PSA: How to Unlink Your
LinkedIn Address Book

Dan Schlosser

Recently, I wrote a post entitled LinkedIn Dark Patterns, which enumerated all of the ways that LinkedIn uses design to trick users into importing their address book into LinkedIn (allowing them to then get you to accidentally invite those contacts to LinkedIn). A dark pattern is a design choice intended to trick users.

I thought it might be nice to also explain how to check if LinkedIn has your contacts on it’s service, and how to remove them if they do. While we go, why don’t we count the dark patterns?

Step 1

Go to LinkedIn.

(Dark patterns: 0)

Step 2

Hover on the person with a plus next to their head, and click the “Add Connection” header. Note that clicking other links in the dropdown may take you to the same place.

(Dark patterns: 1)

Step 3

Click the small, hard to find “Manage imported contacts” link in the top right of the new page.

(Dark patterns: 2)

Step 4

Scroll all the way to the bottom this next page. Note that the list of contacts itself is scrollable, so it’s very possible that you wouldn’t even figure out that it was possible to scroll past it.

(Dark patterns: 3)

Step 5

Click the “Delete selected contacts” button hidden at the bottom of the page, instead of the “Invite selected contacts” button which has been visible the whole time.

(Dark patterns: 4)

Step 6

Click “Delete” in the popup window.

(Dark patterns: 4)

Step 7

Wait for the deletion to complete. If you close the browser tab, it may not complete.

(Dark patterns: 4)

Step 8


(Dark patterns: 4)

Congratulations, you’re done! Let’s see how we did:

Number of Steps: 8
Number of Dark Patterns: 4

This process is far more difficult than it should be. When I first found it, it took me several hours of digging. Hopefully this helped you!

If you’re interested in how these contacts got there in the first place, and haven’t read my other piece yet, check it out below!

Dan Schlosser

Written by

PM @google on @GoogleDrive. Previously @minimill_co, @columbia, @venmo, @facebook.

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