Adult vs. Child Xbox Live and Microsoft Accounts


My wife and I got an Xbox 360 for our sons for Christmas 2011.  Not knowing how much Xbox Live account information is publicly exposed and concerned about keeping our boys personal information private, I set up the 2 month trial membership of Xbox Live Gold that came with the console with my own personal information (birth date, name, email address, etc.).  After setting up the account, I manually changed the privacy and content settings to levels we felt were appropriate for our children.  Since the boys didn't end up using the Xbox Live account to play online, we let the account lapse to Silver/Free after the 2 months ended.  For the past year, the boys have been using this same account when playing games on the console.  In the past month, they have become more interested in playing online with their friends, and we would like to get a Gold Family Pack so that they can each have their own profiles.

After spending a great deal of time searching on the Xbox and Microsoft account support websites and this forum, I am aware of the following things:

  • It is impossible to change the birth date on an Xbox Live account.
  • It is impossible to transfer game achievements, gamerscore and other game-related history, settings, etc. from one Xbox Live account to a new Xbox Live account.
  • If an Xbox Live account is deemed to be an "adult" account, based on the birth date, the account user has full ability to change his/her account privacy and content settings.
  • When purchasing an Xbox Live Gold Family Pack, the purchasing account becomes the primary account and can add up to three other accounts to the Family Pack as secondary accounts.  The primary account can set parental controls on all secondary accounts.
  • If a secondary account is an "adult" account, that account's user can remove parental controls from his/her account that have been set by the primary account.


We now have an Xbox Live free account that has a year's worth of game history, achievements, settings, etc. for my sons, but this account is an "adult" account with my birth date.  Therefore, based on the above observations, it would appear that we will either have to:

a)  use the existing Xbox Live account as the Family Pack primary account, and force our sons to create new Xbox Live accounts with their own birth dates.  We can then add these accounts as secondary accounts to the Family Pack and, since they will be "child" accounts, control the privacy and content settings for these accounts.  Unfortunately, they will lose access to all of their game history/achievements/settings (these will stay with the primary account); or

b)  create a new Xbox Live account and use it to purchase the Family Pack.  Then using that primary account, add the existing Xbox Live account as a secondary account for one of the boys and have our other son create a new Xbox live account that can also be added as a secondary account.  Our son with the existing account will be able to keep all of his game achievements, etc. intact, but his account will be an "adult" account.  Therefore, at some point he will likely figure out that he can change his content and privacy settings to whatever he likes, despite whatever settings we may have placed using parental controls.

Neither option makes sense for us.  I don't want my sons to lose their game achievements due to the fact that I was just being cautious when I first set up the account, but I also don't want them to be able to change the privacy and content settings from what their mother and I think is appropriate.  It makes complete sense that Microsoft wouldn't want a child to be able to circumvent the privacy and content settings placed by an adult simply by changing the birth date on his/her account, but it seems silly to me that an account couldn't be changed from an adult to a child account.

Am I missing something here?  Can anyone provide any guidance as to how at least one of our sons can keep the game achievements, etc. from their current account, but also be prevented from changing the parental control settings on his account?  Would it be possible to create a new Microsoft account with one of my son's birth date and then switch the existing Xbox Live account with my birth date to that Microsoft account?  Would the existing Xbox Live account then be considered a child account?  Or is there a separate birth date associated with each Xbox Live and each Microsoft account?

Sorry for the long-winded post, but I have been unable to find anyone wanting to reset or change an existing account from an adult account to a child account.




Question Info

Last updated July 3, 2018 Views 198 Applies to:

Unless I am mistaken the only thing that the birthday on the account is used for is automatic blocking based on ESRB rating.  Beyond that, as a primary account you will be able to set access restrictions on any non primary account, regardless of the birthday associated with the account.  For more detail, check out this article.

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