Starting today at 2PM EST, Microsoft will be making available almost one million Gamertags from unused accounts to active Xbox Live Gold subscribers. There is a catch, though, in order to claim one of these tags a subscriber will need to have at 1 year of cumulative Xbox Live Gold tenure.

According to Microsoft, the tags will be released over a 24-hour period in order to give subscribers in different time zones a fair chance of getting one of these released gamertags. So keep trying throughout the day if a gamertag that you want is not available yet.

Claim a Gamertag

These Gamertags are being released from accounts that never moved to Xbox 360 and thus have not been used for quite a long time. Though Microsoft is not providing details on any of the names being released, they state that many of them are in the following categories.

  • 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

In order to claim one of these released gamertags, you can do so on, the Xbox App in Windows 10, and using an Xbox One console.  For those still using Xbox 360, you will not be able to claim a new gamertag using that console. Also, make sure you have the required tenure before trying to claim one of the released tags. You can check your tenure on the Xbox One console or in the Xbox App for Windows 10.

Personally, I feel the easiest way to change your gamertag is through the site. Simply login and click on your avatar to show a drop down menu. Then click on the Profile option, and when your profile is displayed, click on the Edit Gamertag option. Change Gamertag

From the above screen you can check for any available gamertags. 

Good luck if you try to get a new gamertag. Maybe you will be lucky to get FragLord rather than FragLord2138712!