I work with a lot of professionals who can no longer get access to their LinkedIn account because they signed up for the account under a prior email to which they no longer have access and so the password retrieval email goes to their old email which doesn’t help them one bit.

While this is a frustrating situation, it is not hopeless.

There are many instances when you no longer use or have access to the email address used to register your LinkedIn account. You lose or change your job suddenly, your company changes its email and you forget to change your email, you’re in transition and you forget to update your email on your LinkedIn account.

It is important to note that not only will you not be able to immediately access your account without access to your email (because it’s your log-in) but none of your connections can contact you by email if you don’t update it – they’ll be emailing you at another address to which you don’t have access.

Your LinkedIn InMail messages and notifications will go to your old email as well (of course they are safe in your LinkedIn interface – which doesn’t help you because you can’t access it). When you’re in transition, you want people to find you and you want to be able to contact potential employers through LinkedIn ASAP.

One way to avoid this in the future is to always add an alternate email to your LinkedIn account. I recommend that you sign up for your account with your personal email because that email will be with you no matter where you land professionally and the odds of you staying at the same position for the entirety of your career today are very slim.

Note that you can log into LinkedIn with a different email that you display in your contact information section, so that’s why I always recommend that users sign up with and use their personal email instead of their work email. The only downside to this is that any notifications and emails from LinkedIn will go to their personal email rather than their work email.

Here’s how to reclaim your LinkedIn account when you have no access to the email you used to sign up for the account.

LinkedIn suggests first trying to sign in with a secondary email address that’s associated with your account. The platform allows you to sign in with any email address associated with your account.

If you haven’t been able to recover your password or don’t have access to an email address associated with your account, you can try to recover your account by verifying your identity. To do this, LinkedIn uses a technology that processes encrypted scans of your government-issued ID to can help get you back into your account as quickly and securely as possible.

Note that LinkedIn says it only use the ID information you provide to verify who you are, and it states that it only holds onto it for a short period of time while your account issues are being resolved. Generally, scans and any associated personal information are permanently deleted within 14 days.

To get started, you’ll need:

  1. A smartphone or computer with a webcam.
  2. Your driver license, state-issued ID card, or passport.
  3. An email address where we can reach you.
  4. Access to a desktop computer.

Follow the steps below on desktop:

  1. Once you begin the identity verification process, you’ll be asked to take a photo of your ID with your smartphone or webcam.
  2. Enter the email address associated with your account so that we can locate your account, and follow the onscreen instructions.
  3. On the following page, click I don’t have access to my email address. First, we’ll ask you for a new email address. Next, we’ll ask you to provide a valid passport or government ID.
    • After you’re finished, LinkedIn will process your information and be in contact to assist you further. It takes anywhere from 24 hours to a few days for them to respond.

Follow this link to verify your identity.

Note: If you only have one email address and it has bounced, you won’t be able to send a confirmation link to yourself. You will have to verify your identity to regain access to your account.

Don’t lose hope you CAN reclaim your account with a little work.