How And When to Disconnect From Your LinkedIn Connections.

I will get to the “How” in just a moment with a step by step tutorial. But before I show you how, here are the most common scenarios which will usually prompt you or give you a good reason for disconnecting with some of your Connections on LinkedIn:


(1) You asked a Connection for help and they fell short. It happens but frankly, you could do better, there are other people to connect with who could actually come through for you when it matters most. Networking Jenga, don’t build on weak support.

(2) You went a little crazy when you first got on LinkedIn and now you’re saddled with all these Connections who you don’t really know and they really don’t know you. Your online network needs to be vibrant and healthy, just like a muscle. Let’s get rid of the flab.

(3) Someone connected to you has spammed your mailbox. You are the best judge of what constitutes ‘spam’ – if it is non-relevant and you feel you are being constantly marketed to by the same person, can the spam!

(4) Spring cleaning. Every year, scan and review your entire Connection list, ask yourself who deserves a spot on your team and who should be cut.

(5) The 500 threshold. Try to keep below 500 Connections. Above 500 can signify to others that you are potentially a LION (LinkedIn Open Networker) and this could result in unwelcome connection requests from other LIONs or rejection by those who follow the 500 threshold rule.


Here are step by step instructions to disconnect from Connections on LinkedIn:

(i) Go to ‘Contacts’ and click on ‘Connections’.





(ii) In the top right of your screen you will see ‘Remove Connections’, click on this.



(iii) Then select the people (listed alphabetically) whom you’d like to Disconnect from (you can choose multiple people, as many as you would like).
























(iv) Go ahead and click ‘Remove Connections’ and ‘Yes, remove them’ in the pop up box, voila! They are no longer Connections of yours on LinkedIn.


They will not get a message or have any indication that you just Disconnected, they will at some stage see that you are no longer a ‘First Degree’ connection, depending on how observant they are. It’s painless and quick, better for everyone in the long run, right?


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That’s all from me for this week. Please take a few moments to share this article with your network. I read and respond to all comments.

By Andy Foote



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17 Responses

  1. Gloria says:

    How do you delete contacts that are not on your contact list but, instead use linked in groups to advertise (especially jobs available). Thank you

    • Andy Foote says:

      Hi Gloria – if they are not directly connected to you i.e First Connections, you can’t disconnect from them. But if you want to opt out of messages from people in some of the Groups you belong to – just go into your Communication settings.

  2. Nicole Raffin says:

    Hi Andy, Thanks very much for this information !
    I think it is very interesting indeed.
    Kind regards

  3. Gennady says:


    We live in America where almost everyone is offended by a natural drop of a leaf. How do you manage potential angry former connection?


    • Andy Foote says:

      You don’t. In reality the ex-Connected party will (a) potentially never notice and (b) not make a fuss even if they did notice.

  4. I have 2050 good connections but I ignore at least one connection request per day. I click Ignore on most connection requests because they don’t have photos or corresponding Google+ profiles. But I’ll explain why it may be a mistake for most businesspeople to try to keep their connections low (below 500) by rejecting people who are already connected:

    0) They could be one of your paying customers. Want to lose one of those fast? Unfollow them on any social media platform. Do it on LinkedIn and that’s like a written letter requesting that they stop doing business with you. =)

    1) The more connections you have, the more likely the key person you need to connect with for business will be in your network where you can see their profile with a photo and last name spelled out.

    2) Being connected to that key person has a huge psychological effect on them in terms of whether they will want to do business with you or continue doing business with you as opposed to being less loyal and scoping out your competitors. I’ve proven this with massively increased sales figures.

    3) So it’s a no-brainer to keep those connections and especially connections with those who also have a lot of connections. Every day, LinkedIn tells me that 30,000 new people are in my network where I can see their last names and where they are more likely to connect with me.

    4) It really does leave an “Avoid doing business with this person” notation with anyone smart enough to notice a LinkedIn drop or an IDK or Ignore.

    4) Therefore, I advise all businesspeople that it’s doubly or even triply a mistake to defriend someone on LinkedIn who might conceivably become or already is a customer of yours.

    Do it only if an incompetent person seems to be spamming you. I have to defriend someone for spam about once every 1.5 years which isn’t a heavy burden for someone with 2000+ contacts. Spam is not a problem on LinkedIn.

    That said, if anyone wants to connect with me, be advised that, if you don’t have a photo or more than 10 other friends and you don’t have a presence on Google+ and you don’t even bother writing a custom letter, I probably won’t believe you’re capable of doing business or that you could have registered to be one of my company’s customers. =)

    • Andy Foote says:

      Allen, you’re clearly a ‘sales’ guy and your approach fits your purpose but for the non-sales folk who are focused on building a tight and trusted network on LinkedIn, less than 500 is a good rule of thumb.

      • Yes, I follow Allen’s approach and as Andy notes, we are both in sales.

        But, I am not sure why Andy recommends that other people using LinkedIn signal that they are not in sales by keeping below 500.

        Nor am I sure about Andy’s criteria for pruning LinkedIn connections.

  5. Ruth says:

    Is there a limit on how many LinkedIn Connections you can disconnect from over the life of your account? If so, what is that number?

    Thank you,


    • Andy Foote says:

      No, there’s no limit on Disconnects but there is a limit on the number of people you can invite to connect: 3,000. After you run out of invitations, you can ask for more, so it’s just a ceiling, rather than a limit.

  6. Chris Mather says:


    How can you find out how many people you have Invited to date?


    Chris Mather

    • Andy Foote says:

      There are 2 ways: (1) tally the invites you have sent over the years or (2) ask LinkedIn customer service how many you have left.

      • But, Chris, because you should never have more than 200 invites open at any one time (not yet accepted by others or withdrawn by you), this should only be a concern only if 2,800+ people have connected with you already and you’re wondering if the 3000 invite limit includes those invitations that were already accepted.

        You should withdraw most invitations you made 2 or more months ago and you can get a sense about whose invitation to withdraw even if it’s been only 2 weeks since you invited them.

        These days I’m almost exclusively inviting only interesting customers of my company’s paid or free plans as well as those who have made serious enquiries. A few times per month I invite someone who had a good exchange with me elsewhere in social media.

        I would advise you to go back and withdraw old invitations and to especially withdraw all invitations where you did not write a customized message explaining why they should particularly connect with you. If you do this, you won’t be worrying about the 3000 invite limit for another 5 years at least.

        • Andy Foote says:

          The 3,000 invitation mark is not something I would be worrying about. If you run out of invitations, LinkedIn will simply raise your limit. The 3,000 quota was put into place to deter users who wished to connect indiscriminately and for LinkedIn to be able to keep tabs on them.

  7. MainstreamIT says:

    Some fairly elaborate strategizing going on here. Does anyone know how to disconnect on the LinkedIN Android app?

  1. February 26, 2013

    […] There’s nothing you can do if someone decides to leave you on LinkedIn. Knowing is not going to be terribly useful and it won’t make you feel good. That’s life. I recommend regular pruning of connections to my clients – read why here. […]

  2. October 17, 2013

    […] Besides being more careful about whom you allow among your first level connections, you need to consider pruning your list of connections down to those who are truly solid and valuable to you. Andy Foote recently gave several excellent suggestions about  why you might want to do this in “How And When To Disconnect From Your LinkedIn Connections:”  […]

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