The short answer is no, LinkedIn messages do not expire. Once a message is sent on LinkedIn, whether it’s an InMail or a regular message, it will stay in the recipient’s inbox indefinitely unless the recipient or sender deletes it.
InMail is LinkedIn’s internal messaging system that allows you to message anyone on LinkedIn, even if you’re not connected. InMails are often used for recruiting, sales prospecting, and making important professional connections.
InMails do not expire. Once an InMail is sent, it will remain in the recipient’s inbox forever unless they delete it. There is no time limit or expiration date on InMails.
However, InMail credits, which allow you to send InMails, do expire if you have a free account. With a free account, you are allotted a certain number of InMail credits per month. If you don’t use them that month, they expire and reset.
Paid Job Seeker and Business Plus accounts receive a set number of InMails per month that rollover and do not expire. Premium Business accounts get unlimited InMails.
Regular LinkedIn Messages
Regular LinkedIn messages, between connected members, also do not expire. These messages will remain in your inbox unless you or the sender actively deletes them.
So if you send a connection request to someone and include a message, that message will stay visible in both your inbox and theirs indefinitely.
The same goes for messages between existing connections. You can view all past messages between connections in the LinkedIn messaging thread. The conversation history is maintained unless someone deletes parts of it.
Deleting LinkedIn Messages
While LinkedIn messages don’t expire on their own, both the sender and recipient can delete messages anytime they want.
To delete a LinkedIn message you’ve received:
- Go to your LinkedIn inbox
- Open the message thread with the message you want to delete
- Hover over the message and click the Trash icon
This will delete the message from your inbox only. The sender will still see it in their sent messages.
To delete a message you sent:
- Go to your LinkedIn inbox
- Click on the Sent tab
- Open the message thread with the sent message you want to delete
- Hover over the sent message and click the Trash icon
This will delete the sent message from your sent mailbox only. The recipient will still have it in their inbox.
So in summary, the only way a LinkedIn message disappears is if the sender or recipient manually deletes it. There’s no expiration date or time limit.
Limits on Saving LinkedIn Messages
While LinkedIn messages don’t expire, there are limits on how far back you can view messages in your inbox.
For free accounts, you can view messages up to around one year old. Paid Job Seeker accounts can view up to around 3 years of messages. And paid Business Plus and Premium Business accounts have unlimited message history.
So old messages aren’t deleted automatically, but lower-tier account holders won’t be able to directly access conversations older than 1-3 years.
LinkedIn Message Length Limits
When composing new LinkedIn messages, there are character limits you need to be aware of:
- InMail messages: Up to 1300 characters
- Messages to connections: Up to 5,000 characters
- Connection request messages: 300 characters
Messages over these sizes cannot be sent on LinkedIn. However, once a message is successfully sent, there is no limit on the length of existing messages shown in your inbox or the message thread.
Do Deleted LinkedIn Messages Still Appear in Search Engines?
When you delete a LinkedIn message, it’s removed from LinkedIn’s servers and cannot be viewed again within LinkedIn or Microsoft apps and services.
However, if the message content was indexed by search engines like Google or Bing before it was deleted, that content may still appear in search results for some time until the search engine crawls the page again.
So if you previously sent sensitive information in a LinkedIn message that you then deleted, parts of the message may be cached by search engines temporarily even though it’s deleted within LinkedIn.
Can You Recover a Deleted LinkedIn Message?
Unfortunately, there is no way to recover a deleted LinkedIn message. Once you or the sender deletes a message, it’s permanently removed from your inboxes and message history.
LinkedIn does not send deleted messages to a Trash or Recover folder. They are erased from LinkedIn’s servers.
Your only option is to ask the sender to resend a message if they still have access to it in their sent mailbox. But there’s no recovering messages after both parties have deleted them.
Message Retention for Legal Holds
If litigation is pending or reasonably anticipated, your organization can request that LinkedIn preserve relevant account data and messages beyond the normal retention period.
This legal hold keeps all data intact until the matter is resolved. However, legal holds must be applied before any data is deleted as they cannot recover destroyed content.
Closing Thoughts on LinkedIn Message Expiration
To wrap it up, the key points to remember are:
- LinkedIn messages never expire automatically
- InMails remain in your inbox indefinitely
- Regular messages remain in your inbox and thread forever
- You can manually delete any message to remove it
- Old messages may become inaccessible based on account type
- Deleted messages can’t be recovered but may briefly persist in search engines
So feel free to clean up old LinkedIn messages that you no longer need by deleting them. But don’t expect messages to disappear on their own over time.
The conversation history will always be there unless you actively remove messages. This allows you to maintain important professional connections and refer back to past discussions as needed.