When I first got my Xbox, 5 or so years ago, I didn't have an Xbox Live account. I wasn't even registered for a free Silver Membership.

I played games on it; then, a few months ago, I got a Gold Membership. When I did that I lost quite a few achievements and gamerscore. I have tried going back and playing the games again, but I can't even re-acquire the achievements. When I go into the game that the achievements were lost on, it shows the picture for the achievements that I lost, rather than the "locked" symbol, so my box knows I got the achievements but won't give me credit for it.

I have tried e-mailing Xbox Support, but they were not helpful. Hopefully someone here has some helpful advice.

3 Answers 3


There are three types of Xbox accounts: local, free, and Gold. (Gold Family accounts work the same as individual Gold accounts for purposes of this question.)

With a local account, you can track your progress locally and move your profile from console to console using a USB stick (or memory card if you have an older console that uses them), but you cannot play online, and if something happens to your profile locally, it's gone. This is the account under which you initially obtained those achievements.

With an Xbox Live free account (formerly called Silver) or a Gold account, you track your progress locally as before, but your profile is also synched with Microsoft's servers, so you can recover it to other consoles without using a memory device, and any achievements that are synched to the servers will be saved, even if your console dies.

Microsoft doesn't say anything officially about upgrading a local account to an Xbox Live account, but there are suggestions elsewhere that it can be done. The best suggestion seems to be to sign into your local (offline) profile and then sign up for Xbox Live there. If your gamertag isn't already used by another Xbox Live member, then this should convert your gamertag to an XBL profile and retain your achievements. (Note that achievements earned when offline will not have a date stamp; this applies whether or not they are associated with an XBL profile.)

It may be possible that Xbox Support could give you instructions to merge your offline and online profiles after the fact, but that would most likely require you to upgrade the offline profile and then have Xbox Support merge the two online profiles ... that is not a process I would recommend, as it could go wrong in any number of ways, like making you pay for two Xbox Live Gold profiles and not giving you a refund once they fail to merge the two, or merging them in the wrong direction and overwriting the achievements you had.

As TZHX suggests, the locked achievements are most likely the result of those games storing your progress locally and assuming that you were credited with the achievement when you reached that point in the game. Deleting the saves for those games should fix the problem, because you got them with an offline profile and thus there is nothing online for them to be incompletely synched with. Note that you may have to sign in with the offline profile to delete the saves.


When you didn't have an XBL account, you were earning achievements somewhere on a different entity. Moving onto a different gamer tag (joining Xbox Live) loses those achievements. Depending on the games you play, I'd guess it's the game getting confused and thinking you've already unlocked the achievement based on your saved games. So I'd try deleting all local content you have for those games, clearing your system's cache and starting from scratch with those particular games.

  • You can do that on an Xbox? I didn't know that you could do that sort of thing, clearing caches, etc.
    – user273
    Nov 28, 2010 at 21:56

It may be that they thought you were cheating, and reset your gamerscore. In that case, you can't ever get gamerscore again.

  • that's not the case, as I'm still racking up gamerscore
    – Rufus Vir
    Nov 13, 2010 at 18:34
  • It's not possible for offline profiles to be reset by Microsoft, and they'd have no reason to do so anyway because they wouldn't have received any feedback about those profiles. Jan 4, 2012 at 21:53

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