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Log into Xbox Live every five years, or say goodbye to that Gamertag

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Gamertag only; anything bought on the account is still there

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Did you log in to Xbox Live today? Fair warning: You need to log in at least once before July 24, 2021 if you want to hang on to your Gamertag. So you better set your cryo-pod to remind you to unfreeze and check in sometime between now and President Kardashian's inauguration.

The five-year login condition is one of the terms new to an amended services agreement Microsoft is putting into effect on Sept. 15. For most, this is not going to be a problem. But it does appear to be retroactive. In other words, if you haven't logged in since 2011, the clock's ticking on your Gamertag you better do it by Sept. 15, when this new term goes into effect. Gamertags purged by the five-year lapse will become available for others to choose when they create an account.

This does not mean an account is deleted, or loses access to content purchased on it. Just the Gamertag.

"We've also added that if your account is compromised, we may be required to disable access to certain content," Microsoft says in a rundown of the changes to its services agreement, which covers Xbox Live, Skype and anything else involving a Microsoft user account.

"In the Code of Conduct section, we've added a prohibition on posting terrorist content," which is good, "and an explanation of our Code of Conduct for Xbox users." It's mostly housekeeping and other small fare, but you agree to it when you use the service, so read up if you have concerns.