When is Netflix banning password sharing and how will it work?

The streaming service is clamping down

(Image credit: Future Publishing / Getty)

Netflix is home to a number of films and TV shows that have kept the world entertained over the last fifteen years - from Emily in Paris to Squid Game, Wednesday to Harry & Meghan, the streaming service has something for everyone. 

It will come as no surprise, then, that by the end of 2022 there were reportedly 213 million subscribers across the globe, making it the most popular streaming service in the world. 

However, in recent years Netflix has increased their monthly subscription fees several times - and now they're set to enforce stricter rules on password and account sharing. 

As per the Netflix help page, there are new details on how they aim to crack down on users giving their password to other people. In order to limit the number of people using the same account, Netflix has come up with a strategy to block usage for those watching from someone else's subscription. 

Those who share an account and live in the same home won't be affected. However, those who use the same account and live in different locations will be asked to regularly connect to one WiFi network in order to continue to use the service. The account holder's primary location will be used as the trusted WiFi connection. 

How will Netflix stop users sharing passwords?

In order to clamp down on shared accounts, Netflix will use information such as IP addresses, device IDs and account activity to determine where the primary account holder's main location is. 

Any users logging in from alternative locations will alert Netflix, and the primary account holder will be sent a four-digit code which will need to be entered on the 'untrusted' device within 15 minutes. 

This request 'may be required periodically'. Users will need to use the Netflix app or website once a month minimum .

This also means that it could impact users who are using Netflix while travelling or away from home for extended periods of time. 

Will I be affected by the Netflix changes to account sharing?

If you share an account with someone you live with, you shouldn't experience any issues. 

However, if you share an account with someone you don't live with - or will be using Netflix while away from home for an extended period of time - this is where the verification requirement will come into play. 

Currently, Netflix does limit how many devices can use one account simultaneously already, adjusted per price tiers. 

The streaming service is trialling an option for 'sub accounts' whereby two people who don't live with the main account holder can join the plan for an extra £2.40 per month. The additional users must be in the same country. 

Why are the Netflix rules changing?

Many factors have contributed to a decline in sign-ups - from the launch of Disney+ and popularity of Amazon Prime, to the cost of living crisis. 

Jadie Troy-Pryde
News Editor

Jadie Troy-Pryde is News Editor, covering celebrity and entertainment, royal, lifestyle and viral news. Before joining the team in 2018 as the Lifestyle and Social Media Editor, she worked at a number of women’s fashion and lifestyle titles including Grazia, Women’s Health and Stylist, and now heads the Marie Claire UK news desk.