Finally, an explanation of how they affect you
How Netflix’s New Password Rules Work
After years of Netflix being all “wink wink nudge nudge” about users sharing account passwords, the streaming company has suddenly decided that password sharing is bad. It wants individual households to pay up for Netflix consumption, pronto.
This change isn’t a total surprise to us (Netflix’s freehanded decisions about production finances are subject to mockery). But whatever the reason, Netflix now needs you to pay for your own account instead of sharing.
The scoop on Netflix password rules
What are the new Netflix password-sharing rules?
First, the new rules have yet to be implemented in the United States, and we don’t know exactly when they will be. But we know they’re coming.
Netflix is a little obtuse about its new rules. We don’t know yet if US Netflix will replicate limitations in Latin America, Canada, Portugal, Spain, and New Zealand, but it’s safe to say they probably will.
Here’s how those rules work:
- The Wi-Fi network that your TV connects to is now your primary location.
- You have to sign in at your primary location every 31 days.
- If you watch away from home, the main account holder has to validate your usage and give you an access code that lasts seven days.
Netflix will track your ISPs to ensure you’re in compliance.
We know what you’re thinking: maybe your Netflix account holder can validate you every week?? But Netflix wants your money, so we suspect that won’t be allowed. You’ll have to pay up eventually.
If you don’t use a TV to watch Netflix, you don’t have to set a primary location—but that brings up more questions than it answers. If you only watch Netflix on a personal device, are you exempt from the 31- and seven-day check-ins? Will Netflix still track which IP you use when you log in to Wi-Fi? Or will it track which device is in use?
Some folks love Netflix and can’t see themselves going anywhere else. But we expect others–particularly adult kids with a profile on their parents’ accounts–will drop Netflix altogether rather than pay for something they previously got for free.
How do I stay with Netflix?
If you plan to stay with Netflix, here’s how to transfer your profile.
Transfer your profile
With this option, you move your existing profile over from someone else’s account to your very own.
- Hover over the profile icon.
- Select Transfer Profile.
- Follow the instructions to complete your transfer. You’ll enter all the info for your new profile, including email, password, and credit card number.
The benefit of transferring your profile? You’ll keep your watch history, preferences, and so on.
Add an extra member
Netflix also suggests adding extra members to your profile (presumably with discrete primary locations), but this option isn’t available in the US. We’ll see if it becomes available when the new changes roll out.
How do I leave Netflix?
If you want to leave Netflix, here’s how to cancel.
- Select the dropdown menu next to the profile icon.
- Select Account.
- Select Cancel Membership.
- Select Finish Cancellation.
Netflix will save your profile info for ten months (an oddly specific number) in case you decide to reactivate during that time.
And that’s it! You’re freeeeeee.