Is Netflix Ending Password Sharing in the United States? What We Know So Far

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If you’ve been using someone else’s Netflix account to save money, you may want to start making plans to pay for streaming your favorite shows.

The popular on-demand streaming service has been working for a while to eliminate the ethically-questionable practice of sharing account passwords.

And after several months of testing solutions in a handful of countries, Netflix posted rules for password sharing in the United States on its website in February 2023.

But those rules were quickly removed from the website, creating confusion among streamers about the status of their accounts.

Let’s try to separate fact from fiction and ease some fears about the world’s most popular streaming service.

What Are the Current Rules for Sharing Accounts?

Here’s what we know as of February 8, 2023.

Netflix policy says that accounts are intended for people who live together in a single household. But it also says that it will NOT charge you for someone outside of your household gaining access via your account.

If you don’t live in the same household, Netflix says that you should have a separate account. We know that’s not happening everywhere, and they do too.

Netflix says that it will be conducting location verification to combat the sharing of accounts.

“When someone signs into your account from a device that is not associated with your Netflix household, or if your account is accessed persistently from a location outside of your household, we may ask you to verify that device before it can be used to watch Netflix. We do this to confirm that the device using the account is authorized to do so.”

This typically involves sending a four-digit verification code to the primary account holder that must be entered with the device in question within 15 minutes. A periodic verification check may be required on this device if it remains outside your household.


What the Disappearing Netflix Account Sharing Rules Said

As we mentioned in the introduction to this article, Netflix recently published, and later deleted, an updated set of rules on account sharing that was much different than what is stated in the company’s policy listed above.

The screenshots of the now-deleted policy updates can be found in this article from The Streamable.

The policies indicated that Netflix users who were outside of the account holder’s primary household may have their access blocked if they tried to access from a different location.

It also stated that Netflix account holders would be required to connect their devices to their home Wi-Fi every 31 days and log in to watch something to prevent that device from being blocked from access.

Netflix told the streaming website that these since-deleted policy updates were erroneously posted to its website as rules for the United States.

They are the rules currently in use in a trio of countries where Netflix has been testing the reduction of password sharing for several months.

“For a brief time yesterday, a help center article containing information that is only applicable to Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru, went live in other countries,” the spokesperson told The Streamable on February 1st. “We have since updated it.”

On February 8, Netflix made an announcement that it is cutting down on password sharing in Canada, New Zealand, Portugal and Spain. These new policies will require that users in that country set a primary location and manage devices that can be used outside of it via an account portal.

There Have Been Indications That Netflix Is Likely To Crack Down on Password Sharing in the United States

In an October 2022 letter to shareholders, Netflix announced that it would begin rolling out a broader plan to “monetize account sharing” beginning in early 2023.

“Finally, we’ve landed on a thoughtful approach to monetize account sharing and we’ll begin rolling this out more broadly starting in early 2023. After listening to consumer feedback, we are going to offer the ability for borrowers to transfer their Netflix profile into their own account, and for sharers to manage their devices more easily and to create sub-accounts (“extra member”), if they want to pay for family or friends. In countries with our lower-priced ad-supported plan, we expect the profile transfer option for borrowers to be especially popular.”

The United States is one of the countries that received the new ad-supported pricing tier in November 2022. That is thought to be, in part, a step toward offering account sharers a more affordable option.

Netflix has already been testing these new account-sharing policies in a handful of Latin American countries. We can find some clues for what United States customers can likely expect based on the policies being tested in these nations.


Netflix Has Been Testing Account Sharing Policies in Other Countries

In March 2022, Netflix’s Director of Innovation Chengyi Long announced the plan for two policy tests that have now been in practice for several months.

Both are designed to force users who don’t actually live in the subscriber household to pay for their access to Netflix:

  • Add an Extra Member: Members on our Standard and Premium plans will be able to add sub accounts for up to two people they don’t live with – each with their own profile, personalized recommendations, login and password – at a lower price: 2,380 CLP in Chile, 2.99 USD in Costa Rica, and 7.9 PEN in Peru; 
  • Transfer Profile to a New Account: Members on our Basic, Standard, and Premium plans can enable people who share their account to transfer profile information either to a new account or an Extra Member sub account – keeping the viewing history, My List, and personalized recommendations. 

Users in Chile, Costa Rica and Peru have been the test subjects for these new policies, which could be expanded to the United States if they prove successful in cutting down password sharing.

Long revealed in the blog post where the test policies were announced that they’ve been under construction for some time now, and tactfully explained that they’re a product of some subscribers having “confusion” about when and how accounts can be shared within and between households. Wink, wink.

How This Could Impact U.S. Netflix Streamers in the Near Future

Let’s look at a few possible scenarios if these policies are put into effect in the United States in early 2023.

If You Use Someone Else’s Netflix Account and Plan To Stick With It

You may be a candidate for the “Add an Extra Member” program.

Netflix has been taking measures to identify when an account has been accessed by a device that is not “within the household” of the paying subscriber, and one could expect things to get more aggressive on that front.

As described above, the “Add an Extra Member” feature would allow the paying subscriber to add up to two people to their approved list of users in exchange for paying a little extra each month.

Let’s say you’ve been using a friend’s Netflix login information.

This policy would allow you to continue to have your own Netflix profile within your subscription, but you’d be able to pay much less than the $10 to $20 per month Netflix requires for a standalone subscription.


While potential pricing for the United States is still unknown, the test price in Chile equates to $2.99 per month per person. That seems fair to get you to become “legitimate” as a paying account access borrower.

If You’ve Broken Things Off With Your “Netflix Buddy” but Still Want Your Content

The announced “Transfer Profile to a New Account” functionality may be useful in the United States for a handful of reasons.

Netflix designed this policy to allow people who used to live in the same household to part ways.

While Netflix mostly just wants people to pay for their own service, this new policy may be a godsend for users who want to break away from someone with whom they’ve been sharing an account.

Maybe your relationship with your significant other ended, but you’ve spent years building a Netflix streaming profile in the household. Or perhaps you were college roommates with someone, and now it’s time to move back home and start your streaming life without them.

Under the current policies, you may be enticed to “cheat the system” by sharing a password with these people in an effort to keep your cost down and your watch list intact.

The “Transfer Profile to a New Account” policy could be your way out if it makes it through the test pilot.

It would allow you to resolve your situation by doing one of the following:

  • Moving your profile to a new Netflix account and keeping your content saved while starting a bill of your own
  • Moving your profile to an existing Netflix account, keeping your content saved while you pay to be one of their two “Extra Members”

Final Thoughts

Netflix “account sharing” as we know it appears to be coming to an end in the United States.

Netflix password sharers already are experiencing crackdowns on the number of devices allowed to stream from one account. And with location detection technology becoming more intuitive, it is reasonable to expect that Netflix will continue to hunt for abnormalities that would indicate multiple households are using one account.


So while these policies seem like a potential hindrance on the surface, in the long run, Netflix may simply be offering you a few new cost-effective ways to come “above board” with your content-sharing habits.

And Team Clark is all right with that. While we love good deals, we also believe in getting them ethically.

Do you share Netflix with people in other households? Share your opinion about this potential policy change in our Community.

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