I’ve been using the name NuAngel on the internet since long before Xbox Live existed, over 13 years now. But like many of us online geeks, I had to ‘settle in’ to a name a liked, while going by several other monikers first. Well, the good news for you is that Xbox Live allows you to change your gamertag. The bad news is, it costs $10 (here in the U.S., anyway). So you have a decision to make. You could just abandon your Windows Live ID and your Gamertag – along with any Gamerscore and/or Microsoft points you already have in your account. Or you can pay the 800 Microsoft Points and change your Gamertag. In some cases, Microsoft will let you change your Gamertag one time for free.
Once you’ve decided to change your gamertag, here is what you need to do.
First: Make up a new gamertag. I see search engines drag my site all the time on people trying to find cool or unique gamertags. You’re not going to find them online. You need to find what works for you. Think of something else in your life, think of your personality, think of your favorite book, childhood toy, musician, or movie – any other hobbies you have! Make it perosnal, and make it yours. For a little bit of inspiration, you can use the Gamertag generator on the Xbox 360 dashboard, or see below where the Gamertag registration process will offer you alternatives to already taken Gamertags.
- Visit http://live.xbox.com/en-US/MyXbox/GamerProfile
- Once logged in, click Change Gamertag next to your name
- Enter your desired new Gamertag (yes, it can have spaces, no it cannot start with a number), click Check Availability
- IF THE GAMERTAG IS TAKEN, you will see an orange bar pop up telling you so, and it will offer alternative suggestions at the bottom of the page
- Once you have a gamertag that isn’t taken, you will see a green CLAIM IT button, click that.
- Your Gamertag is now… – click DONE and… you’re done!
As expected, Microsoft has some very good step-by-step instructions for changing your gamertag using your Xbox 360 Console itself.
This week’s Xbox Tip of the Week isn’t a direct suggestion for the Xbox itself, but rather some easy ways to contact Xbox Support! People constantly ask me the fastest way to get ahold of the folks at Xbox Support. I encourage you to use Twitter or the Ambassador Chat first and foremost. They should be able to help you. But if you really want to contact Xbox Support over the phone, in the United States, just call 1-800-4MY-XBOX (that’s 1-800-469-9269). If you are outside of the United States, or if you do not wish to wait on hold and would rather an Xbox Support representative call you, you can simply fill out this form which will offer you some troubleshooting tips but also provide you with the proper contact information at the bottom of the page. If you’re in the United States, look on the lower right portion of the page after describing your issue and you will see an option to have the support team call you!
Again, you can call 1-800-4MY-XBOX, or if you’re outside of the U.S., just visit https://support.xbox.com/en-US/contact-us and answer a couple of questions so that they can help route you to the right people when you call in!
Maybe you’re like I was when I was young, and you were never sure how much money you would have in your bank account on a certain day which could be weeks or months in to the future. I never trusted myself enough to have “automatic renewal” tied to some sort of debit card, then suddenly one day get notice that I had overdrawn my account. It’s not fun. Or, perhaps you just don’t know for sure if you want to continue using a service which you may have just started using. Either way, or for any other number of reasons, you may want to disable the automatic renewal feature for your Xbox Live Gold subscription. Here’s how to do it from the web:
Go to the My Account page, here: http://www.xbox.com/accounts
UPDATE 11/24/2013: the instructions below have changed due to a redesign of the Xbox.com website. Go to the accounts page as linked above, then click “Subscriptions” (a large button at the top of the page) and you should be able to disable the Xbox Live Gold Subscription near the top of the Subscriptions page.
On the center of the page, you’ll see your current Automatic Renewal status: click the CHANGE button.*
On the next screen, simply set it to OFF.
Microsoft has the steps listed on their support page as well.
*Please note: at the time of publication, the “change” link is currently redirecting to the Contact Us page. You should be able to change the auto renew status online without having to contact customer support. I have contacted Microsoft for a response to see if this is a temporary change on the website, or if they will be making us jump through more hoops in the future. No comment, yet. I will update if I hear anything of substance.
This week’s Xbox Tip of the Week isn’t difficult – infact it’s VERY simple. Xbox Live, over the last year or so, introduced the Xbox Deal of the Week. These deals are for Xbox Live Gold subscribers, and every week they put a small handful of DLC, Live Arcade games, retail games, etc… on sale. But, after dashboard updates, sometimes it gets a little confusing trying to find what games are on sale this week. Or, what if you’re away from your console? What if you’re on vacation and you’re missing out on a 50% off sale on a game you’ve been thinking about paying. We’ve got a solution for you!
Xbox.com has an easy to bookmark Deal of the Week Page right on their website! Even better, from there you can click on a deal you want, log in with your Live ID, and purchase the game at the sale price. Then, the next time your turn on your console, whenever that is, it will download to the Xbox 360 unit. I use this site myself, frequently, and encourage everyone to bookmark it!