Xbox Live gamertags expire unless you log in at least once every five years

Hey, if you haven't tea-bagged your peers in half a decade, you probably weren't using the handle anyway.

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A recent change in Xbox Live's Terms of Use dictates that you have to log in to Xbox Live at least once every five years if you want to keep your gamertag.

The report comes from editors over at WCCF Tech (via GameSpot), who discuss the language used in the new clause. "You must sign into Xbox Services at least once in a five-year period, otherwise you may lose access to the gamertag associated with your account and that gamertag may become available for use by others."

Microsoft has been doubling down on freeing up stagnant gamertags and releasing them back into the wild. It released some back in 2011, and freed up one million more earlier this year. To be fair, if you haven't used your Xbox Live account in five years, you were pretty much done with it, right?

This is one in a line of changes Microsoft has made to its online gaming network in recent months. Back in May, the Xbox manufacturer made some adjustments to Xbox Live's subscription price in select territories. More notably, it began encouraging cross-platform play between Xbox One games and their PC and PlayStation 4 counterparts.

Long Reads Editor

David L. Craddock writes fiction, nonfiction, and grocery lists. He is the author of the Stay Awhile and Listen series, and the Gairden Chronicles series of fantasy novels for young adults. Outside of writing, he enjoys playing Mario, Zelda, and Dark Souls games, and will be happy to discuss at length the myriad reasons why Dark Souls 2 is the best in the series. Follow him online at davidlcraddock.com and @davidlcraddock.

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  • reply
    July 25, 2016 2:30 PM

    David Craddock posted a new article, Xbox Live gamertags expire unless you log in at least once every five years

    • reply
      July 25, 2016 2:35 PM

      UGH. Not cool. I just don't use my 360 like I used to, even though I have 2 of them. Ya, I dropped Live a few years back since I wasn't doing much online gaming. We've ended just using the box that doesn't have my tag on it for family gaming. Now I gotta fire up the older box and wait 2 days for all the patches to download and get applied.

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        July 25, 2016 2:37 PM

        does logging into xbox.com not count?

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          July 25, 2016 2:51 PM

          Oh, good point. Reading the actual page, and it doesn't really say.

          BUT, the general terms do say that your account can become inactive if you don't login at all within 5 years. If you use the same MS account for like hotmail or Office 365, Skype, then you're safe for that. But, you still have to log into the xbox service to preserve the tag. Doesn't specify if the site is enough. I would assume it should be since it's the same backend.

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      July 25, 2016 2:39 PM

      [deleted]

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        July 25, 2016 2:40 PM

        [deleted]

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        July 25, 2016 2:53 PM

        heh, helped a friend get a very much desired gamertag name way back at beta. He still gets noticed that he has the name w/o any numbers or additional characters.

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      July 25, 2016 2:39 PM

      Good. Took me 12 years to get my original tag back due to their old system of never releasing them. If someone hasn't logged in to a gamertag in 5 years then I have no problem with that name being freed up.

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      July 25, 2016 2:54 PM

      If only Shacknews implemented that.

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      July 25, 2016 4:20 PM

      I don't even know how to log in anymore. Seems like they've started using email address instead of
      G-tags.

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      July 25, 2016 4:28 PM

      Does logging into windows 10 Xbox application count? If not this is fucked to lose accounts that you have bought things on.

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        July 26, 2016 5:10 AM

        Good question. What about logging into your account on xbox.com? Will that be enough?

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        July 26, 2016 5:53 AM

        logging into Xbox.com counts.

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      July 25, 2016 4:45 PM

      Not even sure how I'd login for nullpointerexception.

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      July 25, 2016 5:12 PM

      son of a fuck! I've been trying to get Korban back since I first got a 360 but couldn't for some fucking reason. now some little twat stain snatched it up.

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        July 26, 2016 5:49 AM

        Yep, same thing happened to me. For the longest time some nobody that never logged into their account had the name BaZ. I ended up missing out on when they purged a bunch of gamertags and some call of duty guy got it.

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      July 26, 2016 3:03 AM

      I've had "node" since the XBL beta on the original Xbox. FROM MY COLD, DEAD HANDS.

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      July 26, 2016 5:54 AM

      Hope i dont lose my GFWL user tag too

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      July 26, 2016 6:33 AM

      Twitter next, please.

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