How to Get a LinkedIn Profile Removed From Search Directory

By Chris Blank

LinkedIn is one of the most prominent business networking websites. Millions of professionals have posted their profiles to promote their careers by networking with trusted associates and others referred and recommended to them. While most people choose to have their profiles public, many members wish to retain more of a sense of privacy. LinkedIn makes it easy to ensure that your profile is not included in search engines if you so desire.

Keeping Your Profile Private

Step 1

Turn off the public profile option. On the "Edit My Profile" page, click the link on the right-hand side of the browser labeled "Edit Public Profile Settings." Once that page loads, choose "None" (Off) to disable the public profile setting. This will prevent search engines from picking up any information about your profile.

Step 2

List yourself by your first name and last initial only. On the home page, click the "Settings" link at the top of the browser. On the Settings page, select "Name and Location." Once that page loads, the "Display Name" option should appear toward the bottom of the screen. Click the button with your first name and last initial. This automatically disables the public profile setting.

Step 3

Reverse your first and last names. On the Name and Location page, your name should be filled into two boxes near the top of the screen. Reverse the order so that your first name is in the last name box and vice versa. This does not disable the search function; however, the search engines will pick up your first name rather than your last name, making it much more difficult to locate you (especially if you have a common first name).

Tips & Warnings

  • The "Edit Public Profile" settings allow for less drastic steps, such as blocking the photo and deselecting portions of the profile from public search engines, while allowing some information to appear in a search engine.
  • Users may change these settings at any time, as often as they wish.
  • Turning off the public profile will not delete your profile from search engines right away. Depending on the search engine, it may take several weeks before your profile disappears from public searches.
  • Listing yourself by your first name and last initial only or reversing your names also affects LinkedIn's internal search function, making it more difficult for potential contacts to locate you.

References & Resources