Account Restricted on LinkedIn: Why & Solutions
Is your account restricted on LinkedIn? You’ve come to the right place.
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.
The best practice is to try again manually once a day until you are unblocked or to actually find the email of your LinkedIn prospects with an enrichment tool like ColdCRM, Hunter or Dropcontact. This second option is more tedious, more expensive and unreliable. You will provide an email, but LinkedIn will not tell you if it was the right one. It’s unlikely to be the right one seeing as many people have a personal email address on their LinkedIn account and the enrichment tools will mostly give you professional email addresses, which do not necessarily match..
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, we’re going to present you with some solutions later in this article.
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
This is a new restriction by LinkedIn. LinkedIn decided to put weekly limits on the number of invitations you can send.
But there is not a set limit for everyone. It seems that it varies according to different criteria (presented in the next section). Today, we know that less than 2% of users prospecting on LinkedIn are affected by this restriction
We don’t know yet if this is a test on LinkedIn’s part, an update that is gradually spreading to the whole community or an algorithm that defines its quotas according to specific behaviors performed by users. Our hunch is that they want to see if this restriction impacts their Sales Navigator premium membership sales on the given sample.
And I can tell you that it does, so I don’t think they’ll go any further.
Is the weekly quota restriction permanent?
It may depend on the LinkedIn accounts. As a principle, no. We notice that after a few days or weeks of reduced activity on the account, the restriction is often lifted by LinkedIn.
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. xxx
Others act with robotic behavior that LinkedIn can detect. 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 fakenews, be careful to protect your password to avoid being hacked, be careful to manage your emotions in comments?
You send too many times the same message or the same note
Copy/paste abuse or automation tool, 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 it may decide to spam you 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 permanent.
That’s it. You know everything.
There is no miracle, 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 made a summary for you (actually it’s a bit of a list of the reasons why you’ve been restricted) :
- Not using bots (or bots that cannot be detected?).
- Not to have insulting, spammy, inappropriate behaviors and not to share pornographic contents or promoting an ideology (terrorist or religious for example).
- Any other material that LinkedIn may determine to be inappropriate on the network and/or that could harm the community.
Respecting 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 it 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 had received this message, would I have found interest in it, would I have responded?”.
If not, 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 targeting and approaches.
Prospecting 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, 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, prefer a well-established account, with more than 500 connections and more than one year if possible before starting an intense prospection on the network.
Conversely, if your account is younger, share content and add little by little the people you know or who would be most 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.
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 interesting 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 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 do “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 we can manage a fleet of LinkedIn accounts or simply make our prospecting work on our days off (or even make them work just a little harder than us humans).
In that they are very interesting. But they have 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.
For LinkedIn, you are therefore sending invitations and messages in large volumes, 24/7, from Mexico while you live in France.
Not very normal, is it?
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 more or less ethical and more or less designed to keep your Linkedin account alive.
Phantombuster for example doesn’t automatically manage daily volumes and delays between your actions. A small configuration error and you find yourself with a banned account…
ProspectIn + Cloud Francewaa, 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.
ProspectIn 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 managed automatically, daily quotas based on Linkedin’s implicit rules to stay under the radar, a perfect simulation of human behaviors (LinkedIn can’t see the difference) and finally alerts in case of behaviors deemed “at risk ” that could harm your account.
But ProspectIn still has a drawback: it can’t work when your computer is turned off. That’s why we created Cloud Francewaa, which allows you to run ProspectIn in the cloud.
Unlike competing solutions, we offer you an IP in your country, based on the famous VPN provider Nord VPN.
So, for LinkedIn, you are just expanding your network and using a VPN to secure your data. Nothing could be more normal!
2 things not to do
Restrictions on LinkedIn happen every day. No matter what type of restriction you had, 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 unlocked. If LinkedIn asks you for the LinkedIn profileemail and you have it, there is no question: enter it. But if you’re using an automation tool, you know that’s often not possible. So choose a tool that automatically manages restrictions (see below).
I arrive in spam in the messages
In this case we advise you to use :
- To wait a few days before sending back your messages,
- To divide by two the volumes of sendings when you take again 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. Prefer tools such as ProspectIn, untraceable 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 browse.
Unlock my account restricted by LinkedIn
In the eventthat LinkedIn asks you for anID, 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 to import them into another account. In case LinkedIn does not answer you after two weeks or tells you that the account is permanently banned, there is unfortunately nothing you can do for this account ? You can still try to contact them at this address.
My account has been unblocked: how to avoid being banned again?
Good news. You were restricted in some way and your account has been unblocked.
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, ban you again, probably permanently.
First thing to do if you were prospecting: lower the volumes. It is better to go slowly but surely.
We advise you to start at 15-20 invitations per day maximum for 1-2 weeks. If possible, start with 2-3 weeks without any activity.
Then increase to 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 to effective prospecting on LInkedIn in 2021).
Choose a secure automation tool
If your account has been restricted as a result of using an automation tool, stop using it and instead move to a solution like ProspectIn that is more reliable (with over 40,000 users today). The volume management and the simulation of human behavior will give you real security.
Respect good practices
More than ever, refer to the higher best practices and make it a point of honor not to deviate from them to ensure 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. Indeed, 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 consider you as a suspect.
So attach importance to the title, summary and description of your previous activities.
LinkedIn is a social network. It is a marketplace between content creators and the users who view that content.
The more quality content there is, the more value the network 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 in your profile, 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 is very careful about 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 the 3 important principles:
- Quality of targeting.
- Relevance of messages and approaches.
- Gradual increase in sending volumes.
ProspectIn has been designed to perfectly mimic human behavior. As stated in our article on the security of your account we have different mechanisms in place to remain undetectable. However, the recent LinkedIn update adding weekly quotas may appear whether you use ProspectIn or send invitations manually.
Now, ProspectIn has built-in security that takes these restrictions into account. It works as follows:
- In the event that LinkedIn asks for an email input or notifies you that you have reached your weekly quotas, your sending of connections is automatically suspended for 6 hours.
- After 6 hours, ProspectIn will attempt to send an invitation if you have in your queue. If the restriction is still present, it will block again the sendings for 6 hours.
- It will retry daily to send an invitation until your account is unrestricted.
Once unlocked, we advise you to halve your quotas in the Settings page, so that you are not immediately reblocked.
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 with 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 use LinkedIn in an abusive way. For example, an automation software, you have sent too many invitations, you 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 your account priority #1 like ProspectIn or Neodeal. Don’t share inappropriate content, don’t spam users.
Now you know all about an account restricted on LinkedIn ! 🚀