Sharing Your HBO Max Account Is Tricky, But Not Impossible

Photo: Moviestore Collection/Shutterstock.
It's finally here: HBO Max has arrived with a few magical surprises — namely all eight Harry Potter films, the entire Lord of The Rings trilogy, and hits like Wonder Woman and A Star Is Born. Before you start planning the ultimate viewing party and handing out your password like Oprah giving away cars, you should be aware of how many people can watch HBO Max simultaneously before the overlords at HBO crack down on your streaming generosity. Look, every streamer out there knows that password sharing is inevitable, and they tend to look the other away unless things get out of hand. But HBO has always been a bit more particular about how many people are using their service through a friend, co-worker, or cousin's ex. 
Over at HBO Now, the maximum number of simultaneous streams has always been three, but HBO Max is being a bit cagier about how many people can watch the service through a single account at once. Per the streamer's official help center, subscribers can set up five individual profiles for immediate family members or members of your household. That suggests that at least five devices can stream at once, but it's not a guarantee. 
As launch day, HBO Max hasn't shared what the magic number of simultaneous streams are, but once your account hits it, you'll know. Rather than give a specific number of devices that can stream the service at once, the FAQ simply states, "You can sign in to HBO Max on different devices, but the number of simultaneous streams is limited for security reasons." If you do hit that mystery number then you'll have to go to "manage devices" in settings and stop streaming on the most recent device used before you can resume that long-awaited Friends rewatch. 
Not having a definitive answer on the number of screens that can watch HBO Max at once is certainly frustrating. Even the legalese in the user agreement refrains from offering a specific number. Instead, it reads: "WM (Warner Media) reserves the right to limit the maximum number of Authorized Users that you can set up or that can simultaneously access the Platform, in its sole discretion." However, given that the streamer will allow subscribers to create up to five profiles on any one account, it feels like HBO is embracing the communal streaming experience — at least to some extent. 
In the past sharing an HBO account, even within a single household, has been frustrating due to the inability for each user to have their own profile. At the very least, HBO Max has solved that problem, ensuring that whatever immediate family members or roommates you share an account with will be able to watch whatever episode of Succession they want without disrupting the flow of your marathon. Despite being secretive about concurrent streams, HBO Max is still ushering in a new era for HBO streaming, and it seems that at least five of your friends (err… make that immediate family members just in case HBO is listening) can probably safely join you in a Harry Potter binge session without fear of getting the dreaded too many devices streaming at once message.
Related Content:

More from TV

R29 Original Series