No, once a message is sent on LinkedIn, there is currently no native feature or option to unsend or delete that message. However, there are a couple of workarounds that may help in certain situations.
Why there’s no unsend feature on LinkedIn
LinkedIn does not have an unsend or delete message feature for a few likely reasons:
- Preventing abuse – An unsend feature could be misused to remove evidence of inappropriate conversations.
- Authenticity – Deleting messages retroactively could compromise the authenticity of conversations.
- User expectations – Most users expect messages to be permanent once sent on professional platforms like LinkedIn.
- Technical complexity – Removing messages retroactively can get extremely complicated from an engineering standpoint.
As a professional platform, LinkedIn prioritizes keeping conversations intact over giving users the ability to unsend messages.
Workarounds to unsend a LinkedIn message
Although LinkedIn doesn’t allow unsending messages, there are a couple of workarounds that may help in some cases:
Delete the conversation
While you can’t delete a specific message you’ve sent, you can delete the entire conversation that contains the message. Here’s how:
- Open the LinkedIn messaging screen and locate the conversation.
- Click the more icon (3 dots) next to the conversation.
- Select “Delete conversation”.
- Confirm that you want to delete the conversation.
This will remove the entire chat history, including your unwanted message. However, the other person will still be able to see the message in their inbox if they haven’t yet deleted the conversation themselves.
Ask the recipient to delete the message
If deleting the whole conversation isn’t ideal, you can ask the recipient to delete your message from their inbox. They can do this by:
- Opening the conversation in their LinkedIn messages
- Hovering over the message and clicking the delete icon
- Confirming deletion of that specific message
This only deletes the message from the recipient’s inbox though. You will still see the message in your sent box.
Report the message
If a message contains sensitive, private, or embarrassing information, you may be able to report it to LinkedIn and request removal. LinkedIn will review reported messages and may delete them if they violate their policies.
To report a sent message:
- Open the conversation containing the message.
- Hover over the concerning message and click the flag icon.
- Select “Report message” and choose the reason.
- Provide additional context if needed.
LinkedIn will evaluate the message and remove anything that doesn’t follow their community guidelines. But there’s no guarantee they will delete the specific message you want removed.
How to avoid needing to unsend LinkedIn messages
Since unsending isn’t possible, the best approach is to prevent needing to retract messages in the first place. Here are some tips:
- Be professional – Keep language and tone appropriate for a workplace context.
- Review before sending – Double check messages for mistakes before hitting send.
- Add recipients last – Type out the message before adding the recipient to avoid premature sends.
- Consider calls instead – Have delicate conversations over the phone instead of messaging.
- Edit quickly – If you spot an error right after sending, edit the message or follow up clarifying.
With care and thought put into communications, the need to unsend LinkedIn messages can often be avoided altogether.
Mistakes happen, don’t panic
Despite best intentions, mistakes with sent messages still happen from time to time. Try not to panic if you need to retract something on LinkedIn – the above workarounds can help minimize the impact in many cases.
And remember, an unintended message is rarely the end of the world on its own. How you follow up and address the situation says far more. A sincere apology and brief explanation will often diffuse any embarrassment or misunderstandings.
So take a deep breath, apologize if appropriate, and consider it a learning experience. Professional communication skills develop over time, and messing up now and then is part of that journey.
- LinkedIn does not have a native unsend or delete message feature.
- You can delete the entire conversation containing your message.
- Ask the recipient to delete your concerning message from their inbox.
- Reporting a message to LinkedIn may result in removal if it violates policies.
- Avoid needing to retract messages by communicating professionally.
- Don’t panic if you need to unsend – apologize, explain, and move forward.