LinkedIn Export Connections – How and Why Should You Do It?

LinkedIn Export Connections

Unless you’ve been running your business from under a rock, you know the value LinkedIn can bring. More importantly, the value of connections you can create on the platform. Unlike most social media, LinkedIn is all about quality and is favored by professionals – almost every one of those people is either a coworker, potential partner, new business opportunity, or prospective client.  

Once you reach a certain number of connections on LinkedIn, though, the platform becomes impractical for managing your connections and more of a nuisance. It’s notorious for its lack of features geared toward maintaining and building relationships with your connections. So, if you want to take those relationships further than a simple “connect”, what is the right next step? 

It’s simple – you should move away from LinkedIn and export connections to solid CRM software. 

Importance of exporting LinkedIn connections

The most sound reason to export your connections is so that you have a backup. You may think that you can simply log in to your LinkedIn network from wherever and whenever, but there’s always a chance you might lose access to it. 

The network could be compromised; you can get locked out of your account, or it can get deleted. Having a plan B never hurts. Exporting your contacts and adding them to another platform is a wise move. 

Plus, once you export LinkedIn contacts and move them to another platform, you combine the best of both worlds. Importing your contacts into your email speeds up reaching out to those people, as LinkedIn’s Inmail has its own set of limitations. Importing them to an Excel sheet, for example, allows you to search, filter, and purge contacts. Lastly, having contacts in a CSV file means you can import them almost anywhere – a CRM is just one of the options.

It boils down to this – once you have your contacts neatly listed in front of you, you can create an actionable plan. It could be reaching out to a selected group of people and inquiring whether they have a business opportunity for you. Once you extract LinkedIn contacts and organize them, you might find new targets to pitch and sell your products or services. After all, over 80% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn to do just that. 

Ultimately, you might also find people you’ve lost touch with, and being the first to say “hi” could be the key to getting that relationship back on track.    

So, without further ado, let’s get to the step-by-step process of how to export LinkedIn connections. 

Steps to Export LinkedIn Contacts

If you are looking for advice on how to export your LinkedIn connections, you might have found numerous recommendations for various software that can help you achieve it. You don’t have to bother with additional software or learning the ropes, since LinkedIn has its native feature to do so. 

  1. First, you’d want to head to your avatar in LinkedIn’s navigation bar and select “Settings & Privacy” from the dropdown menu. It’s nested under “Account”. 
  2. Select “Data Privacy” from the navigation bar on the left, and click “Get a copy of your data.” 
  3. It will prompt you with different types of data that you can export. For example, you can choose to export your articles or messages. If it’s just your connections, simply fill in the checkmark next to it. 
  4. You should receive an email to your primary email address to notify you when the data is ready for download. The link will take you back to LinkedIn’s “Data Privacy,” but the button will now allow you to download your data. 

There will be some wait time before you receive your email. The platform will give you an estimate of how long it takes to extract your contacts from LinkedIn. 

Once you have your connections, you will likely notice that most email addresses are missing and that you only have a handful of connections with the email address. If you have decided to download your connections so that you can spam them, this might prove as troubling as your initial plan. Spamming is number one on the LinkedIn etiquette “do nots” list

LinkedIn takes on a “members first” approach when it comes to its users, and about four years ago, it changed the default permission to no email. It’s estimated that almost 99% of users don’t bother updating their default options – unless your connections have actively allowed their email to be seen and downloaded, it won’t appear on the download sheet. 

Let’s check out how to download LinkedIn contacts with email addresses. But please, don’t spam.

Steps to Export LinkedIn Contacts with Email

If your primary goal is to get the relevant email addresses of your LinkedIn connections, you have two options. You can take a shot at it manually, or rely on one of the LinkedIn email scrapers available online. 

Since you’re likely working on creating lead generation sequences, and you’re looking at hundreds (if not thousands) of email addresses, the first option is probably useless. 

Your second option might be relying on third-party software to handle the data extraction process for you. You can find many paid and free LinkedIn email scrapers, yet all of them are designed to export LinkedIn connection email addresses for you. Other marketers online highly recommend software such as Lix and Phantombuster as a secure and effective way of extracting those emails. 

On the same note, many CRMs have this as a feature, so you should double-check the features list of your chosen software – or even consider moving to another one that has this feature if LinkedIn is your primary source of targets and leads.

Steps to Export Contacts From LinkedIn Sales Navigator

If you use LinkedIn Sales Navigator to discover prospective clients, you should export those connections and move them into a CRM or spreadsheet. Unfortunately, unlike your regular LinkedIn account, there is no native route to do so in Navigator. 

You can rely on third-party browser extensions to do this. When you install your chosen browser extension, head on to Sales Navigator. 

  1. The first step is to go to the search filters available with the Sales Navigator and select the “1st connections” so that it creates a filtered list for you. The list may be several pages long, and if you have more than 2500 results, it would be best to filter the results further, by geography or industry, for example, until the list shortens to about 100 names.
  2. Depending on the scraper of your choice, you might be prompted with a button to download your contacts, or you’ll have to copy and paste the search result’s URL into a designated area to download the CSV file.  

Once you have the CSV file, you can easily import it into the software of your choice. You can also go to the “Contacts” section of your Gmail account, and import all the contacts with a single click. 

Benefits of Exporting LinkedIn Connections

There are many benefits to having your LinkedIn connections’ details outside of the platform, especially as your list grows. So, now that you know how to extract contacts from LinkedIn, here’s some info on why.

The first and most important benefit is that once you export your contacts – they become searchable. The basic LinkedIn search limits you to a hundred results per search, so hunting a particular person on the platform (if you don’t know their name and last name) can be tedious. 

It will also remind you of the connections you might have forgotten about – it’s common knowledge that only 1% of LinkedIn users create content that ends up on your feed, leaving the rest dormant in your contacts.

The list will also show you business opportunities that were already there but got lost in the crowd. Plus, once you export LinkedIn connections, you can purge your contact list and close off those LinkedIn relationships you no longer wish to have. 

Next up, keeping track of your relationship with each person on the list is much easier once you import your list to a good CRM. With the option to sort, label, and list your connections, you can segment your contacts and build a strategy for further actions, whether it’s for establishing, nurturing, or ending the relationship with someone. 


Can I export all my connections from LinkedIn?

Yes, and it’s easy to do so. LinkedIn allows you to download all your connections in a neat CSV file. It includes valuable information such as their names, last names, profile links, positions and companies they work for, and the date you connected with a specific person.

Can you export a list of followers from LinkedIn?

Yes, you can. The process is similar to exporting connections, and you should navigate to the “Connections” in your business’ profile settings and export them from there.

How do I export LinkedIn contacts to CSV?

To export your connections, you should go to your account’s “Settings & Privacy,” and under the “Data Privacy” section, select “Get a copy of your data.” LinkedIn will email you when the CSV file with your contacts is ready for download.

How do I export a list of members from a LinkedIn group?

To export a list of members from a group on LinkedIn, you’ll have to rely on a third-party scraper. LinkedIn doesn’t natively support this option to maintain the privacy of LinkedIn members.

Can I import my exported LinkedIn contacts into a third-party CRM/Software?

Yes, most CRM software allows you to import the contacts you’ve downloaded from LinkedIn. Simply locate the “import” section in your preferred software, and upload the CSV file with your contacts.

How to transfer LinkedIn contacts to another account?

The first step to transferring your LinkedIn contacts is to download them from the original account. Within the new account, go to the address book import page and authenticate the import of your contacts. Once this step is completed, you can manage your imported contact from the “My Network” section.

How do I sync my LinkedIn contacts with Gmail?

You’ll have to rely on third-party software if you are looking to sync LinkedIn with Gmail, as this option was removed from LinkedIn. You might find Zapier helpful to create integrations between the two, for example.


If you are looking to do more with your LinkedIn connections, (whether to find new business opportunities or to maintain relationships and generate leads), your first step should be to move your contacts to a CRM. The LinkedIn platform doesn’t have the necessary features to assist you, and the ones it has are limited and cumbersome.

All you have to do to move away from LinkedIn is to export connections in a CSV file and import them into the software of your choice. It’s an easy process, and hopefully, you managed to do so with the help of this guide. 

Once your LinkedIn connections are in the right software, tracking your contacts and interactions with them, segmenting them, and even purging them if needed is much easier. Don’t underestimate the help of a great CRM in creating actionable plans for better results in your relationship-building, sales, and overall business growth efforts!

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