Microsoft re-enables custom Xbox Live gamerpics as moderation strain eases

Xbox One S
Xbox One S (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft has re-enabled the ability to upload custom Xbox Live gamerpics on Xbox One, Windows 10 PCs, the Xbox app for mobile, and other supported devices.
  • The reversal follows temporary restrictions first introduced in March, which aimed to "streamline moderation" amid record Xbox Live user counts.

Microsoft has reinstated the ability to upload custom gamerpics via Xbox Live, following the removal of the feature earlier this year. The Xbox Live platform holder first introduced the temporary change in March, responding to "all-time record engagement" across its gaming services, in light of current world events. The reversal enables users to upload their image files as profile pictures, spanning Xbox One consoles, Windows 10 PCs, the Xbox mobile apps, and other Xbox Live devices.

Limitations to Xbox Live gamerpics came in response to increased users, clocking over 90 million active Xbox Live users last quarter, amid stay-at-home orders. Microsoft attributed the change to streamlining moderation, with every custom gamerpic subject to manual review to ensure contents align with community guidelines. Users attempting to upload images would receive the error message "Sorry, we can't upload your picture right now. Try again in a little while."

Xbox One Custom Gamerpics

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

The move suggests reduced load on Xbox services, with government restrictions steadily easing in many regions, and Microsoft adapting to current challenges. Users now looking to change their profile pictures can do so through supported devices (our step-by-step guide may help), followed by manual review from Xbox Live's moderation team.

Microsoft's temporary changes to Xbox Live gamerpics were one of few restrictions imposed as a result of the 42 percent increase in active Xbox Live population, year-over-year. Xbox Game Pass subscribers also surpassed 10 million, now offering over 300 games across the Netflix-style service for Xbox One and PC. Microsoft has reportedly also seen 270 million new friend relationships created on Xbox Live during the lockdown, as users digitally connect through games.

Matt Brown

Matt Brown was formerly a Windows Central's Senior Editor, Xbox & PC, at Future. Following over seven years of professional consumer technology and gaming coverage, he’s focused on the world of Microsoft's gaming efforts. You can follow him on Twitter @mattjbrown.