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How To Browse LinkedIn Profiles Anonymously

by LinkedIn Training, LinkedIn Profile

In this article you will learn how to browse LinkedIn Profiles anonymously. This is a handy tool if you don’t want people to know you’re looking!

There are times when you may want to browse other people’s LinkedIn profiles, and you don’t want them to know that it’s you looking at their profile. Common reasons for viewing profiles anonymously include researching competitors, checking how other professionals have written their profiles and finding out what long lost friends or colleagues are doing now.

How to Browse LinkedIn Profiles Anonymously

Your LinkedIn profile’s default browsing mode is visible. If you view someone’s LinkedIn profile, when logged in to your LinkedIn profile, they can see you’ve viewed their profile. To change your profile viewing or browsing mode follow these steps:

Click the Me icon at the top of your LinkedIn homepage.
Select Settings & Privacy from the dropdown.
Click Visibility on the left rail.
In the Visibility of your profile & network section, click on the arrow to the far right of Profile viewing options.

how to view linkedin profiles anonymously

Select the mode you’d like to browse in.

You have three options:

  • Your name and headline
  • Private profile characteristics (i.e. job title and industry)
  • Private mode

When you choose private mode this gives you the option to browse LinkedIn Profiles anonymously.  When activated, the LinkedIn profiles you view can not see that it’s you viewing their profile. While they will be notified someone is looking at their profile, 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 or you are researching potential clients or employers.

A word of warning with this feature. You may be tempted to choose Private profile characteristics, however this is not completely anonymous as job title, company, school, and industry will be shown to the member you are viewing (for example, Consultant at ANZ, Someone at CBA, or Student at University of Melbourne) and people may be able to work out who you are.

Common Questions About LinkedIn Profile Private Mode

Can Premium members see anonymous members who viewed their profile? No.  If you choose anonymous, no one can see you.
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.
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 be in anonymous mode and still see who’s viewed your profile.
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.


Maximise LinkedIn with a LinkedIn Profile Strategy

If you’d like to learn how to maximise LinkedIn, I recommend you develop a LinkedIn profile strategy. LinkedIn’s not like other social media. It’s a professional networking platform. This means there’s less pressure for you to post content on LinkedIn. But you do need to show up regularly and be part of the conversation.

If you’d like to be more strategic intentional when you spend time on LinkedIn, please read my tips for developing a LinkedIn profile strategy.

How to Develop a LinkedIn Profile Strategy

Need help with LinkedIn?

Browse Think Bespoke’s website library and knowledge base for helpful articles about LinkedIn Training, LinkedIn Profile, LinkedIn Marketing and Career Management.

Karen Hollenbach, LinkedIn Expert Consultant, Educator & Mentor

Karen Hollenbach, LinkedIn Expert Consultant, Educator & Mentor

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