How to refund games and purchases on Xbox

Xbox Twitch

One of the things I don’t think enough people talk about is the ability to refund on platforms like Xbox. With thousands and thousands of games, DLC, microtransactions, and subscription services, there’re an endless number of ways to ring up purchases to your credit card (or other payment option of choice).

But I’ve also noticed that when a purchase doesn’t turn out to be what one expects, many people don’t even consider exploring the option to refund on Xbox. Whether the game is broken or won’t launch or isn’t what they thought, they just don’t bother. Which is a shame as there are ways of seeking refunds on Xbox.

And while some users might not always qualify for refunds, thanks to a bunch of rules and stipulations in place to prevent abuse, it’s still worth knowing to make a request whether you’re playing games from your console or your Microsoft account. Here’s what you need to know.

Xbox refund

How do I qualify for refunds on Xbox?

Mistakes can happen when you’re mucking around in any console’s store. Sometimes the product you bought, like say Battlefield 2042, doesn’t work as advertised or is actually totally broken. Or you might have bought the wrong game, having mistaken The Outer Worlds for The Outer Wilds. Or maybe another user in your household made an accidental purchase. These are just some of the reasons you might want to request a refund on Xbox.

The process of refunding a game or purchase isn’t easy on any platform — and that’s likely by design — but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any restrictions on using the service. Here’s what you need to know about requesting a refund from Xbox.

  • You have to use the account on which the purchase was made. This might seem fairly obvious, but its worth reminding users that you need to have access to the account through which the purchase was made and can log into it via browser.
    • As a side note, Microsoft recommends you secure your account so that only you have access to your account and its purchasing privileges. Doing so can ensure no one but yourself can make unwanted purchases.
  • Refunds are not guaranteed. The vast majority of refund requests are in our experience, accepted without any issue for as long as they meet the requirements listed here. However they are still just requests. The refund option is meant to foster a positive “buying experience,” but Microsoft may choose to deny refunds if it feels the system is being abused.
  • Refunds don’t apply to all products in the Microsoft Store. The Xbox refund program applies to “digital gaming content.” That means purchases for accessories and hardware have a separate refund program that goes through Microsoft Support. Here’s what you can and cannot refund:
    • Xbox digital games and game offers, including bundles featuring multiple games or products
    • Xbox digital games DLC and expansions
    • Some Xbox digital games single-use consumables, as long as the item in question was not redeemed or used. That means any in-game currency you’ve purchased may not be eligible for a refund if it has already been added to your in-game account.
    • Digital game pre-orders up to 10 days before the product launches. If a player is still charged for their pre-order, they can then request a refund.
    • Xbox digital games purchased as gifts, as long as you’re the sender, not the receiver.
    • Digital movies or TV show purchases from Microsoft Movies & TV, and TV app purchases cannot be refunded.
  • Refund requests must meet certain criteria. There’s a greater chance of your Xbox purchase being refunded, it needs to meet the following criteria (in addition to meeting the above product qualifications)
    • Make the refund request within 14 days of the product purchase.
      • This can be extended to up to 30 days in select cases in which a player is unsatisfied with a product’s license agreement or warranty
    • Make the refund request without significant playtime invested into the game (an exact time limit is not specified by Xbox Support, either because the time limit is on a case-by-case basis, or simply to avoid players abusing the limit)
    • The account submitting the refund request hasn’t hit the limit for refunds or financial compensation within a given year. What that limit is, is not disclosed by Xbox Support, so it’s a bit of a crap shoot on whether or not Support thinks you have a poor record.
  • Refunds requests may take several days. It may take several business days for your refund request to be approved and another number of days for the amount to be refunded to your account. In my experience, it’s no different than on Steam or other platforms, but suffice to say, you won’t get to spend the money you get back until some time after your request has been approved.

How do I file a request for a refund on Xbox?

Right now any and all refund requests to be made for a purchase on Xbox needs to be done through a web browser and Xbox support.

  1. On any Internet capable device — ideally a desktop or laptop PC or any other device with some kind of large screen surface — open the web browser and navigate to the portal for Xbox Support refund request.
  2. On this page, if you’re not already signed into your Xbox Account, click the “Sign In” button. There’s a green one in the middle of the page and another one on the upper right hand corner of the page where your profile would also be and enter your Xbox Account information.
  3. Once you’re signed in, you can locate the purchases you wish to refund under the “Request availability” tab. There you can select them by filling the checkmark box located to the left of the game or game purchase title.
    • Note: If you don’t see the product you wish to refund, keep in mind that it can take up to 24 hours for recent purchases to appear. If you still don’t see it, you can fill out this refund request form using your personal information and order number.
  4. Select the “Request a refund” button located above and below the game and game purchase options, once you are certain of your selections, to begin the process.
  5. When asked, fill out the information on the reason for your request. Then click “Next” to receive a final summary of your refund request.
  6. After you’re sure that everything is to your satisfaction, click the “Submit” button to submit your refund request. Xbox Support will review your request over the next few business days and if it approves the request, you will be fully refunded with the amount going to your account over another few business days.