There’s nothing more frustrating than signing up for a game or other service and finding out that your preferred username has already been taken. Well, if you’re an Xbox Live Gold member and missed out when you signed up, you may be able to snag your favorite Gamertag this week. Microsoft will be releasing 1 million inactive Gamertags on May 18.

According to a post on the official news site for Xbox, the Gamertags that are being released were created on the original Xbox and never made their way to Xbox 360, which means they’ve been sitting around for a long time. The post doesn’t list any exact Gamertags but says there are a number of:

  • 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

There are a number of ways you can get your digital hands on one of these Gamertags. You can go to, use the Xbox app on Windows 10 or change the Gamertag on your Xbox One. If you just own an Xbox 360, you’ll need to go to

Changing your Gamertag doesn’t affect any of your profile information. All of your friends, gamerscore and achievements will all still be there. You can only change your Gamertag once, so pick carefully.

The Gamertags will be released at 11 a.m. PST on May 18.



This article was written by

Nicole has been playing games her entire life. Now that she's a mom, she's passionate about promoting games as a healthy pastime to other parents around the globe. She has been an editor at IGN, where she launched and hosted the Girlfight podcast. In her spare time (which is not very much, honestly) she enjoys gaming, reading, and writing fiction. Most of the time she’s a mom to a crazy, intelligent, and exhausting little girl.