How to set up and manage Netflix profiles

Netflix has introduced viewing profiles, so you can get suggestions tailored to your tastes and not those of your kids or roommates.

Ever since I signed up for Netflix's streaming-only plan, its suggestions have been largely useless. That's because my two kids have been the majority users of the service from the start and, thus, have clogged up Netflix's recommendation engine with Disney sitcoms (courtesy of my daughter) and superheroes and mutant turtles (my son). Thankfully, I can now keep their fare separate from mine (and each other's) because Netflix has introduced profiles .

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

When you access Netflix from a computer, you should see a pop-up window with one profile already created from your existing account along with a button to add a new profile. To create a profile, you only need to enter a name, and you can also choose an avatar for each profile. While I could access my various profiles (you can create up to five per account) on my iPad and Apple TV, I couldn't create a new profile with either device.

To switch profiles, tap on the current profile in the upper-right corner to see all profiles. On Apple TV and the iPad, you'll get a pop-up window with your profiles displayed. On a computer, you'll get a drop-down menu with your profiles along with a Manage Profiles button. From the Manage Profiles page, you can create a new profile and edit the name and avatar of an existing profile or delete it. You can also check a box to mark a profile as "for kids under 12."

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

Netflix uses the shows you watch to make recommendations, and you can speed this process up by answering questions from the Taste Preferences page for each profile, which you can access from the Taste Profile menu option. I found that after creating profiles for each of my kids, my profile was still littered with juvenile fare, despite me answering "Never" in my taste preferences to such tastes as "Family-friendly" and "Children & Family." If you are like me and watch Netflix less than your children do, here's a suggestion: use the first profile that Netflix starts you out with for your kids, and then create a subsequent profile for you. You'll then get a fresh start with suggestions that aren't based, say, on the previous viewing habits of an 8-year-old girl and a 5-year-old boy.

 

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