On LinkedIn, there are a few main reasons why some messages may disappear or no longer be visible to users:
Sender deletes the message
If the person who sent the original message decides to delete it from their sent items for any reason, it will no longer appear in the recipient’s inbox. This is the most common reason messages vanish. The sender may delete the message if it was sent in error, they got the response they needed, or they simply decided they did not want that message out there anymore for various reasons.
Recipient deletes or archives the message
If the recipient of the message deletes or archives it from their inbox, it will obviously no longer be visible to them. They may do this to clear out old conversations or if they do not want to continue communicating with that person.
Sender blocks the recipient
If the original sender chooses to block the recipient, any messages they previously exchanged will disappear from both sides. Neither person will be able to see the conversation anymore. Senders may block someone if communication became harassing or inappropriate.
Recipient blocks the sender
Similarly, if the recipient blocks the sender, all previous messages will also vanish. The recipient may block the sender for similar reasons like harassment or not wanting further contact from that person.
LinkedIn filters spam messages
LinkedIn has algorithms in place to detect spam messages and automatically filter them out before they reach recipients’ inboxes. If a message is flagged as spam, the recipient will never see it. Senders may not even be aware their message was blocked if they are repeatedly trying to spam connections. LinkedIn tries to preserve the integrity of their network and prevent abuse this way.
LinkedIn removes illegal, abusive, or violating content
LinkedIn will also automatically remove messages containing illegal, abusive, harassing, or otherwise violating content that goes against their terms of service and community guidelines. If they detect inappropriate content like threats, hate speech, pornography etc., the message will be deleted to protect the recipient and LinkedIn’s professional community.
Connection request is canceled or ignored
When someone sends a connection request on LinkedIn, there is an option to include an introductory note. If the recipient ignores or deletes the connection request, that accompanying message will not be accessible anymore. Only if the connection is accepted, would the recipient be able to view the note.
If either the sender or recipient deactivates their LinkedIn account, all messages associated with that account will no longer be accessible. Deactivating accounts is common when users want to take a break from the platform or no longer want their profile searchable.
Similarly, if either party chooses to permanently delete their LinkedIn account, all messages will be erased as well. Full account deletion is irreversible and permanently removes all data affiliated with that account. Former messages cannot be recovered.
In rare cases, a technical glitch may cause messages to temporarily disappear. This is typically resolved within a few hours as LinkedIn corrects the issue on their end. If a message vanishes without explanation, it is wise to wait a day or two before assuming the message is gone for good.
Why might senders delete messages on LinkedIn?
There are a few common reasons why original senders may decide to delete messages they have sent through LinkedIn:
- They made a mistake or sent it to the wrong person and want to quickly undo it before it is seen.
- The message contains sensitive information they no longer want accessible.
- They received the response or information they needed from the recipient and want to clear out old conversations.
- Communication broke down or became unprofessional and they want to remove evidence of the exchange.
- They are closing an old sales thread or recruitment outreach that did not pan out.
- They want to remove evidence of messages sent as part of harassing or bullying behavior.
Why might recipients delete messages on LinkedIn?
There are also several reasons recipients may choose to delete messages from their LinkedIn inbox:
- To clear out their inbox and keep it organized.
- They received unwanted outreach such as sales pitches or spam.
- The sender said something inappropriate or unprofessional.
- Communication broke down and they want to move on.
- The message thread is old and irrelevant now.
- They accidentally received a misdirected message.
- The conversation had run its course and reached a natural conclusion.
- They want to cut off further contact with the sender.
Best practices for senders to prevent disappearing messages
To avoid your important messages disappearing without explanation, senders should:
- Be selective about who you message and make sure it is someone relevant.
- Personalize the message and make clear why you are reaching out.
- Avoid spamming or mass messaging contacts.
- Follow up if you have not received a response.
- Avoid saying anything unprofessional that could offend.
- Be prepared for some messages to go unanswered.
- Keep your own record of important sent messages.
- Deactivate rather than fully deleting your account if taking a break from LinkedIn.
Best practices for recipients to prevent disappearing messages
To ensure important conversations do not get lost, recipients should:
- Avoid blocking or deleting connections unless absolutely necessary.
- Archive messages rather than permanently deleting if you may need them later.
- Mute message threads if you want to stop notifications but keep the history.
- Wait before deleting messages in case you need to refer back to them.
- When leaving LinkedIn, deactivate account instead of deleting.
- Be cautious about whom you accept connection invites from.
- Report any harassing or inappropriate messages to LinkedIn before deleting.
- Turn on notifications for important message threads.
How LinkedIn users can find disappearing messages
If you notice an important message has gone missing, there are a few things you can try to recover it:
- Check your archive and trash folders in case you accidentally deleted it.
- If sent recently, try searching your inbox for keywords from the message.
- Ask the sender if they still have a copy they can resend.
- View your inbox on desktop to see if any mobile deleted messages are still recoverable there.
- See if you received an email notification with the message excerpt when it arrived.
- Try your email search since some may have been emailed to you.
- Use LinkedIn’s Data Export to download an archive of your account data.
If you cannot recover an important message, follow up with the sender again and tactfully ask for them to resend if appropriate. But be aware that disappearing messages are ultimately out of your control on LinkedIn.
Messages can disappear on LinkedIn for a wide variety of reasons, from simple inbox maintenance to permanent account deletion. Senders and recipients should both be mindful about their messaging practices to ensure important conversations are not lost accidentally or maliciously. With the right precautions, users can continue to benefit from productive communication with their network on the platform.