Netflix now lets you protect your profile with a PIN, keeping other people on your account from accessing your home screen and personalized experiences. This new feature was announced as part of the service’s updated parental controls and should prevent young viewers from finding their way into a parent’s profile where mature content is accessible.
But PIN protection can be used even if you don’t have kids and simply want to prevent someone else on your account — friends, family, a significant other, etc. — from messing with your Netflix recommendations and viewing history. Before this new feature was enabled, it was a trivial matter to switch between profiles, so this new extra step should help stop people from “accidentally” watching things while using your profile.
Set up PIN protection
- Sign into Netflix with a web browser (account settings can’t be changed from the Netflix app on your phone or TV)
- Click your profile photo at the upper right, and choose “Account”
- Go down to the Profile & Parental Controls section, and click the arrow next to your profile icon to expand this area. You should then see the Profile Lock setting (which is what Netflix is calling its PIN protection feature). Click on the Change button.
- To make sure you’re the account owner, Netflix will ask for your password. After that, you’ll see a screen where you can click “Require a PIN to access Chris’s profile” and enter your chosen PIN. (Please be more creative than my example.)
- You can also check a box here so that your PIN is required whenever someone attempts to add a new user profile to your account
- Once your PIN is set, Netflix will ask for it whenever that profile is chosen at the welcome screen. This will happen on all devices, including TVs. Note that Netflix will not ask for a PIN if your profile is the only one that exists on the account.
Incidentally, don’t confuse this with two-factor authentication, which Netflix still doesn’t offer. Profile lock is intended to stop other authorized users on your account from getting into your individual Netflix experience.
Any profile on your Netflix account can be given its own PIN, but only the account holder can set them up. So if multiple people in your house want a PIN, you can look away as they enter them in once you’ve authenticated with your password.
However, the Netflix account owner always has the power to disable the PIN and profile lock for any profile. Remember, this is meant more as a parental control tool than anything else. But it’s a convenient trick for keeping your Netflix recommendation algorithms from going haywire when a roommate spends hours watching The Circle and Love is Blind without realizing they’re using your profile.
Vox Media has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence editorial content, though Vox Media may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links. For more information, see our ethics policy.