Netflix goes on an account purge

Netflix plans to start automatically canceling active account subscriptions, the company explained this week, though you likely don't have to worry about your own account. Netflix said that it will reach out to the account owner before it takes this action, giving them a chance to confirm that they want to keep their account active. If the account is canceled, the customer can restart it at any time.

Netflix is a recurring subscription, meaning that as long as there's money in the linked account, the subscription will continue to charge and remain active. This is the case even if the user isn't actually using the account, which can happen for a number of reasons: someone may forget their login info and create a new account without realizing an old one is still active, the subscriber may become sick and no longer have access to their TV, and more.

Of course, it's also possible that nothing on the platform caught your eye and maybe you just didn't realize how much time has passed since you last used the service. That's where Netflix's account purge comes in. In a release on Thursday, Netflix said that it will start automatically canceling accounts that have been dormant for at least 12 months.

Netflix will ask these users if they want to remain subscribed to the service using either an in-app notification or email; these alerts will start rolling out to applicable users this week. If the user fails to confirm that they want to keep the account, Netflix will proceed with automatically canceling it.

According to Netflix, the inactive subscriptions only account for less than 0.5% of the company's total subscriber base, which works out to a few hundred thousand overall. The company has already factored these cancelations into its financial guidance, as well. Canceled users will be able to restart their accounts at any time.