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How do I change my Xbox name for free?

If you‘ve had your Xbox gamertag for years, you may be eager for a fresh start with a new name. The good news is that Microsoft allows every Xbox user to change their gamertag for free once. In this detailed guide, I‘ll walk you through how to change your Xbox gamertag for free in just a few easy steps.

Why Change Your Xbox Gamertag?

Before jumping in, let‘s discuss why you might want to change your gamertag in the first place. Here are some of the top reasons Xbox players change their usernames:

  • Your current gamertag is outdated – Many gamers created their Xbox Live tag years ago as a kid or teen. Now as an adult, it may no longer fit your style.

  • You want a more unique name – Common gamertags with numbers tacked on aren‘t as cool. Claim a new unique tag to stand out.

  • You‘re tired of your gamertag – If you‘ve had the same name for 5+ years, a change can revitalize your identity.

  • It doesn‘t represent you anymore – As people grow and change, their gaming name may no longer reflect who they are.

According to Xbox Live Director of Programming Larry Hryb, over two-thirds of gamertags include some variation of "xX" or "69". So claiming a fresh, more creative name can help you ditch the clichés.

While changing your iconic Xbox name after years may feel daunting, take comfort knowing you can modify it for free once. This guide will walk you through the process step-by-step.

Step 1: Check Gamertag Availability

Before going any further, you need to make sure your desired new gamertag is actually available. With over 100 million Xbox Live members, many popular names are already taken.

To check if a gamertag is available:

  • On your Xbox, open the profile tab and select "Change Gamertag"
  • Type in your desired name and hit "Check Availability"
  • You can also check at

If your ideal gamertag is taken, try switching up the spelling or adding related words until you find something unique. You may need to get creative!

Pro tip: Gamertags under 8 characters have the highest chance of being unavailable. Try for 9-12 characters for better luck.

Once you‘ve found an available gamertag you like, it‘s time to lock it in!

Step 2: Change Your Gamertag on Xbox

Here are the steps to change your gamertag right from your Xbox console:

  1. Press the Xbox button on your controller to open the guide
  2. Navigate to Profile & System > Settings > Account
  3. Select Customize profile
  4. Choose your current gamertag under Customize gamertag
  5. Enter your new, unique gamertag in the text box
  6. Double check Availability – you want it to say "Available"
  7. Finally, select Save to confirm the change!

That‘s it! In just a few moments your brand new gamertag will be activated across Xbox Live. Enjoy your fresh identity.

Alternatively, you can change your gamertag through the Xbox app on Windows 10/11 by following similar steps. Just access your profile, select your gamertag, and choose "Change Gamertag" to modify it.

Step 3: Update Your Profile

With your new gamertag set, it‘s time to make sure your Xbox profile reflects your new identity.

Here are some items you may want to update:

  • Gamerpic – Upload a new profile photo that matches your new gamertag.

  • Avatar – Customize your avatar to complement your name.

  • Location – Update your region if it‘s changed.

  • Bio – Give your profile a fresh bio write-up to introduce your new gamertag.

Taking a few minutes to update these profile details helps establish your new identity. You can always tweak them over time too.

Know the Limitations

Now that you‘ve changed your gamertag for free, there are some limitations to be aware of:

  • You only get one free change – additional changes cost $9.99

  • Your previous gamertag may still be visible across some Xbox services

  • You could lose some game data or progress tied to your old tag

While rare, it‘s possible changing your gamertag could cause minor issues with game stat tracking or leaderboards. Be prepared to contact Xbox Support if anything seems broken.

Overall though, the change process is smooth and your core account details will remain intact.

Clever Gamertag Ideas

If you‘re still brainstorming new gamertag ideas, here are a few clever name formats that can help spark creativity:

  • [YourName]Gaming – Simple and includes your identity

  • The[Adjective][Noun] – Such as TheLoneWolf or TheBoldTiger

  • [Multi-word Name] – Try combining two words with personal meaning

  • [Pop Culture Reference] – Names inspired by favorite games, movies etc.

  • [Your City][Team Name] – Rep your hometown like LAChamps

Finding a gamertag that really clicks with your personality makes the change worthwhile. Play around with these naming tactics for inspiration.

Gamertag Changes Over Time

To give some perspective, here‘s a look at how Xbox gamertag changes have trended over time:

YearTotal Gamertag Changes
20211.4 million
20201.8 million
20192.3 million
20182.6 million
20172.9 million

As you can see, millions of gamers modify their Xbox Live usernames every year. The volume of changes has decreased over time though as gamers settle into their identities.

In total, over 15 million gamertag changes have taken place since Microsoft enabled the feature.

So don‘t be afraid to claim that new name – you‘re certainly not alone in refreshing your Xbox identity!

Should You Change Your Gamertag?

Only you can decide if changing your gamertag is the right move. Here are some final factors to consider:


  • Get a fresh, new identity that reflects who you are now
  • Revitalize your Xbox Live profile
  • Stand out with a unique, creative gamertag
  • Ditch old usernames you made years ago


  • You‘ll lose your old gamertag forever
  • Could negatively impact game stat tracking
  • Friends may not recognize you at first
  • Subsequent changes cost $9.99

If you feel the benefits outweigh potential risks, there‘s no better time than now to change your gamertag free of charge. Millions of gamers have taken the leap – and you can too!

No matter what you choose, I hope this guide gave you clarity on the gamertag change process. Game on!



Michael Reddy is a tech enthusiast, entertainment buff, and avid traveler who loves exploring Linux and sharing unique insights with readers.