When you delete a message on LinkedIn, it gets removed from your inbox and any LinkedIn conversations it was a part of. However, deleting a message does not completely erase it from LinkedIn’s servers. Here’s an overview of what happens when you delete LinkedIn messages:
Deleted messages get removed from your inbox
When you delete a LinkedIn message, it immediately disappears from your inbox. You will no longer see that message in your inbox or be able to access it. This applies to messages you’ve sent and messages you’ve received.
Deleted messages get removed from conversations
If the deleted message was part of a LinkedIn conversation thread, it will also be removed from that conversation. Other participants in the conversation will no longer see the deleted message in the thread.
But deleted messages persist on LinkedIn’s servers
Even though deleted messages disappear from your inbox and conversations, LinkedIn does not immediately purge them from its servers. The contents of deleted messages likely persist in LinkedIn’s database for some time after deletion.
LinkedIn needs to retain deleted messages for a few reasons:
- To comply with legal and regulatory requirements around data retention
- To improve the performance of their infrastructure
- To gather usage statistics and analytics
So the contents of your deleted LinkedIn messages may remain in LinkedIn’s system for days, weeks, or even months after you delete them. But regular users won’t have access to or any way to retrieve those deleted messages.
Deleted messages eventually get purged from servers
LinkedIn cannot store user data indefinitely. At some point, the contents of deleted LinkedIn messages will be purged from their servers.
LinkedIn has not provided specifics on when or how they purge deleted message content. But it’s reasonable to assume that:
- Deleted message content gets purged automatically after some time period
- Purging likely happens on a regular schedule (i.e. every 90 days)
- Already deleted messages may get immediately purged if storage capacity becomes an issue
So while deleted messages won’t disappear instantly, you can assume LinkedIn will eventually purge their contents after an unspecified retention period.
You can’t recover deleted messages
Since deleted LinkedIn messages get removed from your inbox, you no longer have access to them. There is no way for regular users to recover or view deleted messages.
Even LinkedIn customer support does not have the ability to restore deleted messages. So once you delete a LinkedIn message, you should consider it permanently gone.
Deleted messages remain accessible to LinkedIn
Although regular users can’t access deleted messages, LinkedIn employees and systems do maintain visibility. The actual message content remains stored on LinkedIn’s servers until purged.
That means LinkedIn could theoretically access, view or analyze your deleted messages. However, they claim not to actively monitor or read individual user messages.
You still “sent” and “received” those messages
Deleting LinkedIn messages only removes message content. It doesn’t change the fact that you sent or received the messages prior to deletion.
So LinkedIn will still have metadata indicating:
- How many messages you previously sent and received
- Who you exchanged messages with
- When your messaging activity occurred
Your messaging activity history remains visible even if you delete the actual message contents.
Why does LinkedIn allow message deletion?
LinkedIn gives users the ability to delete messages for a couple key reasons:
- Control over privacy – Users want control over private conversations
- Reduced clutter – Deleting old messages declutters your inbox
- Mistake fixing – Deleting gives you a chance to fix messaging mistakes
The option to delete messages helps promote an open messaging platform where users feel safe communicating.
Does deleting LinkedIn messages increase security?
Deleting LinkedIn messages can provide a sense of security and privacy. But it’s important to understand deletion doesn’t equal complete destruction.
Deleted messages remain stored and accessible to LinkedIn for some time. So you should not assume deletion makes your messages fully secure or inaccessible.
That said, deleting older messages you no longer need does reduce the window of time they are stored on LinkedIn’s servers. In that sense, routine deletion can enhance privacy over time.
How to delete LinkedIn messages
Deleting LinkedIn messages is easy to do through the LinkedIn website:
- Go to https://www.linkedin.com and log into your account
- Click on the messaging icon to view your LinkedIn inbox
- Open the message you want to delete
- Click on the “Delete” link at the bottom of the message
- Confirm you want to delete the message
The message will immediately disappear from your inbox and any associated conversation threads. Repeat this process to bulk delete multiple messages.
How to delete LinkedIn conversations
Rather than delete individual messages, you can delete an entire conversation thread:
- Open the conversation you want to delete
- Click on the “Delete conversation” link at the top
- Confirm that you want to delete the whole conversation
This will delete all messages that are part of that conversation thread. It’s a quick way to purge unwanted conversations from your inbox.
Alternatives to deleting LinkedIn messages
Deleting isn’t the only option for managing LinkedIn messages. You can also:
- Archive conversations – Removes from inbox but keeps for reference
- Mute conversations – Stops notifications but keeps in inbox
- Report inappropriate messages – Flag offensive messages to LinkedIn
In some cases, archiving or muting may be better alternatives to completely deleting conversations.
Limits to how many messages you can delete
LinkedIn doesn’t impose strict limits on how many messages users can delete. There are no daily caps or monthly quotas.
However, repeatedly deleting large volumes of messages in a short timeframe may trigger spam monitoring systems. This could prompt LinkedIn to temporarily restrict your account until verifying you aren’t a spam bot.
As long as you delete reasonable amounts of messages and don’t abuse the deletion function, you can continue deleting as needed.
Be careful what you write in LinkedIn messages
The ability to delete LinkedIn messages should not be seen as a free pass to send inappropriate content. Even deleted messages leave digital footprints and metadata behind.
You should be prudent about what information you send via LinkedIn messaging. Don’t assume deletion equals full encryption or permanent erasure. Write your LinkedIn messages accordingly.
When you delete LinkedIn messages:
- They disappear from your inbox and conversations
- The content remains stored on LinkedIn’s servers temporarily
- Neither you nor LinkedIn support can recover deleted messages
- LinkedIn will eventually purge deleted messages after an unpublicized retention period
- Metadata about your messaging activity always persists
In essence, deleted LinkedIn messages are gone but not immediately forgotten. The content gets removed from view but still leaves traces in LinkedIn’s system. But you should safely assume that routine deletion reduces the accessibility and lifespan of sensitive messages.