Netflix just added remote logout so you can kick freeloaders off your account

Netflix on TV with remote control in foreground
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Say goodbye to the ex or freeloading cousin who's been using your Netflix account. Netflix is adding new account controls that will allow you to remotely log out of connected devices.

In a Nov. 15 blog post, Netflix explains they're just trying to help us out when memory fails. "Logging in to your account while at a hotel or even your friend’s house is easy and intuitive, but occasionally people forget to log out," the post reads.

The new feature, called Managing Access and Devices, can be found under Account Settings and is now available to all members around the world. It shows the most recent active devices that have streamed from the account. Each entry will show the type of device, the name of the user, the timestamp of last use and location. 

A screen rendering of Netflix account setting Manage Access and Devices

(Image credit: Netflix)

Netflix says they hope the upgrade comes in handy this holiday season, when you sign in at grandma's house during Thanksgiving and then forget to sign out. No way grandma is getting to use your Netflix for free, right?!

The expansion of controls could be tied to the company's plans to introduce a surcharge for sharing your account with people outside of your household. Netflix account sharing has long been a hallmark of the service, but the streamer is cracking down on password sharing after some dismal financial results earlier this year.

The company has been testing the surcharge over the past year in countries like Chile, Costa Rica and Peru, with subscribers paying around $3 to add an extra member or household to their accounts.

In its third-quarter earnings call in October, Netflix confirmed that it would roll out the surcharge more broadly in early 2023.

When they do start charging for extra users, you'll need to be able to control how many are on your account — hence, the rollout of the new feature. Otherwise, you may have the unpleasant experience of paying extra for your ex. 

The account sharing crackdown is accompanied by a new ad-supported Netflix tier that is meant to entice new subscribers with a limited budget. 

Kelly Woo
Streaming Editor

Kelly is the streaming channel editor for Tom’s Guide, so basically, she watches TV for a living. Previously, she was a freelance entertainment writer for Yahoo, Vulture, TV Guide and other outlets. When she’s not watching TV and movies for work, she’s watching them for fun, seeing live music, writing songs, knitting and gardening.