No, once a message is sent on LinkedIn, there is currently no way to delete or unsend it. The message will remain in the recipient’s inbox and conversation history. However, you can delete the message from your own sent folder if you want to remove it from your view.
Why you can’t delete messages on LinkedIn
LinkedIn does not allow users to delete or unsend messages in order to maintain the integrity and transparency of conversations on the platform. Some key reasons why this feature is not available include:
- Prevent miscommunication – Deleting a message could confuse the recipient if part of the conversation suddenly disappears.
- Promote accountability – Not being able to delete messages means you can’t remove evidence of something you sent.
- Compliance purposes – Financial services professionals on LinkedIn are required to retain communication records.
- Limit spam/harassment – The inability to delete messages discourages spamming and harassment.
While some other social networks let you delete messages, LinkedIn has prioritized maintaining a clear record of professional communication and dialogue on their platform.
What happens when you try to delete a message on LinkedIn?
If you try to delete a message that you’ve already sent on LinkedIn, nothing will happen. The delete or unsend options are simply not available:
- On desktop – There is no delete message option in the drop-down menu for a sent message.
- On mobile app – When you press and hold on a sent message, there is no trash can icon to delete.
- Deleting conversation – Deleting an entire conversation does not remove messages others have received.
The message will also remain visible in your own sent folder, along with the full conversation thread. The only action you can take is to remove the message from your own view by deleting it from your sent folder.
How to delete a sent message from your inbox
Although you can’t retrieve a message once sent, you can remove it from your own inbox on LinkedIn to delete it from your view:
- Go to your inbox and locate the sent message.
- Hover over the message and click the drop-down arrow.
- Select Delete to remove the message from your inbox.
- Confirm you want to delete the message from your inbox.
This will delete the message from your sent folder only. The recipient will still see the full message in their inbox and conversation history.
What to do if you send a message by mistake
If you accidentally send a message to the wrong person or send something you regret, here are some options:
- Follow up and provide context – Send another message explaining the mistake.
- Ask the recipient to disregard – Politely ask them to ignore the errant message.
- Retract connection request – If you messaged the wrong person, retract your connection request.
While you can’t delete the original message, following up shows you recognized the mistake and did not intend to send it to that person.
Best practices for sending messages
To avoid having to delete messages on LinkedIn, keep these best practices in mind when sending messages:
- Double check the recipient before hitting send.
- Read over your message before sending to check for errors.
- Proofread messages with attachments extra carefully.
- Be cautious when messaging someone new or you don’t know well.
- Avoid sending confidential information over LinkedIn messages.
Taking the time to carefully review your messages before sending can prevent embarrassing mistakes that cannot be undone.
Is LinkedIn considering adding a delete feature?
LinkedIn has not announced any plans to enable users to delete or unsend messages after sending. The platform is designed for professional networking and communication.
However, some users have requested this feature or even created mockups showing how it could work. With other social networks now allowing message deletions, there is a possibility LinkedIn may revisit this policy in the future.
For now, the best approach is to be careful about what you send and who you send it to. LinkedIn messaging is permanent, so any message you send will remain visible to the recipient indefinitely.
Alternatives to delete messages on LinkedIn
If you need to have a conversation on LinkedIn where you can delete messages, here are some potential workarounds:
- Use email instead of LinkedIn messaging.
- Have the conversation over text or instant message instead.
- Connect on a different platform that allows message deletion.
- Schedule a phone call rather than messaging.
For important conversations where you may need to delete part of the discussion, LinkedIn messaging may not be the right medium due to its permanent nature.
- LinkedIn does not allow users to delete or unsend messages after they have been sent.
- You can only delete the message from your own sent folder, not the recipient’s inbox.
- Double check messages before sending to avoid mistakes you can’t undo.
- Use email, phone calls, or other platforms if you need to delete part of a conversation.
- LinkedIn may consider adding delete messaging in the future, but has not indicated plans to do so.