Linkedin is the premier social media platform for the establishment and growth of an individual’s professional network. It provides numerous benefits for business owners, employers, and job seekers alike.
Over time, however, the very reasons why people maintain an online profile become moot, as social media usage ceases to be a valuable tool and becomes detrimental to professional careers.
More complicated reasons aside, deactivating their LinkedIn account may be the best course of action to take for users who:
- Haven’t updated their profile within the past six months
- Don’t intend to maintain and update their profile in the next six months.
- Don’t want to start leveraging the power of LinkedIn to advance their career or grow their business.
Deactivating a LinkedIn account proves to be safer and more secure than just letting it sit there unused.
Deleting vs. Deactivating a LinkedIn Account
There are three options on LinkedIn that users can choose from to limit or cancel their account, namely:
- The option to limit the account’s public visibility
- Deletion of the entire account, together with its data
As of this writing, hibernation is still a relatively new feature and has been rolled out to a limited number of users for now. That leaves LinkedIn users two options, either deactivate their accounts or delete them altogether.
LinkedIn recommends its users to limit the public visibility of their accounts instead of deleting them entirely. This move will allow the user’s profile to remain intact and viewable to other LinkedIn users but will no longer be visible to users who are not logged into the service.
Opting to delete the account, on the other hand, will remove the profile from the LinkedIn website entirely, together with the articles, comments, and posts made by the user.
Deactivating a LinkedIn Account
Since there’s no widely rolled-out procedure for users to deactivate or disable their account on Linkedin, the best option is to keep their account hidden from search engine results. Doing this will hide their profile from users who are not logged-in to their LinkedIn accounts as well.
To limit the visibility of their profile, users may follow these steps:
- Select the “Me” menu located at the top-right portion of the LinkedIn homepage
- Click on “Settings and Privacy”
- At the privacy settings dashboard, select the header that reads “Edit your public profile.”
- Users will find the option to “Edit visibility” to the side of the “Public Profile” settings page. Next to the heading “Your profile’s public visibility,” click on the slider to toggle it on or off.
Note that it may take several days, or even a week, before the user’s profile stops showing up on search engine results. Also, users will still be able to log-in to their LinkedIn account, use the site’s services, and view the accounts of their existing connections.
Another relevant setting that a user should change is the profile visibility on partner services. This setting can be found by scrolling down to the “Profile visibility off LinkedIn” on the site’s Privacy Dashboard and toggling the setting to off.
While changing these settings doesn’t disable or deactivate a LinkedIn account per se, it is a viable option for users who want to take a break from their accounts temporarily.
Things to note before deleting a LinkedIn account
Users may close their account directly from the “Close Account” page. Before proceeding, however, they need to take note of the following:
- They will no longer have access to their connections or any information they’ve added to the account.
- Their profile will no longer be visible on LinkedIn.
- Their information may still be displayed on search engines, albeit temporarily, due to how they collect and update their search data.
- All endorsements and recommendations that have been collected on the user’s LinkedIn profile will be lost. Users may want to download a copy of their data before closing their accounts.
In case users have a change of heart and decide to reopen their account, they may do so within 20 days of processing the deletion of their LinkedIn profile. Reopening their account wouldn’t recover the following:
- Pending invitations
- Followings (from companies, influencers, etc.)
- Endorsements and recommendations
- Group memberships
Deleting a LinkedIn Account
Once users make up their minds and decide to proceed with deleting their account on LinkedIn, the steps are as follows:
IOS and Android
For IOS and Android users:
- Tap the profile photo > Settings > Account preferences
- Under “Account Management,” tap “Close Account.”
- Tap “Continue” to proceed with closing the account
- Tap “Next” after indicating the reason for closing the account
- Enter the account password, then tap “Done.”
Mobile Browser and Lite App
On a mobile browser or the Lite App:
- Tap the “Profile” icon in the navigation bar
- Tap the “Settings” icon at the top-right corner of the user’s profile
- Select “Close Account” under “Account Management”
- Tap “Continue” to proceed with closing the account
- Select the reason for closing the account, then tap “Next.”
- Enter the account password and tap “Done.”
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