The short answer is yes, LinkedIn does automatically delete messages after a certain period of time. LinkedIn’s messaging system is designed to be used for professional networking and communication, not long-term storage of conversations. To prevent their servers from getting overloaded with old and irrelevant messages, LinkedIn institutes auto-deletion policies to clear out inactive conversations after a while.
LinkedIn Auto-Deletes Conversations After 90 Days of Inactivity
According to LinkedIn’s policies, if a conversation thread in LinkedIn messages has been completely inactive for 90 consecutive days, LinkedIn will automatically delete that entire conversation thread. This auto-deletion happens without warning. Neither party will get notified when it happens.
The 90 day inactivity period is counted from the date of the last message sent or received in that conversation thread. As long as either person sends or responds to a message within 90 days, the conversation will be considered active and will not get deleted.
But if 90 days pass with zero messages sent or received by either party, LinkedIn will permanently delete the entire chat history for that conversation thread. All previous messages exchanged will be wiped from both users’ inboxes.
LinkedIn Also Auto-Deletes Older Messages Upon Account Closure
LinkedIn also institutes automatic cleanup of conversations when a member closes their account. According to LinkedIn’s data policy, when an account is closed, LinkedIn retains data for that account only up to 30 days post-closure.
This means messages and conversations associated with a closed account will also get auto-deleted within that 30 day window after account closure. Any messages exchanged with that account will essentially disappear from the other user’s inbox within a month of the account being closed.
Rationale Behind LinkedIn’s Auto-Deletion Policies
LinkedIn’s auto-deletion policies for inactive conversations and closed accounts serve a few important purposes:
- It preserves storage space on LinkedIn’s servers by preventing old and obsolete conversations from accumulating indefinitely.
- It maintains the professional nature of the platform by clearing out conversations that have naturally fizzled out over time.
- It gives users a sense of privacy and control over their messages after account closure.
As a professional social network, LinkedIn aims to strike a balance between maintaining useful conversations and clearing out old exchanges that no longer matter. The auto-deletion policies try to achieve that by removing conversations that have clearly been abandoned or inactive for long periods.
How to Preserve Important LinkedIn Conversations
Because LinkedIn messages can get automatically deleted without notice, users should take care to preserve any important conversations or information exchanged via LinkedIn messaging:
- If you need to keep a record of an important conversation long-term, consider exporting the conversation history and saving it elsewhere before it gets auto-deleted.
- You can also copy-paste key messages into a saved document or email for future reference.
- Make sure to follow up in important conversation threads periodically. Respond within the 90 day threshold to keep the thread active and prevent auto-deletion.
- If you are closing your LinkedIn account but want to retain connections, inform your key contacts and exchange contact information independently of LinkedIn messaging.
Auto-Deletion Only Applies to LinkedIn Messages
It’s important to note that LinkedIn’s auto-deletion policies only apply to conversations within LinkedIn messaging itself. Messages you exchange with LinkedIn connections outside of LinkedIn (via email, texts, other platforms) will not get deleted when your LinkedIn conversations clear.
So if you maintain contact through channels beyond just LinkedIn, you don’t necessarily need to worry about losing substantive conversations and connections when inactive LinkedIn messages get deleted.
You Cannot Recover Deleted LinkedIn Conversations
Unfortunately, there is no way to recover LinkedIn conversations after they have been automatically deleted by the system. The deletions are permanent, so the message history cannot be retrieved.
LinkedIn’s customer support representatives will not be able to restore deleted conversations. So don’t expect any recourse from LinkedIn if important messages get removed due to automatic cleanup policies.
The only options are to export and save important LinkedIn conversations elsewhere before deletion, or to keep threads actively going to prevent deletion in the first place.
Deleted Conversations Don’t Appear in Other User’s Inbox
When a LinkedIn conversation gets auto-deleted, it not only disappears from your own inbox, but also from the inbox of the user(s) you were conversing with. The entire thread will be wiped from both sides.
So if you try to look for a deleted conversation in a connection’s inbox, you won’t find it there either. Any evidence of the conversation will be gone for both parties once LinkedIn removes the thread.
LinkedIn’s automatic deletion policies for inactive or closed account conversations serve legitimate interests in preserving platform resources and maintaining user privacy. But the impermanent nature of LinkedIn messaging means users should not treat it as a repository for important information.
Be sure to export and save vital conversations as needed before they are erased. And keep up communication periodically if you want to avoid deletions due to prolonged inactivity. With some prudent management by users, auto-deletion of LinkedIn messages can remain a minor inconvenience rather than a major problem.
Just keep LinkedIn’s automated clean-up policies in mind so you aren’t caught by surprise when old messaging history unexpectedly disappears.