Two Easy Ways to Disconnect and Delete a LinkedIn Connection

The Two Easy Ways to Disconnect and Delete a LinkedIn Connection

On Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks, it is very easy to “unfriend” someone. For some reason it is very difficult to figure out how to delete connections on LinkedIn.

If you think about it, LinkedIn was originally intended to be a social network for professionals who only connected with people they know and trust. But, similar to other social media, users today are more open and might connect with someone on LinkedIn that they might not know too well. This is similar to how they might follow someone who seems interesting on Twitter or Instagram without personally knowing them.

Sometimes, for whatever reason, we might want to delete a LinkedIn connection that doesn’t make sense anymore. After all, if you think of connecting to someone as their joining your virtual world, if the relationship does not work out because you feel you are being spammed with sales pitches or for any other reason, you do have the option of removing them as a LinkedIn connection. Connecting with someone on LinkedIn is not a marriage by any means! Hopefully this gives those who want to build out a larger network or even those who want to start slowly connecting to people that you virtually meet on LinkedIn some sense of security in doing so.

How to Modify LinkedIn Privacy Settings to Stop Displaying Profile Visits

Before we proceed here, especially because the first method involves potentially visiting a LinkedIn profile, let’s make sure that first we understand how to discreetly delete a connection without the other person knowing through modifying our Privacy Settings.

Although the search function is very useful for utilizing LinkedIn, you do not always want to crop up in people’s profile views when you leap over to the search bar. To make sure that your professional life remains private, and connection details are not shared, you can set your privacy to one of two options: entirely private, or simply “someone at [your school or place of work]”. While there may not be a second glance given for someone who has 1000s of connections, it can still be awkward or uncomfortable to purge people from your connection list. To make sure that the connection in question does not know that you are visiting their profile, use one of these two options to limit profile visibility. 

How to Modify LinkedIn Privacy Settings to Stop Displaying Profile Visits

If you don’t know how to get the Profile Viewing settings pictured above, simply click here to be forward there!

The 2 Ways How to Delete Connections on LinkedIn

1. Delete Connections When Visiting Their Profile

This is by far the easiest way to delete connections on LinkedIn. After all, there is probably an incident that makes you want to remove a LinkedIn connection, so inevitably you will probably end up visiting that person’s profile to make sure you want to remove them. If you are concerned that they might find out that you visited their profile, make sure you visit their profile with your privacy settings showing you as an anonymous visitor.

Once you have landed on their profile, press the right arrow for a drop-down menu where you see a “Send a message” prompt, and you should see the “Remove connection” option at the very bottom as pictured below:

How to remove a LinkedIn connection from their profile

2. Delete Connections From My Network Connections view

How to delete connections on LinkedIn if you already have a list of people you want to remove as a LinkedIn connection or you want to scroll through your LinkedIn connections and decide who to remove? This option is for you!

If you navigate to the My Network tab, you will see how many connections you have on the top left corner. Pressing on that number will land you on the Connections view that appears below:

Remove a LinkedIn connection from My Network Connections view

You have the ability here to search for connections by either first name, last name, or the default recently added.

For every connection, you will see a Message button to the right followed by three dots. Pressing the three dots will provide you with a drop menu with the magical Remove Connection button.

Removing a LinkedIn connection through either of the above two methods will yield the same result.

The beauty of understanding how to delete connections on LinkedIn is that:

  1. Your contact will not be informed that you removed them from your connections.
  2. Should your disconnected connection wish to invite you to connect again, even after you remove them as a connection, they will get an error message saying something to the effect that “This user cannot be invited at this time”. If they contact you directly about this, be prepared to explain (I have been in the same situation in the past, so you will have to explain in your own words).
  3. You can re-invite the person you disconnected from, in which case the connection will be fully restored as if you never removed them.

How to Cancel Pending LinkedIn Invitations to Connect

While this is not the same as deleting your LinkedIn connections, you might have a need to cancel pending LinkedIn invites. Why? For the same reason that you might find yourself deleting LinkedIn connections – having too many of them – you might find the same situation with invitations. This is because LinkedIn has restrictions on the number of invitations you can send, so if you intend to send a bunch of new invitations after deleting some LinkedIn connections, you might want to cancel some pending invites that you have to avoid any potential restrictions.

Are you looking to meet your network size requirements and in need of some cancellation requests? First, click on the “My Network” tab to locate your contacts list. To find any pending connection requests for your professional network, navigate to the “manage connections” tab of your connections list. The connection requests tab is not immediately toggled to when you visit the connection manager; instead, you’ll find yourself on the “received” portion of your list of connections. Click over to “sent”, to the right of the landing page. This can be done manually for each request you want to cancel, as there is not currently a built-in option for canceling a multitude of requests. If you want to cancel quite a few pending connection requests from your list of connections, there are some third-party plug-ins that have been developed to do so. 

Once you cancel out all of your pending invitations it should look something like this:

How to Cancel Pending LinkedIn Invitations to Connect

Further Reading: The Easiest Way How to Add Your Portfolio to LinkedIn

Moving Forward

Now that you know how to delete connections on LinkedIn and even cancel pending LinkedIn requests, you should have the confidence that should you, for whatever reason, want to delete one of your LinkedIn connections, the option is there–and it is easy to do! 

If you’re still not clear despite my instructions, please check out this informative video below:

YouTube video

Hero Photo by Morning Brew on Unsplash

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Neal Schaffer
Neal Schaffer

Neal Schaffer is a leading authority on helping businesses through their digital transformation of sales and marketing through consulting, training, and helping enterprises large and small develop and execute on social media marketing strategy, influencer marketing, and social selling initiatives. President of the social media agency PDCA Social, Neal also teaches digital media to executives at Rutgers University, the Irish Management Institute (Ireland), and the University of Jyvaskyla (Finland). Fluent in Japanese and Mandarin Chinese, Neal is a popular keynote speaker and has been invited to speak about digital media on four continents in a dozen countries. He is also the author of 3 books on social media, including Maximize Your Social (Wiley), and in late 2019 will publish his 4th book, The Business of Influence (HarperCollins), on educating the market on the why and how every business should leverage the potential of influencer marketing. Neal resides in Irvine, California but also frequently travels to Japan.

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52 Comments

    • You will have to delete your account, which you can do on LinkedIn.com. If you don’t know how to, please contact LinkedIn Customer Service.

  1. Glad I’m not the only one. The reason it’s being asked all the time, is because it’s not very bloody obvious how to do it. I’ve searched and searched several times and STILL can’t work out how to do it. It’s a bit worrying that this social media platform, designed to connect PROFESSIONALS, can’t even take care of something as basic as Unconnecting with someone. If it was simple, the question wouldn’t be asked all time would it?

  2. Thanks for this blogpost. Google easily suggests “linkedin how to unconnect” and it leads to this post – obviously, people are asking for it. And as many other says – it should be on the screen where I see someone’s profile. That other way – “go and find the function, then select what you want to do that function with” – reminds me older Nokia mobile phones that had functions split to those that were available contextually and to those that you had real trouble to use (although you needed them quite often). Very silly indeed.

  3. The problem with that “Remove Connections” link is that it could possibly mean “Remove All of My Connections”. I do this sort of thing for a living (find navigation errors where users will be afraid or not understand where to go and why). LinkedIn product managers should change that to something like “Remove a Connection” or otherwise make it clear that clicking on that link won’t delete all your connections at once and irrevocably. This may seem funny but, if LinkedIn was a smaller company or an eCommerce company, this kind of awkward phrasing could mean everything.

  4. Thank for this – you were #1 on google with the search terms “how do i disconnect from someone on linkedin”

  5. Yeah, they could take a look at any other social networking site.  Having to go to the other page, and then choose to remove and then find the name again without a search function,…. well, you really have to want to get rid of the person badly … 

  6. Thank you for your informative article. I looked up this information month’s ago and even the FAQ’s on Linkedin said it wasn’t possible. the information you provided was very useful. I appreciate it.

    • You’re very welcome Lori! If you have a burning LinkedIn question that hasn’t been answered elsewhere, please let me know so that I can write a blog post on it! Thanks!

  7. I am not a linked in member but foolishly i agreed to be linked in to just two other people, now I keep getting requests and wate of time emails from these two people of who they are linked in with.  I want out. How do I get of this roundabout????????

    • Go to your LinkedIn account settings and cancel your account – or disconnect from those connections of yours!

    • Chris,

      I don’t know your exact situation, but probably what you should do is one of the following:

      – Cancel your account (in your Settings screen)
      – Disconnect from your connections
      – Adjust your settings so that you don’t accept introduction requests

      Does this help?

    • Chris,

      I don’t know your exact situation, but probably what you should do is one of the following:

      – Cancel your account (in your Settings screen)
      – Disconnect from your connections
      – Adjust your settings so that you don’t accept introduction requests

      Does this help?

  8. I understand a connection can “disconnect” from your connections list. Can that same person delete a letter of recommendation they previously sent to you and was posted on your profile?  It appears a letter has disappeared from a “disconnection” of mine.  My feeling is once someone gives you a letter, it belongs to you, not only the writer.  Please let me know how I can retreive this letter. Thanks.

    • I believe that through Manage Recommendations you cannot delete past recommendations, but you can hide them from display. That is probably what happened…

  9. Thanks a bunch! That really helped me. It’s simple, but not always easy to find that important, little button… ;-)

  10. Under the current LinkedIn paradigm, that is not possible. And if you think about it, you normally are disconnecting from someone for a reason, no?

  11. Under the current LinkedIn paradigm, that is not possible. And if you think about it, you normally are disconnecting from someone for a reason, no?

  12. OK so what if you want to disconnect from someone, but you want 'them' to have the option of reconnecting…?

  13. Shiyung,

    I am an open networker and will accept your invite! Please feel free to send me an invite! And if I can help you out any way let me know!

    Cheers,
    Neal

  14. Shiyung,

    I am an open networker and will accept your invite! Please feel free to send me an invite! And if I can help you out any way let me know!

    Cheers,
    Neal

  15. Hmm, this is interesting.

    Both of you are very helpful for the new LinkedIn user.
    Especially clear out all those cynical views on social networking.

    I like to connect to both of you. If I just send a simple invite, what will be the msg I will get?

    Thanks,

  16. Hmm, this is interesting.

    Both of you are very helpful for the new LinkedIn user.
    Especially clear out all those cynical views on social networking.

    I like to connect to both of you. If I just send a simple invite, what will be the msg I will get?

    Thanks,

  17. “You can re-invite the person you disconnected from, in which case the connection will be fully restored.”

    This is not so. YOU CANNOT re-invite the person after disconnecting.

    -Steven

  18. I actually experimented with this with a friend of mine and I was able to disconnect and then invite, so it still works. I think that LinkedIn must have placed the restriction on you because of the artificial ceiling they put on your connections…

  19. I actually experimented with this with a friend of mine and I was able to disconnect and then invite, so it still works. I think that LinkedIn must have placed the restriction on you because of the artificial ceiling they put on your connections…

  20. Steven,

    Unless things have changed recently, I was able to do this for one of my connections just a few months ago. Have you experienced this recently?

    Cheers,
    Neal

  21. “You can re-invite the person you disconnected from, in which case the connection will be fully restored.”

    This is not so. YOU CANNOT re-invite the person after disconnecting.

    -Steven

  22. LinkedIn should realize from how often that question gets asked how utterly counter-intuitive this is. Where it SHOULD be is on the profile of the person your connected to. It should be an available action there — “Disconnect from this person.”

    • Exactly! I just searched this question, not because I feel I’ll break someone’s heart as the article seems to suggest, but because it’s not obvious how to do it.

      • Hi Amy, thanks – I confirmed that at some point recently LinkedIn removed the ability to remove a connection directly from their profile. They might reinstate that link at anytime, but until then you can still remove connections from the Connections application. I confirmed that the “Remove Connection” link is still active there.

  23. Scott,

    You are bang on. I think LinkedIn really needs to revamp the entire User Interface. There is too much bouncing around different screens in order to accomplish something on LinkedIn. This definitely contributes to the poor user performance that we feel everyday. Not to mention that you can’t delete your Inbox messages, leading to more data in the servers than LinkedIn needs. Definitely time for an overhaul.

    On a separate note, it is an honor to receive a comment from you on my blog. “I Am Not a Number” is a classic article in Networking circles. I often blog about the “virtual network” which is an extension of your “virtual handshake”. Thank you and looking forward to further communications with you!

  24. Scott,

    You are bang on. I think LinkedIn really needs to revamp the entire User Interface. There is too much bouncing around different screens in order to accomplish something on LinkedIn. This definitely contributes to the poor user performance that we feel everyday. Not to mention that you can’t delete your Inbox messages, leading to more data in the servers than LinkedIn needs. Definitely time for an overhaul.

    On a separate note, it is an honor to receive a comment from you on my blog. “I Am Not a Number” is a classic article in Networking circles. I often blog about the “virtual network” which is an extension of your “virtual handshake”. Thank you and looking forward to further communications with you!

  25. LinkedIn should realize from how often that question gets asked how utterly counter-intuitive this is. Where it SHOULD be is on the profile of the person your connected to. It should be an available action there — “Disconnect from this person.”

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