How to Change and Update Your Xbox LIVE Gamertag Identity

Your Xbox LIVE gamertag is your identity on Xbox LIVE. It’s what friends see when you’re online playing games or using apps. If you want to update or change your gamertag, Xbox makes it easy. Here’s what you need to know.

Check Gamertag Availability

Before changing your gamertag, you’ll want to make sure the new name you want is available.

  • Go to the Xbox Profile page and sign in.
  • Under your current gamertag, click “Check availability”.
  • Enter the new gamertag you want and it will tell you if it’s available.

Tip: Write down a few options in case your first choice isn’t available. Gamertags must be between 3-15 characters. Spaces and special characters aren’t allowed.

Change Your Gamertag for Free

If you’ve never changed your gamertag before, you can do it for free:

  • Go to the Customize profile page and sign in.
  • Under your gamertag, click “Change gamertag”.
  • Enter and confirm your new gamertag.
  • Click “Save” to change your gamertag for free.

After you save the change, it can take up to 10 hours to update across Xbox LIVE.

Change Your Gamertag After First Change

If you’ve already changed your gamertag once before, any other changes will cost $9.99. Here’s how to do it:

  • Go to the Customize profile page and sign in.
  • Under your current gamertag, click “Change gamertag”.
  • Enter your new gamertag and confirm.
  • Click “Buy now” to purchase the name change for $9.99.

Note: You can only change your gamertag up to 5 times per year. Additional changes will be available every 30 days after you hit the limit.

Gamertag History and Custom Profiles

After changing your gamertag, your previous gamertags will show up under “Gamertag History” on your profile. You can set any previous gamertag to be your “Custom Profile” which is what friends see when they view your profile.

To set a custom profile:

  • Go to your Profile and sign in.
  • Click “Customize profile”.
  • Under “Gamertag History”, click “Set as custom” on any previous gamertag.
  • Click “Save” to set that as your custom profile.

This allows you to change your current gamertag while still letting friends see your older gamertag on your profile if you want.

Gamerscore and Achievements Stay with Your Account

Your hard-earned achievements and gamerscore stay with your account when you change your gamertag. You won’t lose any progress.

However, some older games use your gamertag to track achievements. So if you load up a backwards compatible Xbox or Xbox 360 game, you may need to unlock some achievements again if they were tied to an old gamertag.

Friends Can Find You by Previous Gamertag

If your friends search for your previous gamertag, your new gamertag will show up in search results so they can still find you. For the first 30 days after a change, your profile also shows your previous gamertag.

Make sure to let close friends know when you change your gamertag, since many rely on gamertags to invite and find friends on Xbox LIVE.

Other Impacts from Gamertag Changes

Here are some other things to be aware of when changing your Xbox LIVE gamertag:

  • Cloud Saves: Your cloud saves transfer seamlessly to your new gamertag.
  • External Accounts: If you linked external accounts like Facebook or Twitter to your Xbox profile, you may need to reconnect them after changing gamertags.
  • Game Content: All game add-ons, DLC, and season passes stay with your account through a gamertag change.
  • Xbox Design Lab: Custom Xbox Design Lab controllers are tied to the gamertag that purchased them and can’t transfer.

So in most cases, a gamertag change is simple and painless. But it’s good to be aware of potential impacts to your gaming profile.

Steps to Change Your Gamertag

To recap, here are the key steps to change your Xbox LIVE gamertag:

  1. Check gamertag availability
  2. Change for free first time or pay $9.99 for subsequent changes
  3. Set custom profile to show old gamertag if desired
  4. Let friends know about your new gamertag
  5. Reconnect external account links if needed

Changing your gamertag allows you to freshen up your identity while keeping all your gaming accomplishments. With a few clicks in your Xbox profile, you can update your gamertag and present a new face to the Xbox LIVE community.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some common questions about changing Xbox gamertags:

Can I change my gamertag on my Xbox console?

No, gamertag changes can only be done through the Xbox online profile. You need to visit the profile page on a web browser.

Does my gamerscore reset when I change my gamertag?

No, your accumulated gamerscore and achievements stay with your Xbox LIVE account, not your specific gamertag.

Can someone else take my old gamertag after I change it?

Yes, once you change your gamertag, the old one becomes available for anyone else to claim on a first-come, first-served basis.

What happens if I change back to a previous gamertag?

If you reclaim an old gamertag, you’ll retain the gamerscore and achievements earned when you used that gamertag previously.

Can I revert to my original gamertag?

No, once you change your initial gamertag you can’t revert back to it. The original name is permanently released to the pool of available gamertags.

If I refund a gamertag change, do I get my old gamertag back?

No, gamertag changes are final and can’t be refunded or reverted. If you refund the transaction, you keep your current gamertag.