LinkedIn account restricted: Why & Solutions
Is your LinkedIn account restricted? You’ve come to the right place.
If you are looking for a solution, check out our tool : Waalaxy, which is not affected by LinkedIn’s restrictions. Otherwise, in this article we explain all the different LinkedIn restrictions and our tips on how to get out of them. 👊
Find out more 🔥
Any social network must ensure that its users do not abuse the tool, by spamming other users, sharing inappropriate content or creating fake identities.
LinkedIn is obviously no exception to the rule. Moreover, they have recently strengthened their rules of use and detection of inappropriate/undesirable behavior?
If you have arrived here, there are two options:
- You have experienced any kind of account restriction by LinkedIn.
- You’re afraid of an account restriction and want to be ahead of the game (this is a good idea).
In both cases, you are in the right place!
The purpose of a social network is to connect people (real humans) around a pattern of information or content exchange and according to the network’s own rules and modes.
LinkedIn positions itself as a professional social network, mainly B2B, whose objective is to connect professionals (ah well) through common topics so as to facilitate collaborations and recruitment. These could be business or industry issues.
But, like any platform of this kind, it must ensure that certain ethical rules are respected so that its members are not insulted, spammed or see or share inappropriate content.
And believe me, this is not an easy task. Because any network that gathers millions of people is an ideal place to promote an ideology, share abusive content or services or even spread viruses.
LinkedIn is no exception. And so it must protect itself from it.
How does LinkedIn restrict an account?
As you might imagine, monitoring millions of profiles, postings and shared content is not something humans can do (it would be far too expensive).
So it’s all about algorithms (and more precisely, artificial intelligence) monitoring the network for abuse and breaches of the network’s terms and conditions of service and use.
These algorithms do the first phase of the work. As they have the ability to learn, they improve over time and do not behave exactly the same every time.
This is an important point for the future. Indeed, many people do not understand why on two accounts having done the same actions and shared the same contents, the first one can be restricted and not the second one.
I’m not going to give you a machine learning lesson here, that’s not the point. But I still have to explain the basis of a learning system by an algorithm.
- The algorithm analyzes your content and actions and compares them to previously analyzed accounts. If it finds correlations or similar elements with permanently banned accounts, it may choose to restrict you as well. It may also choose to let you continue and see what your behaviors are in the future to see if you are approaching abnormal behavior or not.
- If your account is restricted, there are two possibilities: it was justified or it was not. If you feel it wasn’t, you’ll probably send a request to support. They will manually evaluate your account and determine if it was indeed an error or not.
- The algorithm then receives two outcomes to choose from: it was an error and the account was restored or it was not an error (support banned your account or you did not request a restoration). Based on this result, it learns. It now knows that the indicators it assessed in you are consistent with fraudulent behavior or not.
Obviously, on the scale of an account, this is not very valuable. But if you multiply this learning by millions of attempts, with successes and failures, you get a very efficient AI.
There are different types of account restrictions by LinkedIn, depending on breaches of their rules, the type of account and other criteria that are not always known, since an AI makes the first decision.
These restrictions are more or less serious, more or less long, and can go as far as a permanent ban. But don’t worry, it’s quite rare. I’m going to explain all of this to you here.
Request for emails on invitation sending
This is the most “basic” LinkedIn restriction. LinkedIn notices that you are sending a lot of invitations, which are probably unsolicited. So it asks you to enter the email address of the person you’re trying to contact to show that you know them well.
In this situation, we advise you to stop sending invitations on LinkedIn (both manual and automated), for a few days.
If after a few days you are still not unblocked, one solution is use a tool like Waalaxy which allows you to send connection requests automatically by retrieving emails before sending the request, so it is no longer necessary to have the person’s email address to send the connection request, the tool handles this on its own, not bad isn’t it?
How long does it take to enter an email to connect with someone?
Unfortunately, it varies from account to account. From what we know today, it can last from a few days to several months. We even know of some people who never had this restriction lifted…
But don’t panic, as explained just above, you can use solutions like Waalaxy which allow you to bypass this restriction.
It’s worth noting here though that just because you are asked to enter an email once to get in touch with a person, does not mean that you will be asked to do so for everyone. Some people on LinkedIn have activated an option that forces them to enter their email address, in order for someone to get in touch with them, so they don’t get spammed. It’s pretty rare but it can happen.
So always check on a second profile before you cry restriction.
Weekly invitation quotas reached
It’s brand new, it’s just released, the new way to have your account restricted by LinkedIn: LinkedIn has decided to set weekly limits for sending out invitations.
Now users are limited to around 100 connection requests per week, and no one escapes the rule, not even premium or Sales Navigator users.
The solution? Use an automation tool like Waalaxy that collects emails from people you want to get in touch with. The request is therefore made via email and not the traditional way, and therefore allows not to be limited by the quota of 100 weekly invitations.
Is the weekly quota restriction permanent?
The weekly quota restriction is fairly recent, so there is a possibility that it will go away in the weeks and months to come, but for now it appears to be final.
The only solution available to you to send more than 100 connection requests per week will therefore be to use a tool like Waalaxy.
Arrival in SPAM messages
More rare, this restriction is difficult to identify. It usually happens when you use a automation tool and you contact several hundred people by private message on LinkedIn, with the same message.
The only way to tell is to send the message to a few contacts you know well and check their instant messaging for SPAM.
Detecting an automation tool
If you use a automation tool like Dux-Soup or Linked Helper, LinkedIn may be able to detect it directly. In this case, it will tell you the name of the extension you are using and ask you to stop. It may also detect behavior that appears to be automated, without being sure that you are using automation tools. This often happens when you browse hundreds of profiles in searches in a short period of time. In the first case it will tell you which tool it detected, while in the second case, the message from LinkedIn will only talk about “using an automated tool”. You will receive a message like this:
We have noticed unusual activity from your account. This includes an unusually high number of profile views and/or profile viewing behaviors that indicate the use of an automation tool.
To prevent abuse and to protect member privacy, we do not allow the use of software that automates activity on LinkedIn. We also prevent accounts from viewing an unusually large number of member profiles.
We have already sent you a warning. So we have now restricted your account until XXXX. Please try to reconnect after that date. Note that if you continue this activity, your account may be permanently restricted.
Temporarily Restricted with ID Request
This is a more serious restriction than the previous ones. LinkedIn believes you have violated its Terms of Service.
This can happen:
- If you have continued to use a prohibited automation tool,
- If LinkedIn considers that your account is not a real identity,
- If you have shared content that has been flagged multiple times,
- Any other systematic violation of their TOS, or any behavior that looks suspicious to the identification algorithm.
Permanently banned from LinkedIn
This step is the final step. Normally, you have gone through the previous step, provided identification and:
- LinkedIn’s security department linkedIn’s security department explicitly told you via email that your account was banned.
- You are not unbanned several weeks after providing your ID.
The final ban is usually justified and happens quite rarely.
As previously mentioned, there are plenty of reasons why you might be restricted by LinkedIn. They depend on:
- The type of restriction (the reasons for a weekly invitation limit are often not the same as those for a permanent ban).
- The choice of the IA that led to the first restriction.
- Bad practices or non-compliance with their TOS.
Here is a non-exhaustive list that can lead to a restriction by LinkedIn.
You have sent a lot of invitation requests
As we said at the beginning, LinkedIn is all about connecting people to create quality interactions, centered around common topics.
Adding 300 people a day to your network is obviously not in line with this goal.
That’s why one of the main limiting factors (especially for the email request to get in touch or the weekly quotas), is the volume of daily, weekly or monthly invitations sent out.
Your acceptance and response rates are low
You send a lot of invitations and messages. OK, maybe you’re an influencer.
But if no one is accepting your requests or responding to your messages, that’s not a good sign. It looks a lot like spam.
In this scenario, LinkedIn may choose to restrict your account with one of the previous restrictions.
Too many people have reported “not knowing you.”
When you send an invitation request, the user can accept or decline you but also report “I don’t know this person.”
If too many users report you in this way, LinkedIn will consider that you are adding people you don’t know and it doesn’t like that too much.
Unfortunately, there is no way to know exactly how many people have reported you.
You are using a dangerous automation tool
LinkedIn isn’t too fond of automation tools. Some meet LinkedIn’s quotas and unspoken rules and are technically undetectable.
Others act robotically and LinkedIn can detect them. We explain below how to avoid this.
You share inappropriate, degrading, insulting content
If you share inappropriate, pornographic, insulting content, whether it is directly via a LinkedIn post, an article, a comment, you may well end up in LinkedIn jail.
It’s a basic rule on any social network: be courteous, be careful with fake news, try to protect your password to avoid being hacked, don’t get too worked up in comments.
You send the same message or the same note too many times
Wether you abuse the copy/paste function or are using an automation tool for your messages: LinkedIn does not like to see the same message or the same note being sent to many people. This is not a personalized behavior that shows a desire to create a quality network. So LinkedIn may decide to accuse you of spamming people or restrict you.
All this at once
As mentioned, account restriction is largely handled by artificial intelligence that will study dozens, if not hundreds of behaviors to determine if your account deserves a restriction or not.
So there may be a combination of all of these reasons, to a greater or lesser degree, that earns you an account restriction, permanent or temporary.
That’s it. That’s all there is to know really.
It’s not rocket science. LinkedIn has rules and flouting these rules exposes you to one of the restrictions mentioned.
Okay, it takes about 17 hours to read them. So I get it, you don’t really want to dive in right now.
No problem, we’ve summarised it for you (actually it’s a more a list of rules you broke that led to your restriction):
- Do not use bots (or bots that can be detected).
- Do not insult, spam, share pornographic content, promote dangerous or socially-unaccepted ideologies (terrorist or religious for example), or/and engage in inappropriate behaviors.
- Do not share any other material that LinkedIn may determine to be inappropriate on the network and/or could harm the community.
Respect good practices
Beyond these rather vague rules, there are good practices to follow to avoid being restricted by LinkedIn.
Target the people you contact
We can’t say this enough. If you are prospecting on LinkedIn, the basis of a successful campaign is the right targeting of people. The more your prospect list matches your audience, the better your chances of finding new customers.
But also the better your chances of not being restricted by LinkedIn. Because if your message is addressed to the right target, there is no reason to be flagged as spam.
Personalize & vary your messages
Nobody likes to receive robotic messages. Some people don’t like it at all and will report you systematically.
So, like targeting, personalization and quality copywriting are the basis of a quality LinkedIn prospecting and a healthy account.
Avoid a direct sales approach, test different messages to see which ones work best, and always tell yourself before you send your invitation or message:
“If I received this message, would I have found it interesting, and would I have responded?”.
If the answer is no, delete and start over.
And don’t forget to monitor your conversion rates to make sure you’re on target.
The alert thresholds that put your account at risk are as follows:
- Acceptance rate less than 20%.
- Response rate less than 30%.
If you’re under at least one of these two limits, watch out: you’re on the wrong track. Rework your LinkedIn targeting and approach method.
Prospect during normal hours
Sending 30 on a Sunday morning at 4am is not normal behavior. We’ve noticed that accounts that send mass LinkedIn actions on slightly odd hours are more likely to be banned.
So avoid sending (mass) invitations or messages:
- Between 10pm and 6am in your time zone.
- On weekends.
Share value-added content
It was noted that LinkedIn accounts that posted regularly were less likely to be restricted. Creating a quality audience and relationship with your network is a good practice that reduces your chances of being restricted by LinkedIn but also creates incredible business opportunities.
It’s called “nurturing” and it literally means feeding your prospects content that may interest them. Be careful not to talk about yourself incessantly, we’re talking about sharing articles and posts that respond to strong topics for your target, without always trying to promote yourself.
Use a well established account
If your account is less than 6 months old and/or less than 500 connections, your probability of being restricted is tenfold.
As far as the LinkedIn algorithm is concerned, you have not yet proven yourself. Nothing indicates that you are not hiding behind a false identity that would like to use the network for ill-intentioned purposes. Therefore, if possible, wait til you’re a well-established account, with more than 500 connections and more over a year-old before starting an intense prospecting activity on LinkedIn.
Conversely, if your account is younger, share content and add people you know little by little, or people who are highly to likely to accept you to avoid a premature ban.
Use the right automation tools
When you see the main reasons for banning accounts, you understand that the use of automation tools, scrapping or bots often comes into play.
Sometimes their use is directly detectable, sometimes they just have automated behaviors or sometimes they bring up other suspicious indicators.
In order to fully understand the issues and risks of automation, it is important to understand the different types of tools out there.
The challenge of automation tools on LinkedIn
Automation tools are not new. They are robots, computer scripts that automate actions on a network in place of one or more users in order to contact other people, share content or simply extract data.
But if these tools exist, there is a reason: they offer incredible possibilities.
While prospecting via email requires you to have a list of qualified emails, prospecting on LinkedIn only requires you to do some research to find potential prospects.
While email prospecting offers cold emailing response rates of less than 3% (or even 1%), with LinkedIn prospecting you get rates ranging from 30 to 60%!
Using automation tools to contact a few dozen people per day is now commonplace and very valuable for those who want to find new customers.
Chrome extensions VS “cloud” tools
There are two main types of automated prospecting tools on LinkedIn, each with different implications.
The first and most common are Chrome extensions. This is a plugin that integrates with your browser and will perform actions you’ve asked it to do automatically for you.
The advantage of Chrome extensions is that they act from your computer, as if you were browsing LinkedIn. Your IP is the same as usual, so nothing suspicious at first glance.
- Some tools like Dux-Soup use “HTML injection”, which alters LinkedIn’s source code and makes them detectable by LinkedIn.
- Once your computer is turned off, actions on LinkedIn are no longer performed (complicated when you want to manage several accounts or keep the robot working on the weekend).
Cloud tools, on the other hand, run directly on a server. The advantage is that you can manage a fleet of LinkedIn accounts and carry out your prospecting work on your days off (making them work just a little harder than us humans).
This can be extrememy advantageous. But there is a major problem: they are located on servers, often in another country, on IPs with lots of other LinkedIn accounts that all send lots of actions.
So as far as LinkedIn’s concerned, it’s unlikely that you are sending invitations and messages at large volumes, 24/7, from Mexico while you live in France. It’s simply not a normal behavior.
So, with the use of these Cloud tools, we observe higher restriction rates and a lot of Captcha that aim to verify that you are a human.
Finally, there are automation tools that don’t spam users and are more or less designed to keep your LinkedIn account alive.
However, Phantombuster for example doesn’t automatically manage daily volumes and delays between your actions. So, a small configuration error and you find yourself with a banned account…
Waalaxy, the ultimate alternative?
What if I told you that there is an ideal solution that combines the advantages of both tools?
Yes, you heard me right.
Waalaxy is an automation tool for LinkedIn in Chrome extension format, easy to use and especially designed to secure your account: no HTML injection; delays between your messages are managed automatically; automatic daily quotas based on Linkedin’s implicit rules so your account stays under the radar; a perfect simulation of human behaviors (LinkedIn can’t see the difference); alerts in case of behaviors deemed “at risk ” that could harm your account.
2 things not to do
Restrictions on LinkedIn happen every day. No matter what type of restriction you received, there is a solution.
No one is going to sue you because your account was restricted. So really, let’s just keep calm!
2. Create another account (or at least not right away)
The reflex in case of a restriction, mainly for a permanent complete restriction, would be to create a new account right away.
LinkedIn will not like to see you do this. Especially if you do it from the same browser, because it stores information in your cookies that allows it to see that you have a first restricted account.
So wait until you’re sure you’re permanently banned to do this.
Things to do or how to unblock your account?
Your account has been restricted by LinkedIn? There are several solutions to unblock a LinkedIn account.
Weekly email limits and email request
If LinkedIn requires you to enter an email each time you request a connection, we recommend that you stop sending invitation requests for at least 24 hours.
Then manually send an invitation each day to see if your account has been unblocked.
If LinkedIn does not unblock you, one solution to be able to continue sending connection requests is to use a tool like Waalaxy which automatically retrieves the email before sending the connection request and therefore allows you not to be limited.
My messages get classified as spam
In this case we advise you to:
- Wait a few days before sending back your messages,
- Half the number of actions you send when you recommence your campaigns,
- Use several different messages,
- Ask for a response from your contact if possible, to show LinkedIn that your content interests your contact.
LinkedIn has detected an automation tool
If this happens to you: if the extension is clearly identified by its name, we invite you to stop using this tool because LinkedIn may detect it again. Go for tools such as ProspectIn, which are undetectable by LinkedIn.
If the tool is not clearly identified by its name, we advise you to pause your campaigns for a few days and then reduce the volume of profiles you perform actions on.
Unrestrict an account restricted by LinkedIn
In the eventthat LinkedIn asks you for an ID, there is only one thing to do: provide the real ID associated with the profile.
If the account is a fake account, then you will never get it back. If you have used ProspectIn and are using the Enterprise offer you can get your leads and export them in CSV and import them into another account. In case LinkedIn does not answer you after two weeks or tells you that the account is permanently banned, unfortunately there is nothing you can do regarding this account. If you are extremely persistent, you can try to contact them at this address.
My account has been unrestricted: how to avoid being banned again?
Good news. You were restricted in some way and your account has been unrestricted.
Now you have to be much more careful, because you are blacklisted. The algorithm will be watching you more closely than ever and at the slightest warning, it will ban you again, and this time it may be permanent.
First thing to do if you were prospecting is to lower your quotas. Slow and steady wins the race.
If possible, start with 2-3 weeks without any activity. We then suggest to start at 15-20 invitations per day for up to 1-2 weeks. Then increase by another 15-20 daily invitations per week.
Review your approaches
If your LinkedIn account has been restricted, perhaps your Campaign performance was too low. Consider reworking your approaches (it never hurts) to have a less commercial, less automated and more human approach. (You can read our guide on effective prospecting on LInkedIn in 2021).
Choose a safe automated tool
If your account has been restricted as a result of using an automation tool, stop using it and instead move to a solution that is more reliable like Waalaxy or ProspectIn (with over 40,000 users today). The volume management and the simulation of human behavior keeps your account safe.
Respect good practices
Always refer to the best practices listed above and make it a point of honor not to deviate from them. Following them guarantees that your account will not be permanently banned.
My account has been permanently banned, what should I do?
After you contacted LinkedIn or sent your ID, LinkedIn told you that the account restriction was final, often with the reason “Repeatedly violating their TOS”. Or you don’t hear back from them several weeks later.
Unfortunately, you won’t be able to get that account back, and it will remain in “LinkedIn jail” for life.
Recreate a LinkedIn account
Your first account is permanently banned. But nothing prevents you from recreating a brand new account.
It’s not great for the image to start from scratch but you don’t really have any other solution.
First thing to do: delete your cookies and your cache to leave no trace of the old account.
Of course you’ll need a new email (but creating a Gmail account takes a few seconds) because the email of the old account is still associated.
You can then create a new LinkedIn account!
Create quality relationships
LinkedIn does not give the same credibility to all LinkedIn accounts. An account with 10,000 connections, existing for 5 years and publishing every day is less likely to be banned than an account with 100 connections, a few days of existence and no activity.
So avoid prospecting with your new account. Focus on building a quality network of people in your industry, people who know you.
Don’t add more than 10-15 people per day for the first few weeks, until you reach at least 300 contacts.
Complete your profile
Elementary my dear Watson. A well-completed profile has two major advantages:
- Show LinkedIn that you are a real person and value providing information to network members about who you are.
- Be more visible in search results.
This second point is quite important: the more you appear in searches, the more likely you are to be contacted. The more you are contacted, the more LinkedIn considers your profile to be interesting and real, the less likely it is to make you a suspect.
So attach importance to the title, summary and description of your previous activities.
LinkedIn is a social network. It is the marketplace for content creators and the users who view that content.
The more quality content there is, the more LinkedIn has. So if you create content, you bring value to LinkedIn. If you bring value, LinkedIn will be less likely to kick you out.
Plus, great content attracts interest, invitation requests and even business opportunities.
Wait 3 months before using an automation tool
If you’ve been banned for using an automation tool, don’t jump into the lion’s den just yet. LinkedIn pays close attention to the volume of new account submissions. Wait at least 3 months and 500 relationships before starting an automated prospecting strategy.
Once you start this strategy don’t forget 3 important principles:
- Quality of targeting.
- Relevance of messages and approaches.
- Gradual increase in sending volumes.
Waalaxy has been designed to perfectly reproduce human behavior. We have different mechanisms in place to remain undetectable.
On the other hand, the recent LinkedIn update adding weekly quotas may appear whether you are using Waalaxy, or sending invitations manually.
Now, Waalaxy integrates a system that takes these restrictions into account. The operation is as follows:
- When you send a connection request, we automatically retrieve the email address of the person you want to connect with and send the invitation via email, which saves your weekly sending quotas.
- If we are unable to retrieve the email, we send the invitation via LinkedIn directly
This system allows you to save your weekly connection request sending quotas and regain a connection request sending capacity of up to 100 per day.
LinkedIn has put in place a number of safeguards in recent years to prevent abuse on the network. The restrictions are mostly temporary. They can be avoided by following good practices and maintaining “normal use” of LinkedIn. In most cases, if your account is restricted by LinkedIn, you can get out of it by following our tips.
To summarize in 3 questions
Why was my account restricted by LinkedIn?
There are several possible reasons, but you have surely in the eyes of the algorithm abused LinkedIn. By say, using an automation software, or you have sent too many invitations, or have created a fake LinkedIn account.
Is it possible to unblock my LinkedIn account?
Yes, it is possible depending on the restriction. You will go through several steps of verification from LinkedIn.
How can I prevent my account from being restricted by LinkedIn?
Use an automation tool that puts the security of your account as it’s priority #1 like ProspectIn or Waalaxy. Don’t share inappropriate content, don’t spam users.
Now you know all about LinkedIn account restricted ! 🚀