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With Microsoft Windows Phone 7 now on the market, many users are discovering the Zune music and video experience on their desktop as well. Windows Phone 7 integrates your Xbox and Zune account together on your phone using a single Live ID account. But many customers are trying to make their Live ID’s the same on both the Xbox and the Zune Desktop. But from the Zune desktop you can’t chance you Live ID.  However……


Now why do you want to change the Windows Live ID with your Zune account.

The reason I will do this  is because I want my children to have the benefit of all the functionalities that Windows Phone 7 has to offer without draining my bank account. If I have to get the Zune Pass for me and both my children that will be a total of $48 a month. I own my children’s phones and pay their bills. This way I am in control of what they can use their Windows Phone 7 for and make a wise family choice which apps movies and music to purchase. For that same reason I have my children use my Xbox Live Gold account for the one $59.99 a year instead of $180 a year. In my situation I am saving the family over $500 a year in subscriptions and even more since we don’t have to duplicate previous purchases. Now if I could add a 4th device for my wife we can really be a total Windows Phone 7 family. 🙂 (for the Apps in the Marketplace you can actually have 5 devices using the same Windows Live ID, but for the Zune Pass only 3 ).

Microsoft really should get Family plans going for the Zune Pass and Xbox Live Gold accounts. With iTunes I can connect unlimited devices and have my family enjoy the apps and music we all bought on one account.

The Zune account let’s you connect up to 3  mobile devices. If you have more then one device in your family you can for example connect multiple Zune’s and or Windows Phone 7’s, then use the same credits, memberships, previous purchases and payment information.

A Warning!! Using this new Live ID for the purpose described above will let your family members on their Windows Phone 7 see the same Contacts, Mail, Calendar and SkyDrive items associated with this account as well as your possible Xbox Live account.  A separate Live account (Your Old One) can be added. More info later.
Tip: Leave this account as empty as possible and just use it for the purpose described earlier. An extra great use of this new Windows Live ID is to use this calendar as your shared family calendar and I will be able to manage the phones in one dashboard on the devices dashboard page. (Map it, Ring it, Lock it and Erase it)

How to change Windows Live ID without losing your credits and memberships.

The Zune desktop let’s you sign in with a different Live ID account but you will lose all your credits and memberships. Most users have their Xbox account and Zune account already linked and are using the same Gamer Tag/ Zune Tag.

The Zune account won’t let you switch your account to a new Live ID, but the Xbox does !!

If you don’t have a new  Windows Live ID to change it to you need to create one at www.live.com. Using the same first name and last name in your account will benefit you later on, when you have to re-set-up your Windows Phone 7. We will get to this later.

If you don’t have a Xbox you need to create a free Xbox live profile on a friends Xbox with your current (old)  Live ID on your Zune account. This action will sync your user tags and your Microsoft points and Zune memberships.

Now on the Xbox you can log in onto your profile with the following steps.:

  1. My Xbox
  2. Select your Profile
  3. Connect to Xbox Live
  4. Manage Account
  5. Windows Live ID
  6. Change Windows Live ID
  7. Select “Yes I do”
  8. Enter the password of your old Windows Live ID
  9. Enter your new Windows Live ID and password.
  10. Now all your Xbox and Zune credits/memberships will be transferred for free to this new Windows Live ID account.
  11. On your desktop make sure you log out of f from old Windows Live ID account and sign in with your new Windows Live ID.
  12. Now you can see all your Credits, Memberships and Payment information are transferred over when you click on the  “Settings” right next to your avatar on the top of your screen.
  13. In your inbox you should even have a confirmation that your Points transfer from you account was successful.

Extra Set Up for Windows Phone 7 users.

If you already had set up your Windows Phone 7 with your old Live ID account you need to unfortunately do a hard reset on your Windows Phone 7 using the following steps:

  1. Home Screen
  2. Settings
  3. About
  4. “Reset your Phone”
  5. In the initial set up now use your new Windows Live ID information
  6. Now your Windows Phone 7 will be associated again with your Xbox and Zune account.
  7. You can add your old Windows Live ID in the accounts set-up in which you will get your “Me”  Tile back. Only if you used the same first and last name in your old and new Windows Live ID.  Now you can select as well which information (Contacts, Calendar, Email) you want to sync from your old Windows Live ID. Unfortunately this is not possible with the new Windows Live ID account which was used during the initial set-up. The initial ID used with the set-up will sync all information.

Previous how to’s for Windows Phone 7


Microsoft does have a family plan for XBOX Live, plus kids can still have Silver accounts. The family plan is cheaper than 2 Xbox Gold accounts and supports up to 4 family members, which stinks for those with large families.


Zune you can share with up to 3 Zunes and 5 phones, but since the Live ID is tied to your Xbox account and Windows Phone only supports 1 Live ID, its hard to do. Microsoft will need to rethink this once again…

They should have 1 Main account and sub accounts. This would help also in using the Find My phone feature as well if parents want to keep track of their kids and their phones.

Exactly my point. Didn’t know about the family plan for Xbox Live Gold. But again one log in only on the Windows Phone 7 to connect to the Xbox Live.

The Zune pass will only connect up to 3 devices but the Apps in the market place can be placed onto 5 devices. And the video rules are different again as well (unlimited mobile devices)


Great write up. Followed it and it worked. Using the filters in the people hub and calendar hub the phones are still pretty seperated. The live drive is really the only shared things my wife and son see.
Thanks for the great how to!

Went through the steps of creating a profile on my son’s xbox with my (old) live id. Everything seemed to work fine but when I tried to assing the new live id, it said that it could only be changed once every 30 days! I was on xbox and zune support chat for over an hour before one of them pointed out that when I created the profile on the xbox, that started the 30 day clock and I can’t change the live id associated with it for 30 days!
My comment was: Why does a 43 year-old need a gamining console to change information with a $30 billion company? To which of course, they had no good answer.

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