Removing Connections

March 17th, 2008 | by Jason Alba |

There are a bunch of reasons to remove someone as a LinkedIn connection. It’s actually pretty easy to do… but the question I get about removing connections the most is “will they know?” For some reason we don’t want to offend our connection, we’d rather do disconnect without them knowing :p

Rest assured, as far as I know, they won’t find out unless they figure it out on their own. Here’s how you do it:

Step One: Click on Contacts from the left menu area.

LinkedIn Contacts - how to disconnect from a connection

Step 2: (this is where you say (duh!) Click on Remove Connections on the far right of that screen (above your list of connections).

LinkedIn - Remove connections

Step 3: From there it’s self-explanatory – just check the names you want to remove and on the right is a button to remove them.

Disconnect! Declutter! Empower yourself!

  1. 21 Responses to “Removing Connections”

  2. By Dave on Mar 18, 2008 | Reply

    Any idea how to restore a removed contact? I’m trying to do this in vain to someone that I did not really intend to remove.

  3. By Jason Alba on Mar 18, 2008 | Reply

    As far as I understand, once the connection is severed, it’s gone. In order to restore it, you would need to invite that person to connect again. This could be a simple “I’m sorry, I made a mistake a I was maintaining my connection list and accidentally disconnected from you. Would you please reconnect with me?”

    If I got that I’d be pleased to know that my contact was into pruning connections (even if they “mistakenly” disconnected from me).

  4. By Dave on Mar 20, 2008 | Reply

    I actually tried that, but the system does not allow me to do this as it blocks a new invitation from being sent. I contacted Customer Service and they told me that it’s severed forever and there is no restoring it (which is contradictory to the message that you get when you remove a contact).

  5. By Thomas E. Kenny on Mar 23, 2008 | Reply

    I believe to reconnect to a person that you disconnected from you need to send an invite to them via one of their other email addresses. So it might be problematic if they only have one email address registered with LinkedIn or if you don’t know which address you originally connected with them on. However asking the connection for alternate email addresses and attempting more then one may do the trick.

  6. By Dave on Mar 25, 2008 | Reply

    Thomas, I tried your suggestion and it worked like a charm. Seems that when you disconnect with someone, you’re locked out of reconnecting using of their email addresses registered with Linkedin but not other addresses. Somewhat strange but thanks for the suggestion!

  7. By Thomas E. Kenny on Mar 25, 2008 | Reply

    Dave, You’re welcome and I’m glad I was able to be of assistance.

  8. By Sanya on Aug 5, 2008 | Reply

    will removing the connection, remove me from the other person’s contact list as well?

  9. By Jason Alba on Aug 5, 2008 | Reply

    @Sanya – yes, when you remove them as a connection, you will no longer show up in their contact list. This is one reason why I say LinkedIn is not a CRM – if it were a CRM then you couldn’t remove yourself from their list/database :)

  10. By Sanya on Aug 5, 2008 | Reply

    Thanks Jason, that was a quick response.

  11. By tony on Aug 13, 2008 | Reply

    Will the person know they were removed?

  12. By Jason Alba on Aug 14, 2008 | Reply

    @Tony – they might figure it out if they have a small network and check regularly, or have some program to compare who was in their network with how is in the network… but I think most people won’t do that.

    More importantly, they do not receive a message that says you are no longer connected with them.

  13. By tony on Aug 14, 2008 | Reply


    Thanks for the quick reply, exactly what I wanted to hear.

  14. By Ari Herzog on Dec 1, 2008 | Reply

    Dave’s comment from March is still in effect, regarding removed connections are connected to your database by email address. Aggravating for those lost ones who only have one address. Oh well.

  15. By Sanya on Jan 26, 2009 | Reply

    Its funny. The person I removed as a connection months back, showed up in my Network Updates under “New To LinkedIn”. My email address in LinkedIn has not changed. What gives? Bug??

  16. By Journeyman on Mar 10, 2009 | Reply

    Why would one be concerned about ‘Some one finding out’? I remove people who I realise do not reciprocate the sharing of my connections. Seems to be fair to me and I’m happy to explain why to them.

  17. By Jason Alba on Mar 24, 2009 | Reply

    @Journeyman – lots of people ask me this question, I think they are more concerned with not rocking the boat… I would rather people don’t know. I think some people get offended… but if someone asks, I’m happy to tell them.

  18. By Donna aristo on Jan 1, 2011 | Reply

    I get weekly messages from someone who has some legitimate functions she is promoting, but I feel this bordering on spam in its frequency and I think it is mostly just self promotion for the most part, which I find offensive and inappropriate in this venue. While I don’t want to delete the contact, I just want less spam. Is there anyway to block messages or control the frequency?


  19. By Greg on May 16, 2011 | Reply

    Donna — simply click the (small, grey) “hide” link that appears on the right of any update (that appears on your LinkedIn home). This will hide any further posts/updates from that user.

    That’s exactly what I was looking for — simply removing the most frequent posters of unimportant information. I was about to remove them from my contact roster, but that has, as this blog post & comments show, some irreversible consequences…

    Thanks for the great read!

  20. By Dionna on Aug 18, 2011 | Reply

    Hi, I was removed from a LinkedIn member’s list (or so I thought) back in early 2010. I received a notification that I am now reconnected to that person. How did this happen without me receiving an invite? Thanks!

  21. By Volpini on Sep 21, 2011 | Reply

    Since I changed my work area some years ago I want to delete a lot of old contacts that really I dont have more contact. How about to put a “Remove Contact” when We see a contact profile ?

  22. By Jason Alba on Sep 21, 2011 | Reply

    That would make sense, but I’m not involved with LinkedIn’s interface at all.. you have to tell them :)

    I totally agree with you, though. That is a logical place to put that button/link.

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