My previous gamertag was "PlanetOrtalon86" and I changed it to "PlanetO86". I want to change it back, but I'm getting an error message saying something like:

Maximum Length: 12 Characters

How do I change it back to the old gamertag?

  • 1
    +1, this question has gone from being a confusing lump of text to a clear question which describes what you want.
    – Z9.
    Aug 4, 2021 at 7:25

2 Answers 2


How gamertags work has changed a bit over the years, but currently the basic restrictions are:

Gamertags can be up to 12 characters long, including spaces. They can’t start with a number.

Previously, 16 characters were supported, but this changed to support suffixing:

We require at least 3 characters to auto-assign you a suffix and make sure that everybody has an equal chance to have a name they can be proud of. Many older games allowed 16 characters for displaying gamertags. We reserve three of those characters for the suffix and one for the # symbol, leaving 12 characters for gamertags.

Unfortunately, there's no way to get your old gamertag back if it doesn't meet the current requirements.


Your best bet is to fire up an Xbox 360 console and change your gamertag from there. However you may end up with an issue where you technically have 2 gamertags. Like, some games may show your new (longer) gamertag but in the Xbox Guide it will show your old (shorter) gamertag.

I've met someone like that a while ago. From the in-game leaderboard I opened his profile and the profile that opened had a different gamertag.

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