How to change your Xbox Gamertag

New year, new you

How to change your Xbox gamertag
(Image: © Microsoft)

Changing your Xbox Gamertag is a simple process that can liberate you from an embarrassing, decade-old handle. So why not kick your old xXGruntHunter7837Xx identity to the curb and start fresh with a brand new name, or just try on a new tag that fits you better?

Your Xbox Gamertag is your unique online identity within the Xbox Live ecosystem. It's displayed on your Xbox account, your console, in-game, and just about everywhere you play when using an Xbox One, Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S system. While you can choose to share your real name instead of just your gamertag, many opt to use this more anonymous username while playing online for obvious reasons. 

When you change your Xbox Gamertag, you'll keep all of your achievements, personalized options, friends, games, and apps. You won't need to do anything differently to access your account, and you can go right back to gaming after you make the change. 

Microsoft allows you one free Gamertag change before you need to pay, so if you want to try on something a little different without reaching into your bank balance, you've got the freedom to do so. 

But how do you go about changing your Xbox Gamertag? Follow the steps below and you'll be showing off your brand new identity to the world in no time.

How to change your Xbox gamertag on Xbox consoles

Factory reset Xbox One

(Image credit: Microsoft)

There are a couple of different ways to change your Xbox Gamertag. You can do so right from your console, or you can do it online.

As previously stated, your first Gamertag change will be free. Even if you chose to use a randomly-generated Gamertag Microsoft created for you when you signed up for Xbox Live, you'll still be eligible for your first change. After that, you'll need to pay $9.99/£7.99 each time you want to reinvent yourself, so to speak. 

To change your Xbox Gamertag from your console, start by pressing the Xbox button on your controller to open the guide. Then, select 'Profile & system' and choose your Gamertag from the options that open up. From there, choose 'My profile', and then 'Customize profile'. Choose your Gamertag once more. 

Now, select 'Choose your new Gamertag and enter the new tag you'd like to use. Each Gamertag can be up to 12 characters long, including spaces, and cannot begin with a number. It probably goes without saying, but the name you choose shouldn't be inappropriate or offensive and must pass Xbox Live's guidelines for acceptable content, which you can find via the official Xbox enforcement help pages (opens in new tab)

Once you've chosen a tag, select 'Check availability'. If you receive the message 'That name isn't available. Try a different one', your Gamertag is either taken or potentially contains offensive content. Just enter a new one and try again. 

If you continue and receive no message, you'll be able to review how your Gamertag will look when logging into different Xbox services. You may also be given the option to use a Gamertag with a '#' symbol and a set of numbers alongside it, which means you can use the tag of your choice, but with a special unique identifier that makes it completely yours. 

Once you're ready to confirm your new Gamertag, choose 'Change Gamertag. That's it! The change is immediate. You can go back to enjoying Xbox Live right away.

How to change your Xbox Gamertag online

If you'd rather change your Gamertag online, the process is quite similar. Head to the official Xbox website (opens in new tab) and sign in with the Microsoft account associated with the Gamertag you want to change. 

When logged in, type in the new Gamertag you want to use when the text box appears. Select 'Check availability'. When satisfied, continue by pressing the 'Next' button. Here on the next page, review your Gamertag and how it will look across the Xbox services you use regularly. If you're happy with it, then choose 'Claim it'. 

And that completes the process. Enjoy your new online identity on Xbox!

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Brittany Vincent is an accomplished freelance video game, technology, and entertainment writer whose work has been featured in various online and print publications. She’s been writing professionally for 15 years and her work can be found in dozens of print and digital publications such as Variety, Playboy, Rolling Stone, Wired, Maxim, Official Xbox Magazine, and more.