How to Make Free Xbox Live Gold Accounts

By Matthew Anderson

Updated September 22, 2017

Items you will need

  • Xbox 360 game console

  • Internet connection

  • Network cable

  • Xbox 360 wireless receiver (optional)

  • Xbox Live Gold free trial card

i Koichi Kamoshida/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Xbox Live Gold is the online service provided by Microsoft for the Xbox 360 video game console. Normally, this type of account is available only by paying a monthly subscription. It is possible to make a free Xbox Live Gold account through promotional cards inserted in many new games. These cards give a code that allows a user to create a free Xbox Live Gold account for a trial period specified on the card. The free account has all the features of the paid subscription plan.

Plug a network cable into the network port on the Xbox 360 game console. Plug the other end into your modem or home network router.

Alternatively, plug an Xbox 360 wireless router into the network port on the console. A prompt will appear. Select your network from the list of available wireless networks.

Go to the Xbox 360 dashboard. This can be accessed by pressing the "Xbox" button on the controller and selecting the option to go to the dashboard. Alternatively, you will automatically go to the dashboard by turning on the console without a game inserted.

Select the “My Xbox” option from the dashboard.

Choose “Sign-In” from the menu that appears.

Select “Create Profile.” This will take you to a series of prompts to create an Xbox Live account. Enter the desired online ID and password for your account.

Go back to the “My Xbox” selection in the dashboard after creating a profile.

Choose “Join Xbox Live” from the options.

Choose to create a trial Gold Account when prompted.

Enter the subscription code from the back of the Xbox Live Gold free trial card into the prompt.

Confirm to create the Xbox Live Gold account.


Xbox Live Gold free trial cards are typically provided with multiplayer-focused games. For example, "Halo 3" and "Halo 3: ODST" both contained these cards. The created Xbox Live Gold account will automatically change to a free account once the trial has expired. The most significant difference between these two memberships is that the free account cannot be used to play games online.