Learn how to control your Linkedin privacy settings

Many people these days use social networks, including Facebook, Twitter and of course the business network called Linkedin. You don’t have to be a businessman/women to use Linkedin. In fact I know some people have a Linkedin profile to keep an eye on the latest gossip or news  – other friends use it to create new business opportunities, find a new job, look for project funding or just to nose on what others might be saying or doing in group discussions.

Anyway, for those of you who use Linkedin and want to know how you control your privacy settings – here is how: Click on ‘your name’ top right then ‘settings’ and you will be presented with the following options:

Linkedin offers you five privacy control settings:

  • Turn on/off your activity broadcasts – The ‘Activity broadcast’ window appears – you can control whether people know when you change your profile, make recommendations, or follow companies. Turn this off if you are looking for a job!
  • Select who can see your activity feed – The ‘Who can see your activity feed window’ appears – you can control who sees your activity feed i.e. your connections, everyone, your network or only you.
  • Select what others see when you’ve viewed their profile – The ‘What others see when you’ve viewed their profile’ window appears – you can show people your complete profile including picture, be anonymous which just shows the industry you work in or be totally anonymous (this latter option disables Profile Stats though).
  • Select who can see your connections –The ‘Who can see your conenctions window’ appears – you can control who sees your connections. There are two options – ‘only you’ and ‘your connections’. Shared connections will always be visible though.
  • Change your profile photo & visibility – Select this option and you will be taken to the ‘Edit My Profile’ page. You can upload a photo and control who sees your photo i.e. your connections, network or everyone.

Safe surfing folks!

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110 Responses to Learn how to control your Linkedin privacy settings

  1. Rachel says:

    Thanks so much for this, Julian. It was just what I was looking for! Your blog is so much clearer than the info that Linked in provide.

    Could you tell me a couple more things?
    – Could you explain what an activity feed is? What kind of activity? Some examples would be great!
    – Also, in the ‘Select what others see when you’ve viewed their profile’ section, if I select ‘totally anonymous’ does that mean exactly that? Can I browse around, reading other people’s profiles without them seeing my name or industry? If people have the premium paid-for account, can they not see this info regardless?

  2. Ophir says:

    Thanks Julian, excellent info.

    I use LinkedIn to post to specific groups and I don’t want my connections to see updates of my posts to groups. Though I set the “Who can see your activity feed” to ‘only you’ the messages and links I post appear on my connections’ updates.

    Is there any way to hide these posts from my network?

  3. Julian says:

    #Rachel# – The ‘Activity feed’ is on your ‘home’ page and highlights updates from group discussions, recommendations, post updates, new connections, changes to profiles etc. In answer to your 2nd question – If you select ‘totally anonymous’ your profile will be hidden from others and from group discussions. Your 3rd question – If you are ‘totally anonymous’ your name/industry will also be hidden and it will be appear on their ‘Profile Stats’ as “Anonymous Linkedin User”. If you are not anonymous then it will show up as “Someone in the (function) of a (particular industry) and (country)”. Lastly, having a premium paid account doesn’t change these privacy settings.

  4. Julian says:

    #Ophir# When joining a group that group generates an update that cannot be prevented by turning your activity broadcasts on or off. Your Group posts will not show in the activity feed of your connections when you have “Only you” selected.

  5. Marc Miller says:

    What I am unclear about is if I set my activity feed to “Everyone” does that mean when I update my status that everyone on LinkedIn sees that status update in their Update feed.

    If so, that seems a bit like SPAM.

    Am I correct on this or am I missing something which is not uncommon! 8^)

  6. Julian says:

    #Marc# Your activity feed only has four features 1.Nobody 2. My Connections 3. Your Network (all of your first, second, and third degree connections) & 4. Everyone. As for answering your question – “Everyone” will show the entire LinkedIn Community of members. You have choices, and I personally do not believe this is ‘spamming’. You will know your connections and can control and manage them. Right now, Linkedin privacy control is less complex for beginners than Facebook.

    • anon says:

      are you sure that choosing network also makes sure 1st connections are shown?
      IMO there could be one for all network expect 1st also ? : )

    • anon says:

      ok you are right, just that was not totally intuitive to me but I had an idea and i guess 1st conncetions should be network also per definition or ? : )

    • anon says:

      i know it is the way linkedin works (1st are regarded as part of network)

  7. Marc Miller says:


    Thanks for this. I will have to think about the “Everyone” level. Now I understand why I see status updates from people I have never heard of.


  8. Drew says:

    Question: I have turned off my activity broadcasts and change who can see my activity broadcast to Only Me; however, when I post a recommendation (someone recommending me, not the other way around) it is broadcast. I do not want to broadcast that I am posting recommendations for obvious reasons. Are recommendations of me NOT included in the activity broadcast controls? If so, then how can I turn them off? Any thoughts?

    • Julian says:

      #Drew# Activity Broadcasts only have one option right now 🙁 – all broadcasts “on” or “off”. I think LinkedIn would do well to offer some additional check boxes for ‘Change your profile’; ‘make recommendations’; follow companies’; and ‘others who make recommendations about you’ that allow you to individually control these broadcasts.

  9. Al says:

    If within a matter of 5 minutes I turn OFF activity broadcasts, make changes to my profile, then turn ON the activity broadcast will Linkedin retroactively post my changes from the time I had it turned off?

  10. Dipika says:

    Dear Julian,

    Even after doing what you have suggested ie turning off your activity broadcasts and select who can see your activity feed, made this “only you” the other connections can see what i do. This comes on their home page to which connections i have joined , same with groups. Please help.


    • Julian says:

      #Dipika# Click on ‘Settings’ > ‘Account’ > click on ‘Customize the updates you see on your home page’. You will now see a pop up window > ‘The updates you see on your home page’. From here you can manage and control your activity broadcasts.

  11. calliope says:

    Yesterday i connected w about 10 folks as they connect they do not show up on my home page updates or on my “View Profile” activity section on the right side of the page. I would like to have the activity display again, that way i can see quickly who is a connection.

    It seems to have stopped feeding from 6 days ago, and the only thing that comes through is one group i got accepted to 23 hrs ago. But the other activity is missing.

    Under Setting/Profile: I have turned ON
    Select who can see your activity feed turned to your Network
    Turn on/off your activity broadcast to checked for yest
    Select what other see when you view to MY NAME
    My connection can see my connections

    Under Setting/Account Customize the updates you see on your home page’ My activity broadcasts is set to checks on all except events, polls and applications.

    i notice that in the box for activity there is a large space with a grey line in between the last feed when i joined a group and 6 days ago…….


  12. John says:

    It seems others are having similar issues, but I don’t yet see a solution.

    I’ve opted to turn off my activity broadcasts. And yet my contacts are updated when i update my profile.

    Can’t imagine I’m unique in this. Any suggestions on how to resolve?


  13. amir says:

    how to show linkedin discussions of my interest on my home page (linkedin / yahoo or google

  14. Matt Medlin says:

    Hi Julian,

    This is a great blog. I have a question I have not been able to get answered adequately elsewhere. If you could help that would be great

    I understand that in settings I can choose what others see when I view their profile ie. “my name and headline” or “totally anonymous” and that this choice impacts my ability to see profile stats.

    My question is about if I will be able to toggle this setting to view anonymously or not. If I view several profiles with a “totally anonymous” setting then a day later change my “what others see when you view their profile” setting to “my name an headline” will my name and headline then be visible to those I viewed anonymously the previous day.

    Thanks in advance for your help and again thanks for the helpful blog in general!


    • Julian says:

      #Matt Medlin# You will appear as anonymous on a person’s profile when the settings on your account are set to anonymous and this will remain the same even after changing the settings to “what others see when you view their profile”. Glad you like my blog. Tell your friends – I’m here to inform, learn from my readers 🙂 and educate!

      • Kuber says:

        Initially I changed my status to “Anonymous” and I switched back to complete information under Privacy Settings Select “what others see when you’ve viewed their profile”. Now am not still able to see who viewed my profile list. How can we see the list?

        Thanks and Best Regards

  15. Phil says:

    I think there is a possible bug with linkedin. I do not think privacy settings for the activity feed are working. I’ve set my activity feed to be visible only by me, but now everybody in my network can see my activity in their homepage. Has anyone else had this issue? I would like to hide my posts to groups.

  16. Kelly says:

    I keep posting to a group in the “Promotion” section. When I go to My Activity, the post is there and it is in my feed. However, the post does not appear in the group or show up in the daily digest/email alert. Is there a setting I’m missing to make my post visible and in the feed? I’ve had others log in with their accounts and they don’t see it either. Thanks!

    • Julian says:

      #Kelly# Promotions do not show up in digest emails. I’ve checked with LinkedIn directly and here is what they said: “They also can only be seen on the Promotions tab and expire in 14 days. Regarding activity, please note that anything you post in an Open Group will show up in your activity feed to all of your connections. If you post in a Closed Group (padlock icon next to the Group name) then only fellow Group members will be able to see the information (it will not show in your activity feed that is visible to your connections).”

  17. Brian says:

    If I previously had my information attached when I checked others’ profiles, but then decided to go anonymous, does that work retroactively? Nothing sinister at work here, I just prefer anonymity. Thanks.

    • Julian says:

      #Brian# This is the reply I had from LinkedIn: “The Profile Stats information we provide and the detail we share is based on your account type (free or Premium) and the “Profile Views” settings of the viewer. It’s important to note that even if you upgrade your account, we will never violate the privacy wishes of the viewer. The module (found in the right column on your home page) may state “Your profile has been viewed by 14 people”. If you are a Basic account holder, you will see descriptions for up to 5 of those viewers. Premium account holders will see descriptions for all 14 viewers as well as the Profile Stats Pro with information like what viewers were searching for when your Profile came up and viewer industry or geographical locations.”
      1. View or change your “Profile Views” settings at https://www.linkedin.com/secure/settings?wvmp=
      2. Anonymous viewer information may vary. Sometimes an anonymous viewer’s information will show only their position and company name, while others display the viewer’s job function, industry and location they are in. This is because we modify the verbiage to maintain the anonymity requested by the viewer. (For example: We don’t want to display that the viewer was a “Vice President at company XYZ” if that company only has 1 or 2 Vice Presidents).
      3. Clicking on viewer names or descriptions will take you to a People Search results page showing all members that meet that specific criterion.
      4. You may notice variations in the time frames. For example: One day it might say “you have been viewed 10 times in 15 days” and then another it switches to “you have been viewed 7 times in 8 days”. Our time frames change dynamically as people view your Profile. When possible, the module tries to get a minimum of 5 views over any timeframe.
      5. If no one has viewed your Profile, you won’t see the module.
      6. If you are a free account holder, changing your “Profile Views” settings to indicate that you will be completely invisible or anonymous to other users’ Profiles will reduce your ability to see Profile Stats for users that have viewed your Profile.

      Hope this helps answer your question.

  18. Cannelle says:


    I was wondering if you could help me for a something i worry about and to which i couldnt find any answer so far.

    Sor instance, if i have a connection in Linkedin with who i am friend, can people in his connection see my full profile or just my public profile. For instance, if they are old connection that i don’t want them to acces to my data, is there anything that i can do, appart deleting my account?



  19. GraduateEntrepreneur says:

    Hi there! How great to see others are also starting to discover LinkedIn’s bugs…

    I have set the following options:
    – turned off activity broadcasts;
    – who can see activity feed “Only You”;

    …however, when I log in with my brother’s profile, on his homepage he can see groups I have joined, new connections I have made, recommendations I have written and – most outrageously – group posts I have written in various groups!

    As you can imagine, this can be a threat especially if I am just finishing my studies and looking for jobs.
    I participate in different group discussions, mainly to ask for advice and insights about the various career fields I am interested in.
    What I don’t want is recruiters or other contacts to read them.

    • bluetrain says:

      I noticed the exact same problem.

      I have set the following options:
      – turned off activity broadcasts;
      – who can see activity feed “Only You”;

      but if log on my wife’s account, she still gets updates on the new connections I built (x now connected to y)… Obviously not ideal when you are connecting to exec recruiters…

      anyone has found a solution to this problem?

      • SaBa says:

        I have the same problem.

        Everything is either disabled or turned off.

        I was surprised that my new connections are being emailed to my friend as a update to his personal email id.

        I checked the settings atleast 3 times to tell my friend that Linkedin is a complete sh!t and i wonder how come they have ‘Upgrade’ option for a fee.

        Shame on them.

  20. Chloe says:

    Hi everyone,

    Please be advised that LinkedIn has recently changed their privacy settings without advising anyone. Although in the settings, we have the option to hide our connections from our current contacts, this option does not work! Every one of your connections can actually see all your connections!! Try it and you will see! I am outraged by this and have contacted LinkedIn – by they will not do anything about this. They are actually denying the problem…

    Please try it and you will see.
    And please pass along the message to everyone you know…
    This violates our privacy settings!

  21. cam says:

    Hi – without fully understanding settings, I went on a work mates profile a few times, she then sent me an email asking why…I’ve now changed the settings to anon. Will all previous profile looks show as anon or will they show my full details set at the time of looking? Thanks

  22. J Lamont says:

    Same question as Cam (above): Had no idea that the default setting for “What Others See When You View Their Profile…” was my photo/name/business/etc. (NOTE: LinkedIn should change that, pronto, and make the default “Anonymous,” which users can then change to greater levels of exposure as they wish – that’s the type of default setting thing we hate Facebook for…). I just discovered this, and immediately changed my setting to Anonymous. I know that users who have ALREADY looked at their profiles/updates (before I changed my setting to Anonymous) will have seen my name, IF they looked at the “Who’s Viewed Your Profile…” section before I changed that Setting. But will users whom I’ve viewed before changing that setting, who HAVEN’T yet viewed their profiles, still see my full identity, etc., when they go to their profile? In other words, when I changed my Setting to Anonymous, does that automatically go through the whole system, so that members whom I’ve viewed – but who haven’t yet viewed their own profiles since I made my Setting change – will only see me as “Anonymous (even though I viewed their profiles before making the Setting change)? Again, you should change such settings defaults to completely Anonymous. I never even knew about this one, and lucky I caught it!

    • Julian says:

      #J Lamont# You make some good points however LinkedIn is used differently to Facebook. LinkedIn is a business professional network which relies on members promoting their profiles – I’m one of those. If there is something that I don’t want someone to see, then I don’t publish it. It’s that simple in these socially connected times.

      • ajdfk says:

        I feel like you have repeatedly ignored the question.

        If we have view other peoples’ profiles before changing our settings to anonymous, after we are set as anomynous can these original people still see that we viewed their profile?

        Please answer this directly.

  23. Laura says:

    On Linkedin I have disabled my public profile in the security settings to “Make my public profile visible to no one”. Yet my full profile page still shows up when I search my name on google. It seems that this security setting is not working?

    • Julian says:

      #Laura# If you have only just joined LinkedIn and you used the “Make my public profile visible to no one” then your profile would not have appeared in Google search results. If you have had an account for some time and only just changed this setting, it will take some time before Google caching clears your visible profile. I don’t know how long this takes. However you can expedite with Google if you so wish: http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=164734

  24. Nay says:


    I have recently made my profile visible to no one, can people still search for me by name? Also if my profile was visible before, could a particular user who wasn’t a friend view my profile by going through his history even though my profile is visible to no one now.

    Thank you so much. Can you please email me with the answer.

    • Danya says:

      Your prfiloe link is on your prfiloe page. The link you posted will only show the currently logged-in user’s prfiloe. That is, I click it I see me. Brian clicks it, he sees his own prfiloe. Look at the other prfiloe URLs in the comments here, and see what the format looks like. Look for the URL on your prfiloe page that looks like these.

  25. Alan says:

    Hi Julian,
    I am interested in a top, and there is no group available.
    I want to create one, have switched my activity to off, and groups as hidden.
    Can you confirm that is all I need to do so that nobody knows I created this group and is will not be broadcast, or is this like recommendations and will be broadcast to my connections.

    Thanks in advance. Great blog/service.


    • Julian says:

      #Alan# Glad you like the blog. Here to help and here to learn too 🙂 If you create a group why hide it? Is it meant to be invitation only? You are correct – no one will know you created the group with your activity feed set to off and groups set to hidden.

  26. Greg says:

    How come my activity feeds are still sent to my connections even though the setting is private (only me).

  27. Art says:

    Greg, I am having the same problem. I have my settings as private as they can be. The privacy settings failed. I logged in with my wife’s account and see every change that I made to my profile.

    I contacted LinkedIn and let them know about this issue. I don’t expect them to do anything about it either. After reading a lot of similar posts, LinkedIn is failing at their customer service!

  28. Lynne says:


    Great info. Can you help me with a question? I am a CV/resume writer and I have a client who is angry that I have looked at his profile and he can see my info. He is worried that his co-workers will see that I have looked at his profile. I am sure that he is completely wrong – he can see who has visited his profile, but no one else can see that info. Am I right? He wants me to change my settings to anonymous – not a chance of this as I need it for my business.


    • Julian says:

      #Lynne# – Your profile can be hidden from others. For example, if you wanted to look over someone else’s profile you can make yourself ‘anonymous’. This would appear as ‘Anonymous LinkedIn User’ in ‘Who’s Viewed Your Profile’ on the person’s profile you were viewing. If you join a group or are looking for a job, activity broadcast doesn’t work if the default is ‘off’. I am investigating this issue with LinkedIn.

      • Julian says:

        #Lynne# Message from LinkedIn: If the Group is an open Group then the discussion or comment you make in the Group will be shown in your updates for all your connections to see. If the Group is closed it will be posted in your updates. However, only members of that Group will be able to see it. 

If you post something that you do not want to be in your updates you can go to your Home page and move your mouse over the update. A gray “x” will appear on the right hand side. If you click on the “x” the update will be removed. It’s still a manual process but at least you have control of your updates to GROUPS.

  29. Christian Beauregard says:

    Hi, i know it’s old but concerning the fact that you cannot turn the broadcast activity off when you click on like for JOBS, update from other user or posting, i found that you can actually delete them manually from your feed. I created a fake account and tested the option, it worked for a group i had join, it did not show anymore on my fake linkedin account,,,at least you can control what gets posted but it should be really a feature or linkedin to disable this entirely

    • Julian says:

      #Christian Beauregard# Very good find. 🙂 I’ve tested your idea and it does indeed work. I have pinged LinkedIn today to find out whether they plan to add the disable activity broadcast option for everything. Please bear with me. UPDATE 27th April: Doesn’t look like LinkedIn will be making this change anytime soon. See my reply to #Lynn# above. 🙁

  30. Michelle says:

    Hi Julian. If you look at someone’s profile NOT logged in, is there any way they could know, if it’s the same computer you use when you are logged in? I looked someone up (not logged in) as I didn’t want them to know, and now I see they have looked at MY profile…

  31. Jared says:

    How can I prevent posts to group discussions from appearing to rest of my linkedin connections?

  32. sharath says:

    I dont want my connections to seem my discussions i posted in groups, how can i do this

  33. Maddy says:

    I’ve set my activity feed to be visible only by me, but now everybody in my network can see my activity (like I have post something different group) in their homepage. How can I disable this so that my connections ca’t see my post/activity in their homepage?

    Please reply as soon as possible.

  34. Bob says:

    Hello! Small question. If I have been under “anonymous” status in LinkedIn, then looked at some profiles, when I turn my profile back to being normal and visable, do the previous people then see me change from being anon to my full profile in the “whos viewed your profile” bit?

    Thanks a lot and for answering all these questions!

  35. Chris Leigh says:


    I am a bit confused. I set my public profile to only display my current position, however, when I asked a colleague who is not connected to me to search for me on Linked in, he was able to see my full porofile including previous work history.

    I am trying to set my account so that only my current role has any detail listed with it, and anything prior to my current role is only listed as job title and dates….

    How on earth do you acheive this? Linked IN doesn’t seem to be too user friendly with these types of tasks!

    • Julian says:

      #Chris Leigh# Simple answer is you cannot achieve what you want right now with LinkedIn. Others have asked about this, so the more people that demand this feature, the more likely LinkedIn will listen and do something about it. It’s all about ‘control’ 🙂 So I suggest you contact LinkedIn.

  36. Anon says:


    I wonder if anyone can help me.

    Unfortunately, my old employer has taken to checking my Linkedin profile every day, I can only imagine that as we are in a competitive business he wishes to see who my new connections are.

    Whilst I know he can’t see them as I am not connected to him, I believe he must see the feed down the right hand side (activity feed) of my profile that shows who I have ‘just connected with etc’ and that’s why he is going on every day.

    How can I stop him seeing this?

    Many thanks

    • Julian says:

      #Anon# It’s simple. You have only one option. Allow only you to see your connections. Go to your name (top right) and then click “Settings” > Privacy Controls > Select who can see your connections > Change to “Only You” and SAVE.

  37. Hi, Julian, I was wondering what the difference is in activity feed vs broadcast feed? I like to post comments on my homepage and would like to have my whole network see these comments, so I was wondering what the best way to do this was?


  38. karen says:

    Hi I was wondering can business or premium members see my profile/photo which is only visible to my 1st degree connections.
    Also are recommendations even allowed to be private from public? I want only my connections to see my recommendations.

  39. Dani says:

    Can anybody help me please?

    I am a professional with a high profile career. After a brief relationship my ex began to stalk me, send death threats etc. the police are involved but as he lives in another country have limited powers.

    He looks at my profile constantly using anonymous user settings. My public profile is off, my photo only visible to my connections and activity feeds turned to off.

    I wish to make anonymous users unable to see my profile or what is happening in my career. I am not interested in jobs or looking at others profiles I just like having a professional presence.

    Any advice would be much appreciated.

    Kind regards

    • Julian says:

      #Dani# #Amma# I would advise you to contact LinkedIn to highlight your concerns. They may suspend/hide your profile until your personal issue is sorted.

  40. Tiffany says:

    Quick question or rather questions I should say.

    If you’ve viewed someone’s profile without actually being signed in will they see it?

    Recently I opened a link to someone’s linkedin profile from google, only to find that I was “signed” in when I accessed the individuals profile.

    At least it seemed that way, until I was requested to insert my password, when I tried to change my settings.

    My profile page was visible but I still had to sign in…if that’s the case would the person still be able to see that I viewed their profile?

    Or was I “locked out” out of linkedin?…even if I hadn’t signed out…I closed the browser from the last time I would have utilized the site…how comes it appeared to be signed in?

  41. Keith says:

    Hi Julian

    I have breezed through the comments but may have missed something. I am wondering if my specific question has been answered.

    Basically, I want to use linkedIn as a basis for recruiters to find me. I am aware that spammers and ID thieves CAN steal my identity and pretend to be me (on emails etc) by using my photo as evidence that it is me. However, I have been advised that my linkedIn profile will be much more effective if I download my photo.

    What do you advise? Also, how should I set my privacy control settings to optimise my chances of getting contacted?

    • Julian says:

      #Keith# I don’t see any issues with uploading your photo. As for protecting your privacy I would suggest you look to your PROFILE:
      I would turn off your activity broadcasts
      Let everyone see your activity feed
      Change what others see when you’ve viewed their profile to “Anonymous”
      Hide your connections – it’s yours to own
      Make your profile photo visible and allow “everyone” to see your profile
      Show “Viewers of this profile also viewed” box

      I would also suggest joining GROUPS to initiate discussion. This will also raise your profile. Never discuss anything personal though. That’s for email.

      • Keith says:

        Thanks so much Julian.

        I will try that.

        Just a bit confused though, still.

        “Let everyone see your activity feed”

        What are the benefits of doing this, in my job search? Doesn’t it give too much information to everybody as to my activities? If so, is that good or bad?

        “Change what others see when you’ve viewed their profile to “Anonymous” ”

        If I change what others see to “anonymous” it will disable my profile statistics. Don’t I need those statistics? Also doesn’t appearing as “anonymous” on those profiles, limit my exposure for potential job offers?

        “Hide your connections – it’s yours to own”

        I thought showing these connections was supposed to improve my profile because it can be seen that I am connected.

        As you can see I am a complete novice on linkedin. My questions obviously show naivety. However, I would be so appreciative if you could explain why your suggestions will not hinder my profile from being seen on search engines.

        This is how I am set at present:

        activity broadcasts: off
        activity feed: only me
        what others see when you view….: my name
        Who can see your connections: my connections
        Viewers of this profile also viewed: off


        • Keith says:

          If I show “Viewers of this profile also viewed” won’t it cause viewers of my profile to click away from my profile too soon if they see those links and look at my competitors profile instead? I mean won’t it cause my profile to advertise others instead? What is to be gained by showing it?

          • Julian says:

            #Keith# Good question. There are positives and negatives with the option you are questioning. I for one believe that if “viewers of this profile also viewed” is shown, there must be interest in your industry and or current or previous job role(s). This can only be a good thing. The negative is that it could push people away from your profile. Only you can decide which is best.

  42. Keith says:

    Sorry Julian,

    I meant to ask regarding your advice re “anonymous” on what others see when I visit their profile. Should that be “anonymous” or “TOTALLY anonymous”

    • Julian says:

      #Keith# I suggest anonymous, as this option still shows which industry you are currently working in. LinkedIn is all about networking 😉

  43. Robin says:

    I have a question about the anonymous setting. If I change my profile to be show as anonymous so I can view other profiles one day and then the next day I change it back to show who I am, will the profile that I viewed the day before still show up as anonymous or will it be changed to show my name?

  44. Dave says:

    Hi I have the same question as Bob and Robin, which has gone unanswered. If I am in anonymous mode and view other profiles then switch my privacy setting back to ‘normal’ the next day will I show up as anonymous or will it show my name?

    • Julian says:

      #Dave# #Rob# #Robin# LinkedIn reply: “The option you’re describing is not retroactive, meaning it will still say whatever it said when you originally viewed the profile. Changing your settings afterwards does not go back and change previous profile views.” This explains your anonymous question.

  45. Keith says:

    Hi Julian

    Reminder: You have not yet replied to my questions of 9th Aug, which were based upon your recommendations. My questions commenced from this link downwards:

  46. Keith says:

    Thanks Julian for your above replies. However, my first set of questions have not yet been answered as follows:

    You advised that I do the following:

    “Let everyone see your activity feed”

    What are the benefits of doing this, in my job search? Doesn’t it give too much information to everybody as to my activities? If so, is that good or bad? For example linkedin says: Julian > As you are not in FT work, you need for people to see you are 100% committed to finding work

    “Note: You may want to turn this option off if you’re looking for a job and don’t want your present employer to see that you’re updating your profile.” That does not apply to me because I am currently out of work.

    “Change what others see when you’ve viewed their profile to “Anonymous” ”

    If I change what others see to “anonymous” it disables my profile statistics. Don’t I need those statistics? Also doesn’t appearing as “anonymous” on those profiles, limit my exposure for potential job offers? Julian > I never use the stats – if people want to contact you based on your profile they will, regardless of stats

    “Hide your connections – it’s yours to own”

    I thought showing these connections was supposed to improve my profile because it can be seen that I am connected. Julian > Not when looking for a job. Recruitment agencies want to learn about you and your skills not who you are connected too – unless that is you are looking for a sales job (even here you might not want people to see your ‘valuable’ connections).

    Since that time you gave me your advice I have changed my settings exactly as you advised – as follows, but would still like to see your comments on the above because (based on your replies) I may need to change it again.

    activity broadcasts: off
    activity feed: everyone
    what others see when you view….: anonymous profile
    Who can see your connections: only me
    Change your profile photo ….: everyone
    Viewers of this profile also viewed: on

    Will those settings get my best possible exposure for job seeking but also protect me from ID theft and from hindering my chances in any way? Note, I have had absolutely no response to my account over the last month since making those changes. Although I am informed that my profile has been viewed 8 times in the last 90 days (gone up from 6) and I have shown up in 36 searches in last 90 days (gone up from 17). Julian > It all comes down to whether your profile matches a specific job or someone knows you and what skills you can bring to that company.

    Julian > I deleted your last paragraph as requested.

    Thanks so much

  47. Keith says:

    Thanks Julian for your replies.

    Please do not publish what follows below:

    Would you please email me, so that I can give you my linkedin profile url address – just for your eyes. As I am a novice, would you please review my profile and let me know if I am using it correctly and whether I am likely to get any success with it or what do I need to do to improve my chances.

    I would be very grateful if you could help me on this.

    Thanks again.

  48. Mond says:


    I’d like to know, if I select I’m the only one to see my connections, do my connections see the new people I connect with in my activity feed?

  49. Mel says:

    If I changed my LinkedIn settings from visible to anonymous after viewing someone’s profile, will that person still be able to see that I have viewed their profile? Or will it now show up as anonymous?

  50. Confused New linkedin User says:

    If I search someone under the anonymous setting and then change back to the recommended setting, then will the person i searched anonymously know I searched them?

  51. Joe says:

    Regarding the retro-active setting change to anonymous, there appears to be a work-around if you accidentally view a profile on the recommended settings and want the results NOT to show that your information (provided the individual haven’t looked at the notification yet!).

    First, change your “view other profile settings” to “anonymous.” Then, change your public profile settings to “Make my public profile visible to no one.” Lastly, go back to (i.e. search and then click into) the profile that you do not want to know you viewed their profile. With the indexing of your profile now turned off, the recent views on the profile should overwrite the original settings (i.e. the default view history with you name and headline) with the new settings (i.e. “LinkedIn Member”).

    You can test this by creating a dummy linkedin account, viewing it on recommended settings, and then performing the steps above. The only drawback with this, of course, is that your profile now remains anonymous for any profile that you view.

    • confused too says:

      What if I change it back to visible to everyone after a while? Will the person whose profile I viewed accidentally see my name now?

      • confused too says:

        Also, even if doing what you described hides my view, didn’t the person already receive an email notification?

  52. incisive says:

    my question is..
    i make myself anonymous and view someone’s profile. after a day or so i make myself visible again. will that person be able to see my name etc later?
    is this “who has viewed your profile” only for that particular day or does it last for some days and will make my name appear?

    • Julian says:

      #Incisive# In answer to your first question – no. The ‘who has viewed your profile’ setting is only relevant for that particular day.

  53. michelle Inchley says:

    Someone else ansed this question but it went unanswered.

    If you’ve viewed someone’s profile without actually being signed in will they see it?

    Recently I opened a link to someone’s linkedin profile from google, only to find that I was “signed” in when I accessed the individuals profile.

    At least it seemed that way, until I was requested to insert my password, when I tried to change my settings.

    My profile page was visible but I still had to sign in…if that’s the case would the person still be able to see that I viewed their profile?

    Or was I “locked out” out of linkedin?…even if I hadn’t signed out…I closed the browser from the last time I would have utilized the site…how comes it appeared to be signed in?

  54. kim says:

    Great blog! I found a lot of useful information here! Thank you, Julian!

  55. Hi ,

    I have a question , i have tried searching all over the web
    for an answer but still nothing .

    I do not want to hide anything , i want google and others online to see everything in my profile page in linkedin .

    So i set all the visibilities to everyone / anyone , and when i share / post something new in my activity area it doesnt display it in my public profile page .

    Why is this ?

    also does are public linkedin profile page get index by google , also does the full profile page get index by google ?

    when we post links to news or website are they dofollow ?

    if anybody can answer these questions i would be great full , thanks in advance all .

  56. mon says:

    Julian- i merely search for a person on linkedin by typing his name and he is not one of my contacts- but i dont go to his profile,meaning on typing eg: bobbi brow before i can type the N for brown his name shows up and i can see his title.if for an action like this where i don’t go into his profile to see his name will i be counted as one of the people who viewed his profile or will my name not show up in his recently viewed ppl list coz i never opened up his profile but only searched for his name.

    • Julian says:

      #mon# When you search for someone but don’t open their profile, you will not appear in their ‘people viewed your profile’.

  57. Tom says:

    Hey Julian, i clicked on a few profiles of people I thought maybe a good connection but they were the wrong people, I ended up deleting my account, will those people still see I viewed their profile?

    • Julian says:

      #Tom# Yes members will see that you have viewed their profile if you delete your account but when they click to view your profile it will state that your profile is no longer active on LinkedIn as it takes up to 72 hours for your name to be removed from LinkedIn after deleting your account.

  58. bhavani says:

    Hi Julian,

    I like your blog. Great work. I have a question on my linkedin profile. When i add few people on linkedin. All of my connections can see my email id in the contact details. Can i restrict my email id display to no one or only to the ones who has sent me a request through the option where they use their email contacts to import contacts and send invitations.


  59. LearningAboutLinkedIn says:

    Thanks for a VERY informative LinkedIn blog, Julian! Yours is the best I have seen online.

    I have the same question as two others, and I have not seen responses from anyone. Can you advise?

    Michelle (5/3/12) “If you look at someone’s profile NOT logged in, is there any way they could know, if it’s the same computer you use when you are logged in? I looked someone up (not logged in) as I didn’t want them to know, and now I see they have looked at MY profile.”

    Tiffany (8/1/12) “Recently I opened a link to someone’s linkedin profile from google, only to find that I was “signed” in when I accessed the individuals profile. At least it seemed that way, until I was requested to insert my password … Would the person still be able to see that I viewed their profile?”

    I, too, have Googled a few profiles when I was NOT logged into my LinkedIn account, and I am concerned that I was “visible” as someone who had recently viewed the profiles. For professional reasons (I am looking for work), I had purposely logged OUT of LinkedIn (or hadn’t logged in that day at all). I Googled the public profile of the individual(s). Yet LinkedIn “knew” I already had an account and asked me to sign in to see the complete profile (which I did not).

    In instances, was I (or Michelle or Tiffany) visible?

  60. PrincessofNeverland says:

    I have the exact question as the person above. I have been searching for some ex-employers, etc, and am now concerned that they will be able to see that I viewed their profile even though I was not signed into Linkedin. Perhaps that may explain the spike in the number of people who have viewed my profile recently.

  61. Maria says:

    Hi Julian,

    Congratualations for your extremely helpful blog!

    I have a quick question regarding the linkedin professional headline. I have just left my previous job and I am now about to go traveling for one year: I tried to remove my headline altogether and delete previous role and leave the headline empty – am i correct thinking that this is not possible, ie you need to have smth as a headline?
    Also when i google my name (being logged out of linkedin) my linkedin profile appears under google results, but with my previous role-location-industry. Is it not possible to delete these so that they do not appear when people google your name?

    All the best and many thanks for your valuable help,


  62. Jill says:

    Hi Julian,

    This blog is a terrific resource and very helpful, so thank you.

    My question echoes some of the posts above but is slightly different. I imagine many people have done this, so an answer would be valuable for many others besides myself.

    From my only computer, I googled someone and then clicked on this person’s linkedin account. (I was logged out of linkedin at the time.) For a number of reasons, this person must not know I did this. I looked online and my understanding is that linkedin will send either a “You might know this person” notice to this person or a “This person has viewed your profile” notice (although I believe they say in their terms of service that they don’t.) I immediately changed my settings to “anonymous” and then minutes later I closed my account.

    My questions are 1) will a notice be sent to the person whose profile I opened through google 2) if so, will the person see my name and company or will the “anonymous” setting change kick in (assuming the person didn’t look at my profile in the 5 minutes before I switched the setting to “anonymous”) and 3) if a notice of any kind was sent, did it “disappear” when I deleted my account? (I know you said earlier that it takes 72 hours for linkedin to delete an account.)

    Thank you so much!

    • Julian says:

      #Jill# Answers to your questions with thanks to my friends at LinkedIn. 1. Member will not know when you view their profile through any Internet searches, unless you login to your LinkedIn profile. 2. As there will be no entry for your view through Google, so there is no question of being anonymous or not. 3. If you close your account, you will be listed as ‘LinkedIn Member’ where member will not be able access your profile

  63. kathleen gillis says:

    ACtivity suppression – being able to suppress specific activity, like “is now connected to” messages on my profile.

    “Changing what others see on my profile” —

    I’d like to be able to suppress the “is now connected to” messages on my profile, and keep the status that I put there, as primary. I can delete statuses that I have posted, but cannot delete the system generated “is now connected to” messages.

    How do i do that?
    Kathleen – i opened a ticket for this

  64. Ed Barney says:

    Does anyone know why my Linkedin profile photo also appears in all my Yahoo email messages as well as all my texts? I don’t mind it appearing to my Linkedin contacts, but I don’t want recipients of my texts and emails to see the same photo. I tried changing the Linkedin profile settings to show to my network only. But the photo still shows up whenever I send an email to someone (even those not in my Linkedin network) as well as all my sms texts. I want the photo to remain on my Linkedin account, but not my Yahoo Mail and sms accounts. Any ideas? Thanks.

  65. Francisca says:

    Very good site you have here but I was wanting to know if you knew of any
    community forums that cover the same topics discussed in this article?
    I’d really like to be a part of community where I can get advice from other experienced people that share the same interest. If you have any recommendations, please let me know. Thank you!

  66. New Bee says:

    Hello Julian,

    Thank you for the public service you offer by patiently posting answers to every single question.

    Does LinkedIn provide a way to invite specific persons within the network to have varied degrees of access to an account? In other words, I do not want my LinkedIn profile to become a free for all to view / access / contact me etc. How can I invite people to join my network and restrict viewership / access only to those individuals?

    I fully realize this goes against the mantra of being social, but if a professional network truly cared about customers’ privacy, this would be available.

  67. Peter Crocker says:

    What if I don’t want my profile description to show whenever I post to a group? How do I get rid of it.

    • Julian says:

      #Peter Crocker# If you use LinkedIn for networking then hiding your profile doesn’t make much sense and in particular in groups. Furthermore, if you don’t want anyone to see your profile, I’d always suggest never publishing online. Remember the Web (i.e. think DNS) and web admins cache your data whenever you publish. 🙂

  68. Thank you, I’ve just been looking for information about this subject for a long time and
    yours is the best I’ve discovered till now.
    However, what in regards to the bottom line? Are you
    sure in regards to the supply?

  69. anon says:

    When I make a new connection on linkedin, and I have set my activity feed off – will my new connection notification be sent by new connection to his/her second degree connections if they have their activity feed set to be on. I don’t want my new connections broadcasted via the new connection I have just made.

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