What do we do when someone has what we want? Or more specifically, the Gamertag we want? Stealing is definitely not the option here, for obvious reasons. Hey, that’s really not an option, okay? Good! You could beg someone and convince them to exchange or let them have their Gamertag. But the chances of that happening would be really slim. Another thing that a lot of people do is buy Gamertags. That’s certainly an option because you’ll find that a lot of gamers do sell theirs. For whatever reason.

But what if those gamers are not inactive? A lot of times, gamers stop using their Xbox or stop gaming, due to one thing or the other. A gamer being inactive on Xbox means that their Gamertags also become inactive. In that scenario, getting that Gamertag is definitely a possibility. However, it’s not as straightforward. There are a few factors to keep in mind for that. Let us tell you the ways in which you get inactive Gamertags.

See also: Xbox Gamertag Checker

Two Year Waiting Period

Last year, Microsoft decided to revamp their policies when it came to inactive accounts. Gamertags are directly linked to the Xbox account. So its availability would depend on the lifeline of the account. There were a lot of accounts which had been dormant since a few years. So as per the new policy, if a user doesn’t sign into their accounts at least once in 2 years, Microsoft can close their account. This means that once Microsoft closes any inactive account, that person’s Gamertag becomes available.

That won’t always be possible though. You have to keep some exceptions in mind.

Exceptions Of Inactive Accounts Not Being Closed

Microsoft certification: It doesn’t matter if an account has been inactive for a long time, if that particular account has earned a Microsoft certification.

Basically, Microsoft has many different educational certifications courses which can be purchased. Earning those certifications through the Microsoft account linked with Xbox would mean that the inactive status won’t result in the account getting closed.

Microsoft Store Publishing: If at any given point, certain applications or games are published by a user to the Microsoft Store, that particular Microsoft account doesn’t get closed.

Purchasing A Product/Service: This won’t really include things that are in the form of a subscription, or even a gift card for that matter. But redeeming or buying a Microsoft service/product would mean that Microsoft account won’t be closed even if it’s inactive.

Pending Payments: This works in multiple ways. If you are yet to clear any payments to Microsoft or if Microsoft owes you something, the inactive account will not be closed. This can also include a Microsoft account having a gift card or credit that’s been unspent.

Apart from these reasons, active accounts of minor family members that are linked with the inactive account can also be a reason to keep the Microsoft account open. The only way this changes is if the primary account owner closes the account of the minor, the minor’s account also becomes inactive or the minor’s account transitions into a regular account.

See also: Getting a Good Gamertag


So if you really love an inactive Gamertag that’s owned by someone else, your best bet is to be patient and hope that account gets closed one day. But remember, once a Gamertag becomes available, it’s free for all. So only the fastest player will get it. You definitely need luck in this regard. There’s nothing you can do to influence that unless you personally know the owner of the inactive account.

But hey, if you’re really desperate and are willing to try your luck, you could also start counting days backwards and see if that leads to anything. If by the end of year one you still desire the Gamertag, then waiting till the end of second year just might be worth it. If only for the kicks!