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Netflix’s password sharing ban has a workaround – here’s how often you need to do it

Published Jun 15th, 2023 12:51PM EDT
Extraction 2 on Netflix
Image: Jasin Boland/Netflix

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Netflix’s infamous password-sharing ban is in effect, and the easy fix for it is to simply clean up your account and pay for access. But despite the fact that I’ve sided with Netflix on its anti-password-sharing measures, I’m also taking my time dealing with it. There is a simple workaround for Netflix’s password-sharing ban: You just have to update your Netflix household for each separate location where your friends and family use your account.

As we’ve learned, Netflix won’t outright ban you from sharing passwords. But this account verification method can be annoying enough to convince you to take action. The reason I waited to do anything with my shared Netflix account is simple: I wanted to see how often these verification emails come and how annoying the process is. Well, it turns out that working around the password-sharing ban can be quite irritating.

What it means to update your Netflix household

Netflix lets you share your password within the same household. That means the same location, where multiple people can reside. Until the ban, you could share your password with anyone and forget about it. Now, Netflix’s algorithms will monitor to see if your account is accessed from multiple locations, and it’ll start verifying them.

The account owner has 15 minutes to click on a link and verify the household. Once that happens, playback will continue at the new location. But future prompts will follow. If you fail to click on that verification prompt in time, your friend or family member will have to resend the email verification.

And yes, you can travel with your Netflix account. One of the prompts you’ll get during the household verification process will let you select an I’m traveling option.

Our Planet II, narrated by David Attenborough.
If you have this many people on your Netflix account, you have a big problem. Image source: John Haskew/Netflix

How often do you have to verify your location?

If you were looking for a definitive answer, I’ll tell you from the start there isn’t one. No two Netflix accounts are alike when it comes to password sharing. The more people have access, the more frequent the verification prompts.

I’ve had about a dozen Netflix household verification emails in 20 days from family members who have been accessing the account from multiple locations. That includes multiple verifications for each separate location.

That’s right, Netflix will verify everything. There’s no primary household to set up. The algorithms look at access history, device ID, and simultaneous access. Say you have people in locations A and B using Netflix at the same time. They might both get household verifications on that day.

The most time without a confirmation email that I’ve experienced was 7 days. But even then, at least one location got an ad-like prompt informing the viewer that you can add an extra member to the account. If you see such messages, they’ll have a button you can click to continue watching Netflix. This isn’t a household verification email, just a Netflix prompt interrupting your viewing.

Fubar on Netflix
Monica Barbaro as Emma Brunner and Arnold Schwarzenegger as Luke Brunner in the Netflix series “Fubar.” Image source: Christos Kalohoridis/Netflix

How to deal with the Netflix household verification process

As I explained, you should absolutely not cancel your Netflix account because you can’t share your password with everyone in your building. Just trim down access, and remove people who shouldn’t be there.

Eventually, the best way to deal with the household verification process is to have everyone pay for access. Depending on your market, adding extra members to your Netflix account might not make sense. It might be a better deal for them to get a full account.

Or, you can cancel Netflix and use these free streaming services instead.

You can ensure that the household verification goes smoothly in two ways. One involves creating a new email address for Netflix and sharing its password. The other is auto-forwarding Netflix verification emails to everyone who shares your account password.

Still, the problem remains. Your Netflix experience will be interrupted by prompts to verify access, or to add a Netflix account.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.