1 Million Old Xbox Live Gamertags Being Freed Up, Here's How to Get One

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Tired of your current Xbox Live gamertag? You're in luck, as Microsoft today announced that it will "release" almost one million gamertags later this week, and you may be able to pick one up.

On Wednesday, May 18, any Xbox Live Gold member who has accrued a year's worth of Gold status since 2002 can acquire one of the new gamertags. They come from original Xbox accounts that were later abandoned.

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"As a result, they have been inactive for quite some time," Microsoft said in a blog post.

The first wave of released gamertags will be made available starting at 11 AM PST / 2 PM EST on May 18. The gamertags won't be released all at once, but instead over a period of 24 hours "to give our fans in various countries an equal chance to get one."

You can pick up one of the new gamertags from Xbox.com, inside the Xbox App on Windows 10, or through an Xbox One. Access to the new gamertags will not be made available on the Xbox 360 console, but you can grab one from Xbox.com or Windows 10.

This is the Xbox.com page you will want to bookmark.

You can change your gamertag once for free, but after that, there is a fee. The length of your Gold tenure is displayed on the Profile page on Xbox One or in the Xbox App on Windows 10. Note, too, that changing your gamertag doesn't reset your profile, as all of your achievements and friends will remain intact.

Microsoft is not going to publish the list of gamertags, but the company says there will be "many great" ones available in categories including:

  • Proper names
  • Pop-culture references (entertainment, sports, gaming)
  • Types of food
  • Geography and travel
  • Science and technology
  • Math and numbers
  • Animals
  • Some of the greatest inventions of all time

Microsoft also released a wave of gamertags back in 2011.

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