If you find that your LinkedIn account has suddenly disappeared or is no longer accessible, there are a few possible reasons why this may have occurred. Generally speaking, LinkedIn accounts don’t just disappear on their own without some kind of trigger or action taking place. Here are some of the most common reasons a LinkedIn account may have been removed or restricted.
You deleted your own LinkedIn account
The most straightforward possibility is that you personally deleted your own LinkedIn account, and now you no longer have access to it. When deleting a LinkedIn account, it is immediately made inaccessible. However, for 30 days after being deleted, it can still be restored along with all of its data and connections. After 30 days though, deleting a LinkedIn account is permanent, and the profile and all its data will be unrecoverable.
If you don’t remember deleting your account, it’s possible someone else who had access to your account may have deleted it, or perhaps the account was deleted accidentally. If you act within 30 days, you should be able to recover a deleted account following LinkedIn’s account restore process.
LinkedIn disabled your account
LinkedIn itself may have intentionally disabled your account due to a violation of their User Agreement policies. Common reasons LinkedIn may disable accounts include:
- Sharing prohibited content
- Spamming or spreading malware
- Scraping or illegally exporting data
- Impersonation or identity theft
- Harassment of other users
If LinkedIn disables your account, you would have received an email notification explaining the reason and the length of time the account is disabled. Accounts may be temporarily disabled for 24 hours, or indefinitely disabled. You can appeal the decision within 60 days.
Your account was hacked
If someone was able to gain unauthorized access to your LinkedIn account, they may have deleted it or changed the credentials to lock you out. Account hacking is unfortunately common on LinkedIn because the platform contains sensitive personal data that can be exploited for identity theft.
Some signs your LinkedIn may have been hacked include noticing changes you didn’t make to your profile, unusual posts made under your name, messages sent to your connections without your knowledge, and contact information like your associated email or password suddenly not working.
If you suspect hacking, you should immediately secure any other accounts linked to the compromised email or password, and contact LinkedIn to report the hacking. LinkedIn may be able to restore your access or migrate your profile to a new account if provided with proof of identity.
You haven’t used LinkedIn in awhile
While not overly common, it is possible for unused LinkedIn accounts to be removed after an extended period of complete inactivity. If you have not logged into your account for at least 12 consecutive months, LinkedIn may delete the account due to prolonged inactivity.
However, before removing an inactive account, LinkedIn will usually send multiple emails over the course of several months notifying you that your account will soon be closed if you do not login or engage with their platform. So check your email inbox for any notifications from LinkedIn about pending closure due to inactivity.
Your account was mistakenly flagged
In rare cases, LinkedIn accounts can be incorrectly flagged by automated moderation tools and restricted or removed by accident. Some common situations where accounts can be unfairly flagged include:
- Multiple people reporting your profile as inappropriate
- AI moderation mistaking legitimate profile info as prohibited
- Your account being associated with previously banned accounts
- Automated tools detecting false signals of suspicious activity
Essentially algorithms and automated systems designed to detect policy violations can sometimes produce false positives and restrict accounts that have not actually violated any rules. If you believe this is the case, you should contact LinkedIn support and provide any evidence or context about why the restriction does not match any real violation.
How to restore a disabled or deleted LinkedIn account
If your LinkedIn account has been deleted or disabled, either by you or by LinkedIn, here are some steps to try to restore your access:
- If deleted within the last 30 days, log in to LinkedIn.com and click “Restore my account” to undo deletion.
- If disabled by LinkedIn, you would have received an email with next steps or an appeal process.
- Contact LinkedIn support via live chat or their online form to open a case about your missing account.
- Provide as many details as possible – your name, email, etc. to prove your identity.
- Explain the situation clearly and request your account be restored.
- If needed, you may have to open a new LinkedIn account while the appeal is processed.
The faster you act to restore your account, the better chance you have of reversing the deletion or gaining back access to a disabled profile. Time is of the essence, especially if your account was permanently deleted by yourself or by LinkedIn already.
How to prevent your LinkedIn account from being disabled or deleted
To help avoid situations where you lose access to your LinkedIn profile, here are some tips:
- Be thoughtful about what you post publicly and who you connect with to avoid policy violations.
- If deleting your account, double check that decision before confirming it.
- Log in periodically so your account stays active and isn’t deemed inactive.
- Use unique, complex passwords and enable two-factor authentication.
- Don’t use third party apps that seem sketchy or ask for too many permissions.
- Watch for any unusual activity that could signal an account breach.
Staying engaged on LinkedIn and being careful about your security and privacy settings go a long way towards avoiding problems. But if your account does disappear, act quickly to have it reinstated before the damage becomes permanent.
Recovering your data and connections from a deleted LinkedIn account
If you are unable to recover your original LinkedIn account after deletion, all the data and connections associated with that profile will also be lost unless you had enabled LinkedIn’s data export feature beforehand.
LinkedIn allows users to export a copy of their account data through settings, which can serve as a backup if your profile is ever removed. However, this backup data expires after two weeks if not downloaded, so it must be exported again regularly.
Without having your data properly backed up, there are limited options for restoring profile info and connections from a deleted account:
- You can search for names of connections and attempt to reconnect.
- Any contacts still on LinkedIn may still have you in their network.
- Your basic public profile data may be on Google or other search engines caches.
- Use apps like LLAMA to identify your past connections based on your email contacts.
But without comprehensive backups or LinkedIn’s assistance, any non-public data and connections housed only on LinkedIn will be difficult or impossible to fully restore once a profile is removed.
Creating a new LinkedIn account after deletion
If your original LinkedIn account is unable to be recovered, you may need to simply start fresh with a new profile. When creating a brand new LinkedIn account, keep these tips in mind:
- Use a different email address than your previous deleted account.
- Go through LinkedIn’s onboarding to build an accurate profile that complies with policies.
- Search for key connections and send new connection requests.
- Export your data regularly as a precaution.
- Leverage your other social networks to let contacts know about your new profile.
Building up a new LinkedIn presence takes time and effort, but implementing good practices from the start can help safeguard it. Also consider linking other professional profiles like Google Scholar, Twitter, etc. to your new account to reinforce your online identity.
When a deleted LinkedIn account is permanent
If more than 30 days have passed since your LinkedIn account was deleted, and you do not have a backup of the data, unfortunately that profile and all its connections are likely gone for good. LinkedIn does not maintain or restore accounts past that 30 day window.
In addition, if LinkedIn disables an account due to severe or repeated violations of their policies, those account terminations are considered permanent with no option for getting the account back.
In these cases where deletion is permanent, you will have no choice but to start a brand new LinkedIn profile from scratch if you wish to continue engaging on the platform.
Some key points to remember about missing LinkedIn accounts:
- Accounts can be deleted, disabled, hacked, or flagged by mistake
- Act quickly within the first 30 days to recover recently deleted accounts
- Contact LinkedIn support for disabled or hacked accounts
- Prevent issues by staying active, securing your account, and backing up your data
- Without backups, deleted account data may be lost forever
- Permanently terminated accounts cannot be restored
Losing access to your LinkedIn presence can disrupt your professional networking and online identity. But with prompt action and proper account hygiene, many account issues can be reversed before they become permanent. Be vigilant about monitoring your profile to keep it intact.