How to set up an Xbox account for Xbox One, PC, and Xbox Series X

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What with the Xbox One being developed by Microsoft, it’s no surprise that you’ll need a Microsoft account – with an Xbox profile attached – to get the most out of what the console has to offer.

However, having an Xbox account doesn’t just open up all the benefits of gaming on the Xbox One console itself. It’ll also allow you to play Xbox games on your Windows 10 computer, or via the fledgling Xbox Game Streaming service on your Android phone or tablet (currently in testing).

You’ll also presumably need an account to play games on Microsoft’s upcoming next-gen console, the Xbox Series X, which is due for release later this year. Setting one up now if you haven’t got one already will mean you’ll be raring to go once the Series X hits shelves.

Creating an Xbox account is a quick and easy process, and can be done in several ways. Here, we take a look at the simple steps you’ll need to take.

Setting up a new Xbox account

To set up an account on your Xbox, just follow these simple steps:

  • Press the Xbox button on your controller to bring up the guide menu.
  • Scroll across to the profile icon on the left to bring up the ‘Sign In’ menu.
  • Click on ‘Add new’.
  • Enter your existing Microsoft account email as the starting point for your new Xbox account. 
  • If you don’t have a Microsoft account already, select ‘Get a new email’. Here, you can create a new Microsoft email (using the @outlook.com suffix) or use an existing email address from another provider (such as Gmail, Yahoo Mail or iCloud).
  • You’ll then be prompted through the process of creating your account. You’ll need access to a different email or phone number for the verification process.
  • Enter your date of birth and accept the T&Cs.
  • Enter a gamertag of up to 12 characters – this will be used to identify you on Xbox Live.
  • You can choose if you want barriers to signing in with this account on your device by adding a local passkey or sign-in authorisation.
  • Next, you’ll be given the option to link your Xbox controller to your account, to enable automatic sign-in when you power on the controller. You’ll also get to pick a colour theme. After that, you're all set!
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To open an Xbox account online, go to xbox.com in a web browser and navigate to the profile icon in the top-right of the screen. This will take you to an Xbox Live sign-in screen – you can create a new account from here. You can also complete this process via the Xbox app on your Windows 10 computer.

READ MORE: How to clear storage space on your Xbox One

What this means for you

Setting up an Xbox account gives you full access to the Xbox online store, allowing you to purchase and download digital-only games, as well as take out an Xbox Game Pass subscription.

It will also automatically give you access to Xbox Live, which opens up all the benefits of gaming on the Xbox One. This includes online multiplayer gaming, achievement-tracking and other social features. You can even upgrade to the Xbox Live Gold service, giving you even more multiplayer options, access to free games and store discounts.

And, crucially, having an account will ensure that your game saves are automatically stored in the cloud, allowing you to clear local save files and free up space on your console. It also means you can carry on your progress from where you left off on different devices.

READ MORE: How to close all apps and games on Xbox One