PSA: 1 Million Xbox Gamertags Being Freed Up Today, Here's How to Get One

The first wave of newly released gamertags goes out today at 11 AM PST / 2 PM EST.

36 Comments

Want a new gamertag? Today's your day, as nearly 1 million old Xbox gamertags are being made available today, May 18. At 11 AM PST / 2 PM EST, Microsoft will free up the gamertags. They will be available to any Xbox Live Gold member who has accrued a year's worth of Gold status since 2002.

These gamertags come from original Xbox accounts that were later abandoned, Microsoft explained earlier this week.

No Caption Provided

Microsoft is not releasing all of the gamertags at once, but instead over a period of 24 hours. This is being done "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.

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

Good luck!

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blind59

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If a gamertag has been inactive for say like 10 years it's safe to say it's been abandoned for whatever reason.

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jonnybrownieboy

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meanwhile steam allows you to change yours at will,free of charge and use ones already taken.

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BFKZ

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So what exactly is the criteria for a GT to be freed up to the general public? for example, the last achievement unlocked by the gamertag I want was in 2011 (Dunno of any other way to check if the GT is active or not), so is it worth it to keep checking every 2 seconds to take it, or isn't going to be freed up at all?

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BFKZ

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Edited By BFKZ

@BFKZ: Nevermind, after re-reading the article, I noticed they mentioned the gamertags are from the Original Xbox days, so if that person played on a 360, that means his GT is safe. What a bummer.

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zyxahn

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Mine was a complete accident from back in Dark Age of Camelot days. When a friend pointed something out to me, I knew it wouldn't last at being my name exclusively. Zerothe. Which I made from the Hero class in DAoC. A song that I heard which turned out to be Black Sabbath song. The Cannibal Corpse version was the one though. Zero the Hero. Since you can't put a space in the name, it came out as Zerothe. My friend pointed out that if you take the A off of Azerothe you get the same thing. Damn.

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Coolman13355

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I've been trying to figure out if they consider mine abandoned and how to make sure it doesn't get released.

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eggsbox

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I'm happy with my original Gemertag.

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aPieceOfToast

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@eggsbox: Same. I'm not sure why Microsoft thinks that anybody will get all excited about it. Yeah, it's a good idea, but is all the fanfare necessary?

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Xxxorcist

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@eggsbox: I agree too eggsbox. I was stoked Xxxorcist wasn't taken. I was bummed however when I couldn't used same name on PSN because you can't include triple letters in a name. Grrr!!!

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yogibbear

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@xxxorcist: But what if your name was beeeater?

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dylan35

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One time free, I can't think of a new one and I bet a lot of these reference late 90's early 00's culture references

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Imajinn

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@dylan35: That one time free is nonexistent on my end. Go figure.

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Imajinn

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Edited By Imajinn

Wasn't the change name supposed to be free? Well it definitely is not.

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GirlUSoCrazy

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Edited By GirlUSoCrazy

@imajinn: No they charge you after the first time I think? Or maybe always? It's been this way since they introduced it!

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igorphoenix

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@girlusocrazy: when you sign up you get a random gamertag which you can change to a proper name for free. After that, you have to pay for it.

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Imajinn

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@girlusocrazy: Oh I know that but Gamespot stated in their last article that the name change would be free. For the first time since they are releasing old names.

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jshah500

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@imajinn: nah that was just shotty reporting.

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mkeezay22

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@jshah500: No it wasn't, I changed my gamertag after a few weeks, it was free, with a warning that next time there would be a fee.

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Ant_17

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Wait, math and numbers?

Going to try E=mc2.

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HaCkEr_Fc

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Meanwhile, I'm still waiting for greatness on PSN to change my Gamertag ID

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GirlUSoCrazy

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Edited By GirlUSoCrazy

@hacker_fc: Make whatever tag you want your 'real name', enable display real name, wallah

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Bilal100

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Edited By Bilal100

@girlusocrazy: I think you meant Voila, wallah means in the name of Allah, lol

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GirlUSoCrazy

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@Bilal100: yeah I was just writing it phonetically

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Bilal100

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@girlusocrazy: all good

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BobaFettHatesU

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TeaBagGeneralXxX here I come!

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ZamboniGamer

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@bobafetthatesu: You're doing it wrong. Should be.... XxXTeaBagGeneralXxX :)

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sladakrobot

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Time to create new accounts on your X1 :-)
I hope you know that 3 more accounts on your X1,when declared as "family", benefit of gold status of the main account?
You can play online and buy games with special prices for gold members.

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suicidesn0wman

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@sladakrobot: I know at least one old friends gtag I might register since it has been released. :x

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StylesT

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they're all shockingly bad

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GirlUSoCrazy

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....but the names being freed up are all rejects

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Marky360

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@girlusocrazy:

How do you know is there a list or something?

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GirlUSoCrazy

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@Marky360: well... They've been abandoned isn't it? They got ditched for a reason.

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Marky360

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@girlusocrazy:

It's not necessarily because they were bad names though for instance my Original Xbox Gamertag was Scorpion I would have kept it on the 360 but in order to recover it st the time I required the same credit card that was initially used to create the account which I no longer had access to. So by the wayside the Gamertag went. So you see not all were abandoned because of dislike some ppl had no choice.

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GirlUSoCrazy

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Edited By GirlUSoCrazy

@Marky360: Hmm ok fair enough