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How to use Netflix’s new parental and personal controls

Netflix has updated its parental controls to include PIN-protected profiles and more advanced censoring settings

This July 20, 2010 file photo shows a Netflix customer turning on Netflix in Palo Alto, Calif.
This July 20, 2010 file photo shows a Netflix customer turning on Netflix in Palo Alto, Calif.
Paul Sakuma, Associated Press

On April 7, Netflix announced it had made changes to its platform in order to give parents more detailed choice in what their children were streaming.

Previously, CNBC reports, parents had essentially two options for profiles: either a kids profile, which only allowed kid-friendly content, or a full profile that allowed most everything Netflix had to offer — regardless of rating. This could be seen as potentially limiting when it came to older children and teens, who don’t want to only watch “kid-friendly content,” but probably shouldn’t be watching “13 Reasons Why” either.

Netflix’s new controls allow parents to filter the options on each individual profile by rating, TechCrunch reports. That way, your 7-year-old’s profile only goes up to PG, while your 16-year-old can watch things up to TV-14.

In order to set up these controls, CNET offered the following five step tutorial:

  1. Log into your Netflix account
  2. Click on your profile picture in the top right corner of the screen to reveal a drop-down menu. Select Account on that drop-down menu.
  3. Scroll down to the bottom of that screen to the Profile & Parental Controls section, you’ll see a list of all the profiles on your Netflix account.
  4. Select the down arrow to the right of the desired profile, scroll down to Viewing Restrictions on the list of options, and select Change.
  5. Enter your password when Netflix prompts you for it, and you’ll be taken to a sliding bar that you can extend or shorten based on a title’s rating — from TV-Y to NC-17. You’ll also be able to enter specific titles in the field just below the rating restriction bar.

That’s right — you can enter specific titles to block under the new control system as well, Variety reports. If you’re tired of hearing your kid watching “Captain Underpants,” you can make it mysteriously disappear for a while, or if you’ve heard something about a particular show being unsuitable for your child, but you don’t want to block that whole rating, you can block it.

Additionally, the new features allow parents to monitor what their kids have been watching, and turn off auto-play for kids episodes, helping decrease screen time, Netflix said in its official announcement. The new settings also include a profile lock feature which adds a PIN number to your profile, useful for making sure no kids long on to the parent’s profile to watch things they shouldn’t (or even locking out a pesky roommate who watches shows without you and loses your spot). The Verge offered a photo tutorial on how to set up profile locks.