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How To Browse LinkedIn Profiles Anonymously

by LinkedIn Marketing

Updated March 2021

In this article you will learn how to browse LinkedIn profiles anonymously.

One of the most popular LinkedIn articles I’ve ever written is on the topic of How to Browse LinkedIn Profiles Anonymously, which was originally based on the first version of what you’re reading right now. You can read it here.

At the time of updating this article, the LinkedIn version had received 226,336 views, 363 likes and 12 comments.

how to browse linkedin profiles anaonymously


How to Browse LinkedIn Profiles Anonymously

The default when you set up your LinkedIn Profile means when you’ve viewed other people’s profiles (when logged in via your LinkedIn profile), they can then see, via their own LinkedIn notifications, who’s viewed their LinkedIn profile.

You have the option to browse LinkedIn Profiles anonymously and change this default setting so that your connections or the LinkedIn profiles you are viewing can not see that you are viewing their profile. While they will be notified someone is looking at their profile, if you change your settings to be completely anonymous when viewing other people’s profiles, then they will not be able to identify you.

This is a very useful tool if you are:

  • just starting to find your way on LinkedIn
  • you are researching competitors
  • your profile needs an update and you don’t want people to view your profile
  • you are researching potential clients or employers (as a side note – if your profile is looking good – you may want them to see you!)

With the option to browse profiles anonymously, when you view a profile, you’ll appear in that person’s Who’s Viewed Your Profile section as “LinkedIn Member – This person chose to be shown as anonymous”.

How to Activate the Browse LinkedIn Profiles Anonymously Setting

  1. Move your cursor over your profile photo in the top right of your homepage and click Privacy & Settings. The desktop view is below.

how to chane profile viewing options on linkedin

If accessing from your mobile, click on your profile picture, then access View Profile Settings.

2. From the Desktop, choose the Visibility option on the left hand side and then choose Profile viewing options, Change.

how to change profile viewing options
From your mobile device choose Visibility, then Profile Viewing Options.
 3. Choose Private Mode.
change linkedin profile viewing to private mode

Note: When you choose Private Mode when viewing other people’s profiles, you won’t be able to see who’s viewed your profile if you have a free LinkedIn Premium membership.

Common Questions I’m Asked About Changing to Private Mode to View LinkedIn Profiles Anonymously

  1. Can Premium members see anonymous members who viewed their profile? No.  If you choose anonymous, no one can see you.
  2. If you change to anonymous mode, then will previous non-anonymous searches also become anonymous? No.  It’s the setting you’re in at the time that you view the profile that determines if people see you’re viewing their profile or not.
  3. Once you edit this, or change your preference, can you go back to your original profile viewing options? Yes. You can change your options without restrictions. If you have a premium LinkedIn membership you can now also be in anonymous mode and still see who’s viewed your profile.
  4. Once you revert back to the original profile viewing option, will your previous anonymous searches then reveal that it was you who was viewing their profile? No. They will not be revealed.

If you’d like to learn more about managing the features of your LinkedIn Profile, please read our LinkedIn Profile blog category articles here.

Karen Hollenbach

Karen Hollenbach

As the Founding Director of Think Bespoke I help individuals and organisations unlock their potential with LinkedIn. Sign up to my E-insights for LinkedIn tips.

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