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HBO Max: How to Check & Stop Strangers Using Your Subscription

If you think someone is accessing your HBO Max subscription without your permission, here’s what to do.

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HBO Max limits subscribers to a select number of streams at the same time. As a result, there might be occasions when viewers are subjected to a ‘streaming on too many devices warning. This can be fixed by making use of the ‘manage devices’ setting to remove unauthorized devices. In fact, it is wise to be familiar with this setting for security purposes in general.

Simultaneous streams is a feature that subscribers of any streaming service should be aware of, considering it dictates how many devices can access the service at once. In HBO Max’s case, the service allows up to three devices to stream movies and TV shows at the same time. With no option to upgrade, this is currently a hard limit, although some might find they can get around the limitation if opting for a subscription through a third-party provider.

In cases where subscribers try to access more streams than they are entitled to, they will be presented with a warning message, advising that too many streams are in use, as well as the lack of an option to start streaming on the current device.

HBO Max devices at the same time
HBO Max provides a warning to subscribers

HBO Max’s security limitation

Although the limitation might be an annoyance for some subscribers and their families, HBO Max explains that security is one of the main reasons behind the limitation. With an email and password often enough to gain access to a subscription service, HBO Max limits the number of streams to help avoid account credentials being used or sold online by others.

For those who are routinely encountering the ‘streaming on too many devices’ message, it could be worth checking to see if a device that shouldn’t be accessing the service has been recently. This is where the HBO Max ‘Manage Devices’ setting comes in, as this section can provide detailed information on which devices are using a subscription and when.

How to check recent device history

HBO Max makes it super easy to check which devices have access to the account, and just as importantly, the last time those devices connected to the service. Viewing this list is possible via the HBO Max website or through the service’s mobile apps. Both navigation options are described below.

Check device history through HBO Max website:

  1. Visit HBO Max website
  2. Click the profile icon in the top-right corner
  3. Select ‘Manage Devices’ from the list

Check device history through HBO Max mobile app:

  1. Launch the HBO Max app
  2. Tap the profile icon in the bottom-right corner
  3. Tap the Settings (cog) icon in the top-left corner
  4. Select ‘Manage Devices’

In this section the user will be presented with the same information, irrespective of whether using the website or mobile app. This includes the top portion of the Manage Devices section that highlights the current device and when it was last used to access the service.

HBO Max Manage Devices
Manage Devices provides info on current device

Below this there will be another ‘Other Devices’ section and this provides information on all of the other devices that have recently accessed HBO Max along with a timestamp of exactly when they last logged in. Users can very easily identify devices that shouldn’t be accessing the service and remove them.

Removing devices from HBO Max

Once in the Manage Devices section, the process of removing an unauthorized smart TV, streaming player or phone couldn’t be easier. If accessing the section via the mobile app then simply tap on the X next to the device in question. Similarly, if accessing through the web browser on desktop then simply click on the “sign out” link next to the unknown device.

Subscribers can disable devices by selecting ‘sign on’

It is important to note that this action only signs the device out of the service. If the assumption is that someone already has the subscriber’s email and password then they can just as easily sign back in again using the same credentials. Due to this, it is additionally wise to change the HBO Max password at the same time, to ensure the device cannot start using the service again.

Sign out of all devices

In cases where subscribers are worried that their account might be compromised and there are numerous devices listed as having logged in recently, there is the fail-safe option to ‘sign all devices out.’ This option is found in the same Manage Devices section and listed at the top of the section, underneath the current device.

Clicking the ‘sign all devices out’ button will immediately remove access to every device that has ever logged in using the HBO Max account details. Once again, this will only log the devices out, requiring them to re-enter the same credentials to gain access again. Therefore, it is once again advised to change the password before using the sign out of all devices option, to ensure any unauthorized use is removed and stays removed.

HBO Max managing devices summary

Although HBO Max limits the number of devices that can access the subscription at the same time, the service has made it easy to see which devices are using a subscription and remove their access. This can either be done at the individual device level or by removing access to all devices associated with a subscription at the same time. Both options are available through the Manage Devices section within the website and mobile apps’ settings.

However, identifying and removing devices is only one of the ways to safeguard a subscription and the number of streams. When it is suspected that someone else is accessing an account without permission, subscribers will also want to change their password before removing individual or multiple devices to ensure strangers stay permanently stay locked out of the HBO Max account.

Read more: HBO Max: How to cancel a subscription

John Finn

By John Finn

John is the founder of Streaming Clarity and has been writing about smartphones and TV-related services and devices since 2014. John streams everything and genuinely believes the best streaming approach is to bounce between streaming services as needed. Contact John via email at john@streamingclarity.com or on Twitter

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