Microsoft Releasing Nearly 1 Million Old Gamertags For Re-Use

By Sam Quirke, 1 year ago
"That gamertag is taken. Please try another."

We've all been there, right? And some of us have ended up with strange text-speak versions of our intended tags, whilst others (like me) have had to just make up something that sounds like a word.

Well, there's a chance your original intended name might be back up for grabs. On May 18th, Microsoft will be making just under one million old gamertags available for re-use.

These tags were used during the original Xbox era, and never migrated to the 360 – they've been gathering dust ever since.

For obvious reasons, like breaking the Internet, Microsoft aren't sharing the names publicly. But they've given a tantalising flavour of the kind of things we can expect:

Proper Names

Pop culture references (Entertainment, sports, gaming)

Types of Food

Geography and Travel

Science and Technology

Math and Numbers


Some of the greatest inventions of all time
The new gamertags will be released over a 24-hour period on May 18th. Note that you will have to be an active Xbox Live Gold subscriber and need to have reached a cumulative one year tenure on Gold so far in order to make use of them.

If you are on 360, you will need to use the 'Change gamertag' page on, the Xbox app on Windows 10, or an Xbox One to access these new releases. They will not be available via the 360 console.

As some of you may already know, changing your gamertag will not impact your Gamerscore, Achievements or Friends List.

I was going to finish this post with a joke about the name I personally hope is made available, but... what if it is?

I don't trust you guys at all.
Sam Quirke
Written by Sam Quirke
Sam has been a Newshound since 2016. He's also been gaming long enough to know what a text parser is. When not hopelessly lost in the latest open-world epic, Sam is busy devouring books and podcasts or trading Pokémon with his wife.