There are a few possible reasons why you may not be able to reply to a message on LinkedIn:
Your account settings don’t allow messaging
LinkedIn gives users control over who can message them. If your account settings don’t allow incoming messages from people outside your network, you won’t be able to reply to messages from people you aren’t connected to.
To adjust your messaging settings on desktop:
- Click the Me icon at the top of your LinkedIn homepage and select Settings & Privacy.
- Click the Communications tab.
- Under Get contacted by others, adjust the options for who can send you messages.
- Tap your profile icon in the top left.
- Tap Settings.
- Tap Communications.
- Adjust the options under Who can send you messages.
If your account is set to only receive messages from people in your network, you’ll need to connect with someone first before you can reply to their messages.
The message is too old
LinkedIn only allows you to reply to messages for up to 90 days after they were initially sent. If you try to reply to a message older than 90 days, you’ll get an error saying the message is too old to reply to.
To avoid this issue, try to respond to LinkedIn messages in a timely manner. If you need to follow up on an old message thread, you may need to start a new message.
You don’t have enough connections
LinkedIn limits how many messages you can send per month based on how many connections you have. If you have fewer than 100 connections, you can only send 15 InMail messages per month. With 100-499 connections, you get 25 InMails. And with 500+ connections, you get 50 InMails per month.
If you’ve hit your monthly InMail limit, you won’t be able to reply to any new messages until your limit resets at the start of the next month. Upgrading to a premium LinkedIn account removes these messaging limits.
If someone has blocked you on LinkedIn, you won’t be able to reply to any of their messages. Any messages you try to send will automatically fail to deliver. There’s no notification if you’ve been blocked – the message will simply fail to send.
Being blocked could happen if someone marked your message as spam, or they simply no longer wish to communicate with you. Aside from avoiding overly promotional messages, there’s not much you can do in this situation.
LinkedIn is down
Like any website or app, LinkedIn experiences occasional downtime and technical issues. If the LinkedIn platform is undergoing maintenance or having a widespread outage, messaging capabilities may be temporarily unavailable.
Check LinkedIn’s status page to see if they’ve reported any known issues. If it appears to be a widespread technical problem, you’ll just need to wait until LinkedIn resolves the issue on their end.
You’re suspended from messaging
If you send inappropriate messages or spam frequently, LinkedIn may suspend your ability to send messages for a period of time. You’ll be unable to reply to any messages until the suspension is lifted.
To avoid suspensions, ensure you follow LinkedIn’s user agreement when messaging other members. Sending too many unsolicited promotional messages is a common reason for suspensions.
The recipient’s account is closed or deactivated
If the person you’re trying to reply to has closed their LinkedIn account, your reply will fail to send. Closed accounts are removed from the platform and can no longer receive messages.
Similarly, deactivated accounts are temporarily disabled by the user. Any messages will bounce back until the account is reactivated.
Before trying to message a connection, check their profile to confirm their account status is still “active.” An active account is required on both sides for messaging to work.
You’re using LinkedIn Basic
With a free Basic LinkedIn account, you can only message other members who are directly connected to you in your 1st-degree network. If you try to reply to someone outside your 1st-degree connections, you’ll get an error.
To message 2nd and 3rd-degree connections, you need to upgrade to LinkedIn Premium. Premium accounts permit messaging anyone outside your 1st-degree network, regardless of whether they’re in your 2nd, 3rd, or outer networks.
Ways to troubleshoot sending messages on LinkedIn
If you’re unable to reply to a LinkedIn message, here are some steps you can take to troubleshoot:
- Confirm your account settings allow receiving messages from the sender.
- Check that the message isn’t older than 90 days.
- Verify you haven’t exceeded your monthly InMail limit.
- Try messaging another connection to see if the issue is specific to the recipient.
- Check LinkedIn’s status page for any platform issues.
- Switch to a desktop or mobile browser and try again – this can resolve intermittent glitches.
- If the problem persists, contact LinkedIn customer support for additional help.
Alternative ways to respond if messaging isn’t working
If you still can’t get a reply sent after troubleshooting, here are some other ways you can try to respond:
- Send a connection request to establish a 1st-degree connection, then message them.
- Use LinkedIn Elevate to share a post with the person via their company page.
- Look up the person’s profile to find an alternate contact method like email.
- Ask a mutual connection to forward your reply or set up an introduction.
- Wait a day or two and try sending your reply again later.
Replying promptly to LinkedIn messages is good etiquette and builds relationships. With some troubleshooting, you can often resolve issues that prevent sending responses and continue your productive LinkedIn conversations.