Windows 7 Media Center – Netflix: Authorization Failure

I tried watch a movie tonight on Netflix on my Windows 7 Media Center box only to be greeted with the following error:

Authorization Failure
Our apologies - We could not authenticate your request.

Looking at a couple of threads on The Green Button here and here I am obviously not the only person experiencing the problem.

I tried several of the fixes posted in these threads but the only fix that worked for me was this:

  • Exit Media Center
  • Open Internet Explorer and click Tools and then Internet Options.
  • Click the Delete button – check all of the check-boxes and then click the Delete button. Click OK.
  • Browse to and sign in.
  • Close Internet Explorer

At this point I started Media Center again and when I clicked on the Netflix icon I was prompted for my Netflix credentials. The only problem was that the Netflix application would not allow me to type anything in to the user-name or password fields.

So I closed Media Center and then opened Internet Explorer again and opened the Netflix site again.

I closed Internet Explorer and opened Media Center again – this time I got a pop-up from the Netflix application regarding authentication – so I clicked OK and then it worked.

Apparently Netflix are talking to Microsoft about the issue so lets hope that they sort it out soon.

20 thoughts on “Windows 7 Media Center – Netflix: Authorization Failure

  1. Bravo! Great post…this solution you posted worked for me after other suggestions failed. Lets hope Netflix and MS can hammer out this error.

    Personally, I think Netflix has horrible customer service – you can’t make any suggestions or report any problems without calling in to talk to worthless tier 1 support reps that know nothing. You are stuck selecting multiple choice options that get you nowhere on an issue like this.

    Now they are offering streaming only accounts with a terrible streaming selection – mostly filler movies/TV shows from the 40s & 50s with a few decent movies thrown in. After rating over 4000 movies I am only given 2 suggestions, both of which are DVD only. What a horrible system.

    Netflix is probably just trying to milk whomever they can before going under. It is a sad trend these days. Blockbuster may be more expensive, but at least you get a real selection to choose from

    Thanks for the great info!

    1. I will say that a streaming only account is not for me yet as the selection is more limited – but we do find things to watch and some titles in my queue are available on streaming.

      I don’t see Netflix going under soon – their business is still growing and streaming is apparently the future.

  2. here it is july 2011, and netflix was rude when i told them of this out of the blue situation. i have used them for 5yrs and they would not even admit anyone else had the issue. they referred me to microsoft who wanted to charge me $49. they gave me the page for support boundaries between netflix and microsoft, it seems neither one had any resonsibility for this issue. i was pretty sure it is inside ie. i just got ie9 by accident. i did nothing to it , however, it is the only thing which changed. but i have 3 computers here , 2 are on win7prof, hte other is still vista home premium. i had and do watch netflix all the time through the browser or on my LG products. i only started the wmc a few months ago but really took to the ease of use and access to the dwindling choices i have left after 4 or 5yrs or unlimited access. i am steamed, not because of being shut out, i am not; only the lack of customer service from them.

    1. Yeah here it is July 2011 and microsoft nor netflix has fixed the damn problem. There was some update for ie9 and after that update netflix on WMC stopped working. I uninstalled ie9 but still it didn’t work. This is beyond frustration!!!!!!!!!

    2. I got the same runaround. Tried a System Restore, no change at all. I’m hoping Chrome pushes their Netflix plugin soon, so I can get rid of Windows as my media center. That plugin is the only thing holding me back.

      1. I haven’t streamed from Netflix for a little while now … I don’t mind using Windows for my Media Center – I would like to be able to virtualize it though. Until Linux can do BluRay I have to stick with Windows …

    3. It stopped working for me a few days ago too. (authentification error when I attempt to play a movie.) I even did a fresh wipe and install of the OS to no avail. (Nuked my media center for nothing!) I called Netflix and Microsoft last night, and did open a Microsoft support ticket. So far.. nothing but the usual run-around. I’m not sure what exactly changed the other day (perhaps a .NET framework update that I saw). But, it’s good to know that I am not alone. I hope everyone floods Microsoft with calls. I think that you get one free support call with your original OS purchase.

      1. i , too, believe it is related to those same .net framework updates. i have absolutely no knowledge of what that even does, but it seems to be the only thing which is the same in all my computers and laptop which have auto updates at about the same time and all came down with the same netflix failure after they had those updates done. on 2 of them, i hadnt even used them in a day or 2 but had in the past week and watched netflix in wmc on them and now none will allow me to.

  3. Having the same issue, started June 30th 2011. So far none of the steps listed on multiple sites have corrected it.

  4. ihave applied the ‘fixes’ i read here, and a couple of the other ones cited and nothing worked. the instructions on one, to open IE then tools -> internet options then delete everything and check boxes. i dont have that. i guessed it was in the advanced tab but still do not have any delete option. only to restore defaults.
    i was guessing that the crux of the issue was in the IE9 and how it deals with internet stuff. i got some java or script errors in it, though i rarely use it because i like fire fox better. i get java/script errors even with java enabled an up to date. i dont know which active x to use or enable but , so far, nothing seems to make it go back to how )wmc that is) was only a couple of days ago. it happened on all my computers at about the same time. i had not even touched them for anything other than use foxfire a couple of times and the laptop , which is vista still home prem. spontaneously had the same connection issues with the exact same authorize message. when i did the changes, now it just will not play movies in wmc but no message . i click the ‘play’ button and it is silent. though , in each of them, the interface works fine and looks fine,,,until i try to play a movie. it goes through the same motions as if it is going to play, then the error message.
    i wish one or both of those companies would step up and work out an option to roll back whattever got updated so wmc will play netflix streaming movies again.

  5. For what it is worth I decided to test Netflix on my Media Center this morning and it worked fine (for now). I have updates set to install automatically – so it is up-to-date.

    1. Pursuant to Mike’s note, I tried Media Center on one computer-the most used for Netflix/WMC connection: It worked and i noticed a wmc update in the task bar had just finished. I had tried 2 of the suggestions for making it work i found through this thread but never tried it after doing the things suggested, removing netflix plugin or player and deleting the play ready .hds whatever it was.
      it was just as it had been.
      I substituted by using the browser to netflix in the down time.
      thanks to the info

  6. i have been able to use the wmc netflix from the 6th till last night, 7/8/11. i had the computer off since 7am till midnight 7/9. i tried to play netflix via wmc and i get sent to a sign in page even though i am signed in and the interface works perfectly…until i try to play a movie.
    I get the dead email and password fields. just blinking cursor. i tired the 2 fixes i read about through the links by deleting the playready file and reinstalling netflix inside wmc after removing it from the programs and features method.
    no go.
    i have no idea what or which caused it this time. probably an update to wmc or other. i may have had another one in the morning which i mistakenly thought was a fix..

  7. I found a workaround to this problem it envolves creating a custom strip in media center. Warning this involves modifying the registry so make a restore point before u proceed with this tutorial. Follow the instructions I outlined on how to create a hulu desktop custom strip in media center at Instead of using hulu use any program u want cause u cant use a website in the application mentioned in the first part. Download a Netflix icon and stick it somewhere u can find it easily. Before u move onto the second part of the tutorial, run regedit and navigate to local machine>Microsoft>Windows>CurrentVersion>Media Center>Extensibility>Applications. Scroll down to the key created during the first part of the tutorial. If you didn’t keep track of it, look in the right pane until u see the title u created. Take note of that key and navigate down to the key marked entry points. Scroll down to the key u noted and in the right pane u will see the title u created and a string called Run. Right click the string called run and choose modify. Where it says Value Data type in the address Proceed with part two of the tutorial. Any questions feel free to email me at

    Robert Martin

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