Impossible to recover Xbox LIVE gamertags linked to deleted Windows Live IDs.

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  • Updated 11 months ago
When a Windows Live ID is not used for a long period of time, it is deleted. Problem is, an Xbox LIVE gamertag linked to the deleted Windows Live ID still thinks it is linked to a Windows Live ID. Even if a new Windows Live ID is created with the same email address, it is not in return linked back to the Xbox LIVE gamertag. This makes it impossible to recover the gamertag or do anything with the gamertag that would require the Windows Live ID, including switching it to a new Windows Live ID.

For me personally, this problem is bad because I had assets in my Xbox LIVE gamertag that I can't get to now, but they're clearly visible when viewing my account from another account, so it's still there.
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Cortland Klein

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Posted 6 years ago

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John Breakwell (ex MSFT), Currently working at a different company

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Hi,

I know it isn't much consolation at the moment but there is a lot of discussion within Microsoft about how painful this is for customers, and how we can both resolve customers already in this situation and prevent customers from having this issue in the future.

There is currently no way for Xbox Support to change the Windows Live ID associated with your Gamertag. This is in part because the Windows Live ID is part of the security and authorisation system that protects your account. We use information stored as part of Xbox Live and Windows Live ID to identify who you are before we are authorised to make changes to your account on your behalf. No WLID - no authorisation.

Advice for anybody following this thread:
Using Live Messenger integration on the Xbox 360 console (even if you have no friends set up) will force the Windows Live ID (WLID) sign-in to remain active.
Using the WLID on a website (such as xbox.com, billing.microsoft.com) will also reset the expire timer
Only signing into Xbox Live itself on the console doesn’t reset the WLID timer; it’s the second login of Messenger that is counted.

If you are in the situation where the WLID has expired:

1) Do not perform an Account Recovery – No matter what level of troubleshooting is ever asked of you, by anyone, as doing this will strip access to the Xbox Live account because the Windows Live ID checks will fail.
2) Do not attempt to switch Windows Live IDs through the console – This will also fail with weird error messages
3) Do not re-create the Windows Live ID – Even though it will have the same member name (email address), it is NOT the same Windows Live ID, and Xbox Live will become even more confused, potentially breaking any account related to the new Windows Live ID that has the same name as the one that is expired.

You can read Major Nelson's blog post on this issue here:
http://majornelson.com/archive/2009/0...

Cheers
John Breakwell (MSFT)
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Tilbur

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Hi John, I have recently made an account for Xbox Live and got the free 1 month trial. When that expires, will I be able to take the GamerTag of the expired and change it to a different accounts GamerTag?
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Why cant you guys just send a pm through xbox live saying that if you forgot your Windows live account or it has been deleted then please send us a pm with an email address you would like for your windows live account. This email will be linked to your xbox live gamertag. We will also send you your password through pm on xbox live.

That would be awesome... I never knew that I had to go on my hotmail account every few months just so I could keep my windows live account. Hell I bought fallout 3 on the computer because that tipe of game is better on the computer in my opinion, I got it knowing that I could still get achievments for my xbox.
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John Breakwell (ex MSFT), Currently working at a different company

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Hi Dylan,
That's a good suggestion.
There's no easy way for me to forward it to the people involved in resolving the problem so I would recommend posting it at the Xbox forums (http://forums.xbox.com) to ensure it is seen.

Cheers
John Breakwell (MSFT)
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james_ftw88

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Hi John, what if a friend of mine tried to mod my account ( Really wasn't me ha-ha) like he basically tried to change my gamer-tag on Modern Warfare 2 and he got my account deleted cause he moved it from the hard drive to a flash drive and yeah well, he deleted it. Is there anyway to get it back?
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james_ftw88

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Hi John, what if a friend of mine tried to mod my account ( Really wasn't me ha-ha) like he basically tried to change my gamer-tag on Modern Warfare 2 and he got my account deleted cause he moved it from the hard drive to a flash drive and yeah well, he deleted it. Is there anyway to get it back?
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james_ftw88

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Hi John, what if a friend of mine tried to mod my account ( Really wasn't me ha-ha) like he basically tried to change my gamer-tag on Modern Warfare 2 and he got my account deleted cause he moved it from the hard drive to a flash drive and yeah well, he deleted it. Is there anyway to get it back?
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Markie O Brien

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When i try to sign into myaccount it just says This account isnt valid. What am i meant to do?
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Biff

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Wait John, let me get this straight. You come on here saying how much everyone at Microsoft is concerned about this problem and then when someone actually posts a useful suggestion you tell them to go post it a XBox themselves? Excuse me but isn't that why you get paid to come here? Or are you only here to commiserate with us on behalf of M$ as a feel good public relations exercise?
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John Breakwell (ex MSFT), Currently working at a different company

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Hi Bill,
Getsatisfaction.com isn't a Microsoft site and, as I understand it, most of the people from Microsoft on here are volunteering their own time to assist where they can. I don't work in the Xbox product group personally - I work supporting server products in Europe - but i know some people that do. They tell me that the best way to get your voice heard if you have any suggestions is to post on the Xbox forums. Not only does that make the idea visibile to the right people at Microsoft, it can also spark further discussion amongst others on the forum.

Cheers
John Breakwell (MSFT)
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Biff

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Well that's nice John but when you come here posting detailed instructions that even tell us to ignore what the XBox tech support people tell us, then don't be surprised when we assume you are really here to represent M$ and XBox. Otherwise remove the employee tag and MSFT from your posts.

And further to your suggestion about forum posting, did you know that those of us with broken gamertags due to the Windows Live ID problem CAN't post to the forums because we can't sign in? Frankly if you do know people in the XBox product group then I can't believe that it would be so much harder for you to cut and paste Dylan's suggestion above into an internal e-mail. It's certainly easier than trying to post using a gamertag with a broken ID.
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John Breakwell (ex MSFT), Currently working at a different company

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Hi Biff,

By posting here I agree I am seen to be representing Microsoft and Xbox. Whenever I post on any technical forum, I always declare my employer so people can put my comments in some context.

The main reason for directing feedback to the Xbox forums is that there are Microsoft people dedicated to tracking posts, analysing problem trends, etc. Although it is easy for me to copy/paste a GetSatisfaction post into an email and forward on to some people I know in the Xbox group, that doesn't guarantee the suggestion will be included in the reports the decision makers use.

For forum posting, you don't need a gamertag that you have created and used on your console. You could generate a new Live ID and gamertag purely for acessing the forum and nowehere else if you wished. Obviously, you would rather use your existing GamerTag but at the moment I have seen no news of a solution to this.

I agree that having to create new accounts is a pain just to submit one suggestion so in this case I have forwarded Dylan's suggestion on his behalf.

Cheers
John Breakwell (MSFT)
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Thanks so much... It would be very helpful... My Xbox Live Just expired so I was thinking about making a new account but I wouldnt be pleased with that because I have done so much on mine... Thanks so much for emailing your co-workers. Hopefully they can use my plan or improve on it...
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I had to recover my profile but had problems. It just wouldn't let me recover with my Live ID details.

So I went to Xbox.com and entered anew gamer tag and linked that with the same Live ID email and pass as I used on my old account.

The next day I switch on my xbox and it says I can now recover my old profile form before! I tried getting it but now when I use the email and pass I always use it seems to have linked to the new gamertage (which, of course has nothing on it!)

Is there no way around this? Please help me!!
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oh man thats stupid its happen to me aswell i made 2 gamertags but using the same email address i deleted them both cause i was thinking of selling my abox 360 but then i thought i will keep it i wanted to get them back but it only recovered the 1 account so is there no way of getting it back
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M3 Sweatt, Official Rep

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As John from MSFT mentioned, please see Major Nelson's post at http://majornelson.com/archive/2009/0... on this topic for information.

The Xbox team is actively working on an update that will allow customers to link a Gamertag to a new Windows Live ID if one becomes dormant.

If anyone should have an issue regarding their Xbox 360 or Xbox LIVE account should visit xbox.com/support so they can assist you.

(As a tip, I personally have a profile set up in Windows Live Mail to access the LiveID linked to my Xbox Live gamertag to keep it from becoming dormant.)

As for feedback toproduct teams: comments from this forum are often forwarded to the contacts in appropriate product groups through our support folks. Another reason why it's important to use our online support systems as our customer support teams meet regularly with product groups to review reported issues.
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David

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i got my gamertag in 2007 and a week after that i lost my broadband, i just got online again last month to realize this problem, my gamerscore is above 25000 and i cant upgrade to gold coz of this stupid email nonsence, if they think im creating a new gamertag, HAHAHA, they better get an update soon otherwise my xbox is going on ebay, the xbox has enough problems as it is and i personally dont think the xbox is worth all this hassle anymore.
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avengedmushroomhead

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Holy Poo! I Was thinking the exact thing, my Gamerscore is not as impressive (9780) but i still want to keep it and my game saves but I have no way of changing the ID on my Gamertag and I am very very hesitant to start over so i can use the new ID.
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I experienced this problem back in March when I tried to upgrade my account to Gold for the Netflix experience. I called XBOX Live support only to follow their directions to delete the gamertag from my XBOX 360. Afterward they informed me that they should not have done that and my information was unrecoverable (none of my achievements, saved games, or friends were available). After escalating on a few different calls, I could never get past first line support to express my frustration nor could I get any sort of compensation for the inconvenience. Needless to say, I have not turned on the console since :(. I really wish MS would hurry up and roll out the capability major nelson speaks about where we get to recover with a different Live ID. Perhaps notification will be posted here?

Thanks MS people for listening on this forum, I might call the XBox Live support team today to find out if there is any movement on the account issue. Good to see I am not the only miserable soul,

G
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Stephanie

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I am having this problem now, and the guy at support told me to delete my gamer tag and try to recover it!!! You mean all my DLC is LOST???????? OH, hell no!!! HELLO SONY!!!!!!!! Sorry to leave you so long to get duped by Microsoft! I bought both of my Xboxes on launch and had my tag since the original console. Is this how Microsoft is treating their loyal customers? Why didn't I get an email letting me know about an expiration, and why did I still get emails saying thank you for purchasing a 1600 Microsoft point card everytime i used one on an "expired" account????? I don't game online, but I do buy A LOT of DLC. I don't even mind losing my saved games or progress. I just want all my DLC back. You know, the 3 ring problem was just a minor inconvenience, but this is how i get payed back for having a console break down on me, sent away, exchanged, then try to get my DRM licenses updated!!!! Thumbs up to Microsoft for their excellent customer service. I hope you know my last statement was sarcasm. They had no problem taking my money from me on an "expired account" and now they are telling me that I can't even create a new one and get credit for all that I purchased. I am more than a LITTLE upset!
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Vince Roti

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When is this gonna get fixed. I've been waiting on my live account for almost 6 months since you guys said you are gonna post up the update. What is taking so damn long, I'm missing so much game time and I don't feel like playing on my secondary account, I would much rather play on the account I had since Halo 2 came out. Please you guys need to hurry with this update.
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th0ught

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"trying to fix it"... yea, that's what they say but it shouldnt take this long to figure out. http://twitter.com/XboxCSApathy
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John Johnson

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THIS IS AN OUTRAGE!!!! The achievement points are one thing - we all have pride in what we've acheived playing our beloved games - but the DLC that we have PAID FOR?!?! That's what makes this such an infuriating experience for US ALL! Microsoft - WHY, WHY, WHY haven't you fixed this issue?! I have been dealing with this for over 2 years and thankfully I haven't lost my gamertag or acheivements - but I also am unable to fully take advatage of the service.

To MS employees - I have several friends who are game journalists, including the editor in cheif at a game magazine who will be getting the word out about your failure to resolve this issue for your PAYING customers.
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th0ught

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elliot

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8015d080 not possible to upgrade my account to gold after ive had the console for 3 yearsand just bought a 12 month subscription card which untill this problem is fixed i have no use for
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th0ught

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seriously... i would raise awareness about this page: http://twitter.com/XboxCSApathy

i am trying to make sure that Microsoft is conscious of the bullcrap they put customers through.
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elliot

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When I originally signed up for my xbox live account, I was able to use a gmail account for my email address in 2006. I had gold for a free month then only ever used the silver account. I have just tried to upgrade my account to gold after buying a £40 scratch card and keep recieving error 8015d080

After messing around for ages on the dashboard I realised an odd thing whenever I try to update my Windows Live ID I got an error stating that I couldn't connect to Xbox Live. That error message is wrong, and I have been able to access all different parts of Xbox live using my gamertag and have recently added 2 friends. I try and log in to xbox.com from my mac and it says I have entered my email address or password incorrectly, I know it is the right gmail adress as i still have the emails from 2006 welcoming me to xbox live.

I dont want to start a new gamertag, i have had one for the past 3 years theres a lot of saved games i obviously want to keep.

After playing the ps3 online FOR FREE for the past couple of years i was coaxed into buying a 40 pound subscription for gold, to play Gears 2 which I just bought for that specific reason.

So in all i invested quite a bit of money and now time to work out that my gmail login email had become "inactive"

Is there no easier way i could have been informed of this BEFORE id bought a gold subscription?

http://gsfn.us/t/9sl9
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Trace

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I've encountered this problem because I attempted to fix my xbox 360 online. I got the 3 red rings for a second time and they asked for my windows live ID ( Nice work MS ). If I'm not returned my original Xbox I'm screwed and if I leave it there broke it's just as useless to me.

The part that's most frustrating of course is the inability to relink your expired emaill to your gamertag. Would it really have been so hard microsoft to give some kind of warning in regards to this issue? This is especially true for people that are connected to xbox live which is the majority of people. Perhaps a warning email would've been appriopate.

Regardless, until this issue is fixed I imagine I'm one of many people that won't be purchasing DLC or new games for quite some time.
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calum

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Same. Im not happy with this problem. Im not purchasing DLC incase I lose my profile and can't recover it. I phoned up to ask if I could cancel my xbox live so my account would be offline the I could rejoin with the same profile and they said it was too risky as they didn't know if I would be given the option to join or if my DLC would still work. I wasn't even allowed to try on a profile with 0g and no DLC
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calum

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Same. Im not happy with this problem. Im not purchasing DLC incase I lose my profile and can't recover it. I phoned up to ask if I could cancel my xbox live so my account would be offline the I could rejoin with the same profile and they said it was too risky as they didn't know if I would be given the option to join or if my DLC would still work. I wasn't even allowed to try on a profile with 0g and no DLC
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Vince Roti

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I was in the first wave of the Xbox preview update and there is a feature list of what they did. Well anyway one of the features is to fix WLID's.

The fix is coming out anyday!
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Cortland Klein

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Now that the new Xbox update is out has anyone confirmed whether this is fixed yet or not?
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David

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nope, i'm still having the same problem, wish they would hurry up coz i have a really high rank on halo 3 on another profile but i wish it was on my proper one (which microsoft will NEVER make me delete.)