How to Set Up Netflix Using an Activation Code

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Netflix login screen
Netflix login screen (Image: Screenshot by Jason Cipriani)

Netflix is sort of like a modern day HBO. The streaming service offers older television shows and movies, and in recent years has created some of the most compelling original shows available anywhere. But to take advantage of Netflix, you'll need a device with Netflix support built into it, or with the ability to install a Netflix app.

In some instances -- like on an iPad -- setting up Netflix is as simple as signing into your account with a username and password. Other times you'll find yourself staring at a screen with a random sequence of numbers and letters -- otherwise known as an activation code -- and instructions to visit Netflix on your computer.

You're most likely to encounter such a screen when connecting a Wi-Fi enabled Blu-ray player or TV to your Netflix account.

Netflix Activation screen awaiting an activation code.
Netflix Activation screen awaiting an activation code. (Image: Jason Cipriani)

Here's what to do when presented with a Netflix activation code:

  1. Launch a web browser on any device that you can browse from -- like your smartphone, tablet, or PC. 
  2. Using the address bar, navigate to netflix.com/activate.
  3. Sign into your Netflix account if necessary. 
  4. Enter the activation code displayed on your TV in the box. 
  5. Click the "Activate" button. 

A few seconds later your device should refresh and bring up your Netflix account. While the extra steps with a secondary device might seem annoying, keep in mind that you'll never have to enter a username and password on this device -- so that's a big convenience.

Happy streaming!

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