want to know more about how to delete or deactivate your LinkedIn account? Read some of the most popular questions other users are asking about this topic in our FAQ below.

If you never use your LinkedIn account or just want more privacy on the internet, it’s time to delete your LinkedIn account. Once you delete your account, all of your saved data will be gone for good.

  1. Log into your LinkedIn account and tap your profile image where it says, “Me.”
  2. In your Profile dropdown, look under Account and select “Settings and Privacy.”
  3. Click on “Account preferences.”
  4. Scroll down to “Account Management” and then choose “Close account.”
  5. Choose the option that explains why you are closing your account.
  6. Enter your password to close your account.

It takes LinkedIn up to 30 days to clear all of your personal and professional data from LinkedIn. However, your profile may still appear in Google or other browser searchers for a few days, until their cache is cleared.

What you will lose once you delete your account includes: connections, posts, recommendations, endorsements, group memberships, subscriptions, and images.

When you delete your LinkedIn account, all of your personal and professional information is wiped from LinkedIn’s servers within seven days. You can no longer access connections, messages, posts, endorsements, group memberships, use subscriptions, see photos, or refer to saved job searches once you delete your account.

LinkedIn allows you to request a copy of your data, we recommend you do this in case you change your mind and what to refer to parts of your data from LinkedIn. Not all of your information will be available, but it helps if you want to refer to former connections, jobs, or posts.

If you don’t use your LinkedIn account, it may look bad to employers or make you vulnerable to online crime. Here are reasons you should delete your LinkedIn account:

  • Rarely check your LinkedIn account and professional messages are going unread, your details are out of date, or you don’t have any useful information available
  • Are looking for ways to remove personal information from the internet
  • Never check your account activity or change your password
  • Think it might have been hacked

Unfortunately, you cannot delete your LinkedIn account without first logging in with your email and password. However, if the problem is that you lost your login credentials but still want to delete your account, LinkedIn can verify your identity and give you back access to your account. From there, you can delete your LinkedIn account.

Online Safety Journalist
Allison has an impressive research background and a drive to stay on top of the latest trends in cybersecurity to help others combat cybercrime and stay safe online. She has covered a variety of topics but is passionate about informing the VPNOverview readers on online safety and privacy, especially for children and teens.