If you’ve got a Microsoft account that you haven’t really done anything with in a while but have no intention of giving it up, you might want to log back in and make use of it sooner rather than later.
Microsoft has announced that it’s significantly cutting down on the amount of time an account can be inactive for before it gets rid of it for good. You’ve now got just two years to make use of your account, or be forced to say goodbye.
Obviously, two years sounds like a vast sea of time, but who among us with various accounts on multiple platforms can say they check on each account regularly? Hell, I forgot I had a personal Outlook email address until I tried to log in to Just Eat the other day.
The most important thing to note is your account obviously won’t be chopped if you’ve got an active subscription to a service, or if you’ve got any money or purchases tied to the account. That means most of us probably don’t have anything to worry about, and this is simply Microsoft pruning accounts that were made for free trials and the like. We’ve all done it, don’t lie.
Back in 2016 Microsoft announced a five-year limit on inactive accounts, which Eurogamer reported was part of an effort to free up as many old Xbox Gamertags as possible. It’s likely that this new limit is in aid of a similar goal.
The updated policy comes into effect from August 30, and you can read more about it via Microsoft’s site right here. The good news is that as long as you weren’t particularly attached to any duplicate, dead, or surplus accounts, all this move will do is give newcomers a little more choice when it comes to choosing their new Gamertags.
Personally, I hope Th3Man69xo finally becomes available.
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Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.