As we approach the holiday card season (side note – stay tuned for an article on how to create an appropriate holiday card that reflects current pandemic conditions), it is a good time to update your contact lists as many people have shifted jobs, changed careers and moved during 2020.

One smart thing to do is to download a copy of your LinkedIn connections so that you can make sure you have the contact information of those in your LinkedIn network in your email address book and CRM system.

There is an easy way to do this and below, I outline the steps.

But note, that each LinkedIn user gets to specify whether they want their email address to be easily downloadable to their 1st-degree contacts, so if you see an email missing, that means they chose to not to include it in this feature, but it is likely on their profile. You or your secretary will just have to manually input it into your master spreadsheet or CRM system.

Regardless of the time of year, it is a good idea to periodically download your LinkedIn connections to your email address book and CRM system since there is no way for the systems to feed information to each other at the present moment.

Here are the steps to easily export your connections from LinkedIn.

  1. Click the Me icon at the top of your LinkedIn homepage.
  2. Select Settings & Privacy from the dropdown menu.
  3. Click Data privacy on the left rail.
  4. Under the How LinkedIn uses your data section, click Change next to Get a copy of your data.
  5. Select Want something in particular? Select the data files you’re most interested in.
  6. Select Connections.
  7. Click Request archive.
  8. Enter your password and click Done.
  9. You’ll receive an email to your Primary Email address which will include a link where you can download your list of connections.


  • When you’re exporting your connection data, you may notice that some of the email addresses are missing. You will only see email addresses for connections who have allowed their connections to see or download their email address.
  • The CSV and vCard formats don’t support all characters. As a result, languages with extended character sets (such as Chinese, Japanese or Hebrew) aren’t supported.
  • You currently can’t export a list of your contacts that aren’t 1st-degree connections.
  • If you’re exporting your connections because you have a duplicate account, remember to close your extra account and import your connections list to another LinkedIn account. Make sure you’ve saved the file in a location you can find and then follow the instructions for uploading contacts using a CSV file.
  • Learn more about data you are able to access from your settings.

Check your spam to make sure your download from LinkedIn isn’t in there. I’ve heard some individuals just never received their download – you can try to email LinkedIn’s helpdesk but don’t expect a quick reply.

Sometimes it takes a day to receive the info by email from LinkedIn, so don’t expect it immediately. Mine took at least 24 hours.

The list you download won’t be perfect like I said above, they may give only personal email or have not updated their email addresses on LinkedIn and in order for this to be truly effective, you’ll need to do this several times a year in order to ensure it’s updated.

Taking all of the imperfections into consideration, something is better than nothing and being able to download the emails and names of your LinkedIn contacts is incredibly helpful in a time when many people update their job information there rather than sending a mass email.

Try it and let me know what you think.

‘Tis the season and don’t let these valuable contacts go to waste!