Have you ever tried to access someone’s LinkedIn profile using their custom URL, only to be met with an error message? A non-working LinkedIn URL can be frustrating, but the good news is – it’s usually an easy fix.
In this guide, I’ll walk you through the common reasons why a LinkedIn URL may not be working and the steps you can take to resolve the issues.
Whether you’re trying to access your own profile or view someone else’s, these troubleshooting tips should get that custom LinkedIn URL working again.
Why LinkedIn URL or Link Is not Working
There are a few common culprits behind a non-working or broken LinkedIn URL:
There are several reasons why your LinkedIn URL may not be working. Some of the most common causes include:
- Typos: Double-check to make sure you have entered your LinkedIn URL correctly. Typos can easily occur, and a small mistake can lead to a broken link.
- Expired URL: If your LinkedIn account has been inactive for an extended period, your URL may have expired. In this case, you will need to create a new URL.
- Server Issues: LinkedIn servers may experience downtime or maintenance, which can cause issues with your URL. In this case, wait for some time and try again later.
LinkedIn-Specific URL Problems
LinkedIn has specific requirements for URLs, and if these requirements are not met, your URL may not work. Here are some issues to look out for:
- Missing HTTPS: LinkedIn requires that all URLs start with HTTPS. If your URL does not include HTTPS, it will not work.
- Incorrect URL Format: LinkedIn URLs should be in the format of linkedin.com/in/username. If your URL is not in this format, it may not work.
- Beta URLs: If your URL contains the word “beta,” it may not work. To fix this issue, remove the word “beta” from the URL.
The User Changed Their Custom URL
The most likely reason a LinkedIn custom URL isn’t working is because the user has changed it. LinkedIn allows you to pick your own unique URL on your profile. For example, mine is www.linkedin.com/in/heathersmith.
However, if Heather Smith decided to change her custom URL to reflect a new last name or company, that original URL would break.
The Profile Is Set to Private
Another possibility is that the user has set their LinkedIn profile to private mode. On a private profile, other users can’t access the content unless they are connected.
So if you try to visit a connection’s page that is now private, you’d get an error even if the custom URL itself did not change.
LinkedIn Ban or Deleted Account
In some rare cases, a LinkedIn URL may not work because the account has been banned from LinkedIn or deleted altogether. Bans typically happen due to violations of LinkedIn’s user agreement.
If the account no longer exists, even though the old custom URL remains unchanged, attempts to access it will result in an error.
How to Fix LinkedIn URL or Link Not Working
If a LinkedIn URL you’re trying to visit comes back with a message like “Unable to reach LinkedIn” or “Page Not Found,” don’t panic. Here are the steps to troubleshoot and resolve access issues:
Double Check the URL for Typos
First things first – make sure the LinkedIn URL copied correctly, with no typos or letters out of place.
With a custom URL, one small typo can break that link even if the rest of it is correct. Carefully check that:
- LinkedIn is spelled correctly
- There are no extra numbers, letters, or special characters
- In/in is in lowercase
- The username is exactly right
If you find an error, copy the link again directly from the LinkedIn profile or a search results page. Then test the updated link.
Try Accessing the Profile Anonymously
If the custom URL checks out, the next step is to try and view the LinkedIn profile without being logged into your own LinkedIn account.
You can access LinkedIn profiles anonymously by opening an incognito browser window and navigating to the profile URL in question.
If the profile opens properly, the URL itself is working fine and the issues accessing it are related to your login status or connections. Move on to further troubleshooting around permissions and settings.
However, if you see the same error message when trying to access anonymously, there is likely an issue with the link or underlying profile. Time to do some sleuthing.
Search LinkedIn for That User
At this point, we know there is some disconnect between the custom URL a person previously had and their new profile status. Your next move is to search for them directly on LinkedIn.
Go to LinkedIn.com and type their full name into the search bar. Be sure to include details like their first and last name, company, location or industry for accuracy.
Potential outcomes include:
- You find their profile under a NEW custom URL. Eureka! Update wherever you had stored that old custom link.
- Their profile is now set to private. You will see limited preview info but need a connection to fully access.
- No matching profiles come back for that name. Perhaps the account was deleted?
Verifying their real-time custom URL or current account status using LinkedIn search helps zero in on what changed to make that old link obsolete.
Verify Your Username
Go back to your public profile homepage. Up at the top near your profile photo and name, you should see your username just underneath.
Click on your username to open up your public profile in a new browser tab.
The URL should reflect your username if your custom URL is set up properly.
For example, if your username is “john-smith”, with a custom URL your profile URL would be:
If the username shown does not match or you get redirected to an error page, your custom URL needs to be updated.
Continue to the next step to fix it.
Update Your LinkedIn Username
If your username doesn’t match your URL, you’ll need to change your username to fix your broken URL.
Important note: Changing your LinkedIn username will change your public profile URL. You risk breaking existing links to your profile from external sites.
To change your username:
- Go to your account settings
- Click “View profile”
- Choose “Edit public profile & URL”
- Enter a new username that isn’t already in use
- Click “Save”
Your new username should now match your custom URL. Try accessing your profile URL – it should now be working!
Use a Connection to Check Profile Status
If you don’t share any connections with that LinkedIn user, the profile privacy settings may be blocking access for non-connections.
In that case, reach out to a shared connection and ask them to briefly check if they can view the full profile using that non-working custom URL. Or have them search and confirm the correct custom URL on their end.
If it does load properly for connections, updating your relationship status with that user would allow access using that custom profile link.
Create a LinkedIn Help Request
As a last resort if you cannot determine why a LinkedIn URL is not working, create a help request directly with their support team.
The LinkedIn help form allows you to explain the URL issue you’re encountering. Their team can then investigate underlying issues like banned accounts, unavailable URLs or content restrictions depending on locale.
In some cases, they can work with users directly to reinstate access or correct custom URLs. Their troubleshooting capabilities exceed what you can solve independently.
Avoiding Broken LinkedIn Links in the Future
While occasional LinkedIn issues are usually fixable, a non-working URL can create frustrating dead ends. Here are some tips to keep your custom profile links running smoothly:
- Double check when copying/pasting links. Be extra careful when manually sharing your custom URL anywhere external, whether email signatures, business cards or your website. Double check no errant characters snuck in!
- Use LinkedIn’s public profile settings. Under account preferences, toggle your profile to the public setting rather than private. That ensures broader access to that stable custom URL.
- Create a vanity URL alternative. Use a paid third-party link shortener service to create a memorable, branded vanity URL. It can then redirect to your official LinkedIn link with lower risk of user-error typos causing trouble.
With attention to accuracy in sharing and linking, you can feel confident others can easily access your LinkedIn profile using your unique custom URL!
Let me know if you have any other questions on troubleshooting LinkedIn links or profile settings.