(Pocket-lint) - After what seemed like an age without offering any real parental controls, Netflix upped its game by improving the capabilities of parents in 2020.
The biggest and most important change is that parents can now set PIN codes up for each individual profile in the family group. They can also filter out titles that aren't appropriate for the age of each child by using the regional age ratings instead of the vague 'kids' and 'older kids' system.
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And that's not all. Parents can even remove individual titles, so if there's a show that your child really hates, or one that frightens them or there's a particular show you really don't want your kids watching, you can hide it.
Other new features include switching off autoplay and being able to see what your kids have been watching.
If you're wanting to know how to make use of some - or all - of these new features, check out the process of each below. All these settings are based on the assumption that you've already created invidual profiles on Netflix. If you haven't, log into Netflix and go to the 'Manage Profiles' page. Here you can select to 'Add Profile'.
How to PIN protect your Netflix profiles
First you need to get to your account management page. Log into Netflix on your desktop browser by heading to Netflix.com. Click on your own profile to log into the main viewing page.
Now, drop down the options menu from the top right corner by clicking on the little profile thumbnail with a white arrow next to it. Now choose 'Account'.
Scroll down to 'Profile & Parental controls' and hit the little downward pointing arrow next to the profile that you want to add a PIN to. Now find 'Profile Lock' and click 'Change'.
At this point it'll ask you for you password again, to make sure it's you. Once you've done that you'll be on a screen asking you to set a PIN. Click the box next to 'Require a PIN to access profile' and now set your four digit PIN. Hit 'Save'.
How to adjust the age filter for each profile
Head to Netflix.com and sign in. Once you've done that you should see all of your profiles on the page. Tap 'Manage Profiles'.
You can also get to this point by logging into Netflix, choosing your own profile and then dropping down the options menu by clicking on your profile image in the top right corner. Now choose 'Manage Profiles'.
Each of the individual profiles will now have a small pencil icon showing on the image, click that.
On the next page, under 'Maturity Settings', click 'Edit'. At this point it will probably ask you for your account password, to make sure it's the account owner (you) trying to access the controls.
Now you'll see a bar with each of your countries' ratings along it. Choose the maximum allowed for that child. In the UK you get to choose between U, PG, 12, 15 and 18.
Hit 'Save' when you're done.
How to remove series or films by title
In the same page as your age filter above you'll see a box under 'Title Restrictions for [Profile Name]'. All you have to do is then type in the title of the specific show or movie you want to block. It'll start to auto-populate a list as you type so you can easily click on the one you'd like to filter out.
Hit 'Save' when you're done.
See your child's viewing activity
To see your child's viewing activity head back to the main account management page by dropping down that menu from the top corner and clicking 'account'. Click the profile under 'Profile & Parental Controls' that you want to manage.
Tap 'View' on the 'Viewing activity' option and you'll see a list of shows watched in that profile, and on which days they were watched.
Stop autoplay on all devices
To stop Netflix from autoplaying episode after episode, stay within that 'Profile & Parental Controls' menu and choose 'Playback settings'. Now you can untick 'autoplay next episode' and 'autoplay previews' and it'll stop both the automatic binge-watching and stop previews from just playing on screen automatically.