How to Cancel a Netflix Subscription for You or a Deceased Loved One

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If you no longer use your Netflix account, it’s a good idea to cancel your membership. After all, there’s no point paying a monthly fee for something you don’t use. And if you’ve recently lost a loved one, you’d be wise to cancel their online subscriptions, including Netflix, too. 

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If you know what you’re doing ahead of time, and with a little patience, canceling your own or a deceased loved one’s Netflix account is actually incredibly simple. We’ll show you how it’s done, below.  

Post-planning tip: If you are the executor for a deceased loved one, handling the details of their unfinished business such as closing active accounts can be overwhelming without a way to organize your process. We have a post-loss checklist that will help you ensure that your loved one's family, estate, and other affairs are taken care of.

How to Cancel Your Own Netflix Subscription

If you’re not getting any use out of your own Netflix subscription, you might as well cancel it. And the process for doing so is pretty straightforward.

Step 1: Go to your account page

On your phone, tablet, or computer, open up your web browser and go to your Netflix account page. 

Step 2: Reset your password if needed 

If you haven’t used your account in a while, you might not remember your password. 

Luckily, you can use your email address (the one associated with the account) to reset your Netflix password. You can also use your phone number or the credit or debit card number associated with the account. 

Step 3: Click cancel

On your account page, you should see a button reading “Cancel Membership” towards the top. Click it, and navigate through the pages that follow. 

Step 4: If there’s no button to cancel

If you signed up for Netflix through a third party, like your cable, fiber, or satellite provider, you might not have a cancellation button on your Netflix account page. That means you’ll need to cancel your Netflix membership through that third company, not through Netflix. 

If you signed up for Netflix on your phone or tablet, you might be paying for the service through Google Play or iTunes. To cancel in this situation, you’ll need to open Google Play on Android or Settings on Apple, navigate to your subscriptions, and cancel Netflix there.

If you signed up for Netflix through Amazon Prime, navigate to Memberships & Subscriptions to cancel your Netflix account. 

ยป MORE: How do you host a virtual or hybrid funeral? Start here

 

How to Cancel a Deceased Loved One’s Netflix Subscription

Canceling your own Netflix account is pretty simple, but closing someone else’s account can be more difficult. Luckily, it can still be done without too much effort if you have some key pieces of information. And you don’t need any legal documents to do so.

Step 1: Log into the account 

The easiest way to cancel a deceased loved one’s Netflix account is to cancel it just as if it was your own. You’ll need to be able to access the person’s Netflix account to do this, though. 

If you can locate your loved one’s Netflix password and the email address they used on the account, you’re good to go. Check around desks and computer files for password information. It’s also a good idea to check their internet browser extensions and apps on their devices to see if they used a password manager

Once you’ve gained access to your loved one’s account, just go through the same steps provided above. 

Step 2: Reset the person’s login information 

It’s pretty uncommon to find someone’s Netflix password straight away. But you may still be able to log into your loved one’s account and cancel it relatively easily. There are basically three ways to do this without contacting customer service: 

  • Use the deceased person’s email address to reset the password. If you know the email address associated with the account, and you can access that email inbox, you can use that to reset the Netflix password and log in. 
  • Use the deceased person’s phone number to reset the password. If your loved one added a phone number to their Netflix account, you can use that to reset their Netflix password

Tip: Even if you’re locked out of the person’s phone, this method is worth a try. The text message containing a reset code should pop up as a notification unless the person altered their security settings to prevent this.

  • Use the account’s payment method to reset everything. If you can’t use either of the above methods, you may be able to access the account using the associated credit or debit card number.

From the Forgot Password screen, click “I don’t remember my email or phone.” This will take you to a screen requesting the first name, last name, and credit or debit card number associated with the account. 

Step 3: Reach out to customer service  

If you don’t want to click through the forgotten password system, or if you’re having problems with it, you can contact Netflix Customer Service instead. 

You can do so by phone at 1-844-2993 or by clicking “Start Live Chat” at the bottom of the Help Center. Let the representative know that you’re canceling a deceased person’s account. 

You’ll still need one or more of these pieces of information to cancel the account: 

  • Email address associated with the account 
  • Phone number associated with the account 
  • Payment method (credit or debit card number) associated with the account

Step 4: Deactivate the payment method 

If the payment method on your loved one’s Netflix account no longer works, Netflix will deactivate the account seven days after the first missed payment. 

You might not know which card or PayPal account your loved one used to sign up for their Netflix subscription. But if you’re the executor of the estate or in charge of wrapping up their financial affairs, it’s a good idea to close or deactivate all of their cards and payment methods, anyway. A side effect of doing so is that subscription services like Netflix will deactivate themselves. 

Step 5: Let the account go dormant  

In May of 2020, Netflix put out a statement that it would be canceling inactive subscriptions. 

If it had been one year since the account was created, and the member hadn’t watched anything at all, Netflix would cancel the account. And if it had been two years since the member used Netflix (regardless of when they joined), that account would be canceled, too.

Netflix stated that it would send an email to each of these accounts asking if the member would like to keep the account active. If no response came, the account would be canceled.  

But Netflix hasn’t stated whether or not this was a one-time event or an ongoing policy. And if you wait two years for the account to cancel itself because of inactivity, you’ll be out at least $215. 

Canceling Netflix: Frequently Asked Questions

Before you cancel your own or a loved one’s Netflix account, you might want the answers to these frequently asked questions. 

What happens when you cancel a Netflix subscription?

Once you’ve canceled a Netflix account, the account will remain active until the end of the billing cycle. If you have funds remaining on a Netflix gift card or promotional balance, the account will stay active until those funds are gone. 

If you or your loved one had a DVD plan with Netflix, you’ll need to return the discs within seven days to avoid charges. 

After your account closes, Netflix will store your viewing activity for 10 months. If you decide to return to Netflix during that time, you’ll be able to pick up where you left off. Netflix also stores your queue, if you have a DVD plan, for 10 months. 

If you don’t want Netflix to store any of this information for 10 months, you can request a complete deletion by emailing privacy@netflix.com from the email address associated with the account. 

Can you temporarily cancel a Netflix subscription?

If you just want to take a break from Netflix and return later, follow the same steps described above. As mentioned, Netflix will retain your viewing history and other information for 10 months. If you don’t come back within that time, your account will be permanently deleted. 

Can you cancel a Netflix subscription on your TV?

The easiest way to cancel your Netflix account is through a web browser. But you can sometimes also cancel it from your TV. 

If you signed up for Netflix on an Apple TV, you can select “Settings,” “Accounts,” and then “Manage Subscriptions.” You’ll see a list of the subscriptions you enrolled in from your TV, including Netflix, and you can click “Cancel Subscription.” 

Other devices used to stream Netflix to your TV require you to cancel your subscription online. 

Canceling Unused Accounts 

By just canceling Netflix, you can save $108 a year or more. So if you cancel all of the other services you’re no longer using, you could potentially save up a nice sum of money. 

And canceling accounts does more than just help you save. It also helps your family members manage your digital legacy after you’re gone. If you get rid of accounts you’re no longer using, they’ll have less to sort through on your behalf. 

And if you’d rather just get rid of everything and start from scratch, you could even look into deleting your online presence entirely.


Sources:

  1. “How do I cancel Netflix?” Netflix Help Center. help.netflix.com/en/node/407
  2. Levenson, Josh and Cohen, Simon. “How to cancel Netflix.” Digital Trends. 31 March 2020. www.digitaltrends.com/movies/how-to-cancel-netflix/
  3. “Help center.” Netflix. help.netflix.com/en
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