If you’ve noticed that some of your LinkedIn messages have mysteriously vanished, you’re not alone. There are a few common reasons why LinkedIn messages may disappear from your inbox or sent folder:
The recipient deleted the message
The most likely reason a message disappeared is because the recipient deleted it from their inbox. When someone deletes a message you sent them, it will disappear from your sent folder as well. This helps keep conversations tidy on both ends.
There’s no way to recover a deleted message or see if the recipient was the one who removed it. The content is gone for good once either party decides to delete a message thread.
Your connection revoked access
If someone removes you as a connection on LinkedIn, it will also delete any messages exchanged between you. When access is revoked, the entire message history is wiped out for both sender and recipient.
This prevents people from viewing conversations with those they are no longer connected to on LinkedIn. It helps maintain privacy after a connection ends.
You reported the message
Reporting a message you received for harassment, spam or other issues will delete it from your inbox. Reporting a message you sent will remove it from your sent folder.
When you report a LinkedIn message, it flags it for review by LinkedIn’s moderation team. Part of the review process involves deleting the message so it is no longer visible to either party.
The message contained prohibited content
LinkedIn automatically scans messages for offensive language, harassment, spam and other prohibited content. If its filters detect any violations of LinkedIn’s user agreement, the message is automatically deleted.
You will not receive any notification if one of your messages is deleted by LinkedIn’s automated moderation system. The content will simply disappear from the inbox or sent folder of both the sender and recipient.
You hid the conversation
If you chose to hide a message thread rather than delete it, it will disappear from your inbox or sent folder. Hiding a conversation on LinkedIn removes it from view but keeps its contents in LinkedIn’s system.
You can still find and unhide hidden conversations under your account settings. However, hiding a chat will also make it invisible to the other person until it is unhidden.
The account was closed or banned
LinkedIn will delete all messages associated with an account that gets closed or banned from the platform. This removes any conversations, contacts or other data related to that account.
If you notice a conversation disappeared around the same time that a connection’s account was shut down, that is likely why the messages vanished. Closing an account wipes its messaging history.
How to prevent disappearing messages
While you cannot always prevent LinkedIn messages from being deleted, here are some tips to reduce the chances of losing important conversations:
- Save or download message attachments you may need later.
- Avoid sending confidential information over LinkedIn messaging.
- Be cautious about messaging connections who you do not know well.
- Refrain from posting any inflammatory or questionable content.
- Check your settings to disable message deletion notifications.
- Export your LinkedIn data periodically as a backup.
With over 800 million members, LinkedIn is vulnerable to spam, harassment and other issues that require messages to be deleted. While this can be frustrating if you lose important conversations, keep in mind these measures are in place to maintain trust and safety across the platform.
Recovering deleted LinkedIn messages
Is it possible to retrieve deleted LinkedIn messages? Unfortunately, there is no official way to recover messages deleted from LinkedIn by you, the recipient or through automated moderation.
LinkedIn does not store deleted message content on its servers. The data is permanently removed once a conversation is deleted by either party.
You may be able to find deleted messages in a backup of your LinkedIn data if you had previously exported it. However, messaging content is not included in LinkedIn’s data download by default, so you would only have backups of messages if you specifically requested them.
Using email records
If you had email notifications enabled for LinkedIn messages, you may be able to dig up old message content in your email archives. LinkedIn used to send email notifications containing full message text, so search your account for any emails from LinkedIn.
Keep in mind that LinkedIn has scaled back message text in email notifications over the years. Email records likely only contain partial message content from recent notifications.
Checking your browser history
Another way to potentially recover deleted LinkedIn messages is by checking your web browser history. If you read and replied to messages directly on the LinkedIn website, the conversations may have been cached in your browser history.
You can search your browser history for LinkedIn’s messaging URLs to see if any deleted content was captured. However, this method only works if the messages were accessed directly on LinkedIn.com.
Using a LinkedIn messages backup
The only guaranteed way to have a backup of deleted LinkedIn messages is using a third-party messages export tool. Some browser extensions and services will automatically backup your LinkedIn conversations for search and recovery.
Look for a LinkedIn messaging backup tool that saves all your sent and received messages via periodic exports. With a complete backup, you can retrieve deleted conversations even if they are no longer available on LinkedIn.
Asking the sender or recipient
If all else fails, you can try asking the other person involved in the conversation if they still have access to the deleted messages. Another user may have emails, browser history or backups containing the message content you are looking for.
Explain that you need access to a deleted conversation and ask if the person can send you screenshots or forwards of the message text. This is generally only possible with established connections you trust.
Avoiding LinkedIn message deletion
To reduce the likelihood of losing important LinkedIn conversations:
- Export and backup your LinkedIn data regularly.
- Enable email notifications for messages.
- Use a third-party tool to automatically backup your conversations.
- Be selective about who you connect and message with.
- Avoid sending confidential or questionable content.
Following these best practices will minimize the risk of your messages being reported, flagged or deleted. While you cannot prevent other users from removing conversations, taking proactive steps goes a long way in preserving your messaging history.
- LinkedIn messages may disappear if deleted by a user, flagged by moderators or associated with a closed account.
- There is no official way to recover deleted LinkedIn messages after the fact.
- Check your email history, browser cache and backups to see if you can find deleted conversations.
- Use tools to export your LinkedIn data and messaging history to prevent permanent data loss.
Losing access to important professional conversations can be disruptive. But with the right preservation strategies, you can minimize messaging mishaps on LinkedIn and keep your conversations safely backed up.