If you have accidentally deleted a LinkedIn message that you wanted to keep, it may be possible to retrieve it depending on how long ago it was deleted. LinkedIn does not have a built-in feature to recover deleted messages, but there are a few methods you can try to get them back.
Restore Deleted LinkedIn Messages from Email Notifications
One of the easiest ways to retrieve a deleted LinkedIn message is to check your email inbox. When someone sends you a message on LinkedIn, you get an email notification with the full text of the message in the body. So even if you’ve deleted the LinkedIn message, the email containing it will still exist in your email account as long as you haven’t deleted it there too.
Simply search your email inbox for messages from LinkedIn notifications that contain the text of the deleted message. You should be able to find the full text there to recover what was said. This method works best if you deleted the LinkedIn message recently, as your email provider likely keeps emails for a limited time before automatically deleting them.
Recover from LinkedIn’s Server Copy
When you delete a LinkedIn message, it gets removed from your inbox, but LinkedIn’s servers still maintain a copy in their database. The message data stays on their servers for an unknown period before being purged. There is no official way to recover deleted LinkedIn messages from their servers, but you can try reaching out to LinkedIn customer support.
Explain that you accidentally deleted an important message and ask if there is any way they can recover it from the server copy. Make sure to provide details like who the message was from, the approximate date, and keywords from the content. According to some user reports, LinkedIn support has been able to restore messages in some cases when provided with enough context to find them in the database.
However, there is no guarantee that LinkedIn support will be able or willing to retrieve deleted messages for you. Their policies may prohibit accessing user data after it’s meant to be deleted. But it doesn’t hurt to politely ask – the worst they can do is say no.
Try Third-Party LinkedIn Apps
Some third-party applications for LinkedIn give you the ability to backup your messages or view deleted ones. For example, tools like Dux-Soup and LinkedHelper can backup your LinkedIn data, including messages, to your own computer. So if you had previously used one of these apps to backup your LinkedIn activity, you may be able to restore the deleted message from your backups.
Other apps like Kollector claim they can recover deleted LinkedIn messages, presumably by accessing hidden cached copies on LinkedIn’s servers. However, the reliability of such apps is questionable, and accessing private user data without permission could get them in legal trouble. But in some cases, they may work to restore lost messages.
Ask the Sender to Resend It
If all else fails, you can try asking the person who originally sent you the deleted LinkedIn message to simply send it to you again. Let them know you accidentally deleted the message before reading it, and you were wondering if they can resend the text. Most people are happy to copy/paste info if you lost something important.
This is probably the simplest way to get the message back, but it only works if you remember who sent it and have a way to contact them outside of LinkedIn. And you have to hope they still have the original message and are willing to send it again.
Enable LinkedIn Message Archiving
To prevent this issue in the future, enable message archiving in your LinkedIn account settings. This will automatically save copies of all your LinkedIn messages outside of your inbox so they are preserved even when deleted.
On the LinkedIn website, go to Settings & Privacy > Communications > Message archiving. Then turn archiving on for any conversations you may want to keep records of. Archived messages can be searched and viewed under Settings & Privacy > Communications > Message archive.
Set Up Regular Backups
It’s also a good idea to do regular backups of important LinkedIn data like messages and connections using third-party apps. That way if you lose anything, you can just restore it from your own archives. Apps like Dux-Soup, Kollector, or LinkedHelper allow backing up your account.
Avoid Accidental Deletes
Some simple precautions can prevent deleting important LinkedIn messages in the first place:
- Be careful when rapidly deleting or batch deleting messages to not remove ones you want to keep.
- Double check the message content before hitting delete, especially for unread ones.
- Use the archive feature instead of deleting whenever possible to retain a copy.
Following this advice will minimize the chances of having to recover deleted messages.
Retrieve Deleted Messages from LinkedIn’s Website
Unfortunately, LinkedIn does not have a built-in feature to recover deleted messages directly on their website. Once you permanently delete a message from your inbox, it’s gone from your account and can only be retrieved through external methods.
LinkedIn does not send deleted messages to a Trash or Archive folder like some other sites. The messages are completely removed from your account interface. Your only options are to restore them from email notifications, backups, or by contacting the sender/LinkedIn support.
Use LinkedIn’s Mobile App to Recover Messages
The LinkedIn mobile app for iOS and Android also does not have a way to restore deleted messages within the app. The mobile app syncs with the same inbox data as the website.
So if you delete a message in the LinkedIn app, it will be deleted from your account on all platforms. You would need to recover it through the same techniques as on the website – email notifications, backups, contacting support, etc.
Some users report that older versions of the LinkedIn app had a trash folder to recover deleted messages. But current versions removed this feature, so mobile app users have the same limited message recovery options as on LinkedIn.com.
How Long Does LinkedIn Keep Deleted Messages?
LinkedIn has not publicly stated how long they retain deleted messages on their servers before permanently erasing them. Based on limited user reports, it seems they may keep deleted message data for approximately 3-4 weeks in most cases.
Some users said they were able to have LinkedIn support restore messages deleted up to a month ago. But for anything older than that, LinkedIn likely no longer has a retrievable copy. Of course, this timeline is just an estimate based on anecdotal evidence.
The actual message retention window could be shorter or longer. LinkedIn has the ability to recover some surprisingly old deleted messages in rare cases if the data still exists on their servers. But for the most part, anything beyond a month is probably gone for good.
Viewing Deleted Messages of Other LinkedIn Users
For privacy reasons, you can only restore your own deleted messages on LinkedIn, not ones deleted by other users.
Even LinkedIn support will only be able to recover messages that were in your own inbox, not ones you sent to other people. Each LinkedIn account has a separate inbox with its own deletion records that are inaccessible to other users.
The one potential exception is if you archived a conversation using LinkedIn’s message archiving feature, which saves a copy outside the main inbox that you can still view later. But regular deleted messages from other users are permanent and cannot be forensically recovered by anyone but LinkedIn staff with backend database access.
Deleted LinkedIn Messages and Legal Compliance
Some users want to recover deleted LinkedIn messages for legal reasons like compliance audits or eDiscovery requests. In these cases, the requesting party will need to go through proper legal channels to petition for the data.
Individual users cannot directly access or restore other people’s deleted messages for legal compliance purposes. The requester must send LinkedIn a formal legal request such as a subpoena or court order to seek deleted account information. LinkedIn can then provide any relevant data they still retain on their servers.
So while you cannot personally view other users’ deleted messages, law enforcement or legal teams can potentially request copies through the appropriate regulated procedures if required for an active case or investigation.
Restoring Accidentally Deleted Conversations
If you deleted an entire conversation thread by mistake, the same principles apply for recovering the messages within it. Check email notifications to find the lost messages or contact LinkedIn support and ask them to restore the conversation from their server copy if it’s still available.
Backups from third-party tools may also have the deleted conversation stored. And you can try asking the other conversation participants to resend any important messages you need. The key is acting quickly before the data is purged from LinkedIn’s systems.
Retrieve Lost Connections and Followers
The ability to restore deleted connections or followers on LinkedIn depends on how they were removed in the first place.
If you manually deleted a connection, you can search for their profile and send a new connection request to add them back. For unfollowed followers, you can refollow their account to restore the connection.
But for connections who deleted you first or followers who unfollowed you, the only way to restore the linkage is if they decide to reconnect. You cannot recover these broken connections unilaterally.
So focus your efforts on reconnecting with anyone you specifically removed. For those who cut ties with you, you’ll have to build new relationships from scratch if you want to regain access to those accounts.
While LinkedIn does not have built-in message recovery tools, deleted messages can often be retrieved through email notifications, backups, contacting the sender, or requesting restoration by LinkedIn support. Enable archiving to prevent deletes. Act quickly if you need to restore a deleted message, as the data is not kept forever. With the right techniques, recovering lost LinkedIn messages is possible in many cases.