This Netflix email proves that the end is nigh (for password sharing)

Netflix says it's time to tell your exes to get their own accounts with Profile Transfers

Netflix Profile Transfer
(Image credit: Netflix)

If you've been wondering when Netflix will be bringing an end to password sharing in the UK, the answer appears to be "imminently". An official email sent out to subscribers overnight introduces a new feature called Profile Transfers. It's designed to "make it easy for anyone using your account to transfer an existing profile – including recommendations, viewing history, My List, settings, saved games and more – to a new account."

I'd stroke my chin and say "now, why would you want to do that?" but it's pretty clear that this is in preparation for the long-reported and apparently imminent end of password sharing. The feature will be enabled automatically at the end of October, which suggests password sharing is ending in a matter of months.

What does Netflix Profile Transfer do?

According to Netflix, when you start a new Netflix account – this feature can't be used to add you to an existing account, because Netflix really doesn't want you to do that – you'll be able to transfer your entire profile from an existing account to the new one. It doesn't remove any of your settings from the previous account, with the exception of game saves and your gaming handle. Netflix says "you can think of this like copy & paste".

You can't copy and paste the payment information, though: you'll need to provide your own payment details.

The new feature can be used with every Netflix profile apart from kids' profiles and PIN-protected ones. For the latter, you'll need to remove the PIN protection in order to transfer your details. For kids' profiles you'll need to start again from scratch in a new adult's account.

As for who this new feature is for, Netflix says: "people move. Families grow. Relationships change. Life happens". Which is absolutely true, although they seem to have forgotten the "streaming services crack down on password sharing" bit. 

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written thirteen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote another seven books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (havrmusic.com (opens in new tab)).