This weekend a lot of gamers hopped onto their Xboxes to relax, unwind and maybe crush some streaks on Xbox Live or rather of recent updates to the title; Xbox Network instead gave these eager gamers an error code “80A40004” and stating, “We couldn’t sign you in. Try again later. If that doesn’t work, we have a few ideas that might help you fix the problem.
Now it’s not uncommon to encounter problems while trying to sign into a live account on any platform, it’s pretty safe to assume nearly everyone has coordinated a live play with a group of friends only to be delayed by errors while trying to sign in.
It can be something very small or simple on the player’s end such as not filling out certain segments required in order to proceed or even not meeting their payments on their Xbox Live Gold account in order to keep live services going. At other times it can be completely blamed on processing limitations set by developers in order to do “repairs” within the server for live gameplay.
Why Does It Say We Couldn’t Sign You Into Xbox Live?
A lot of folks are wondering “why does it say, we couldn’t sign you in?” And while it’s easy to brush this off quickly by assuming it must be a problem in their system that they are currently working towards fixing; it also begs the question (with Microsoft’s recent title rebrand from “Xbox Live” to “Xbox Network”) is this due to Microsoft changing things up in the Xbox Live service?
With all of that out of the way let’s dive into some of the attributes that could present problems in order to cause this signing in debacle.
1. There’s No Internet Connection
It is indeed very possible it could be as simple as an internet connection problem, almost all of us have experienced Ethernet cable issues such as the cable itself has burned out or shorted out, your cat or dog found a way to pop it right out or even that wonderful hotspot has been cut out for some reason; all of these can definitely present a problem for any connecting activities.
Some states even have to put into consideration that a connection problem could be caused by something happening with the cell towers, be it lightning strikes, an animal crossed the wrong wire, or even a disgruntled person causing damage to said tower/transformer.
Even in a mostly wireless world connection issues can still arise, leaving you wondering “why can’t I connect?” While these issues can put a complete halt to your live gaming experience or unexpectedly interrupt your work, it is important to remember even with all of the technological advances made; the grid system is not perfect and is susceptible to problems.
Fix – Fix Your Internet Connection
So before you go rage quitting and yeeting your console across the room do remember live gameplay is just that, live; therefore absolutely needs an internet connection in order to work properly and provide that sweet gaming experience.
While it seems like an unlikely problem to run into, it is not entirely out of the question; in fact it’s a question not asked enough as a lot of us are used to a steady, constant supply of internet.
A good way to make sure you have the internet is to contact your service provider. So be sure to check your cables (if there are any) and remember sometimes patience pays off.
2. Incorrect Billing Info
Fix – Update Your Billing Info
Like most situations, information is absolutely key and the same could be said for billing information. While some may see this as basic knowledge it can also get confusing and is susceptible to human error.
Think of it like this, if you order a delicious pizza to be delivered, the pizza delivery or any delivery service is going to need specific information in order to ensure that the pizza is reaching the right consumer and they are receiving payment for said services; sure you can pay cash at the door but most people use credit or debit cards to pay, therefore the company or service will require information such as your card number, your location or address.
The same is true for the billing information on your Xbox Live Gold account, so it is critical that all of this info is correct in order for the service to be provided. While this error can be as easy as a typo on your part, it can also occur on the provider’s side of the transaction; take this into consideration and contact the Microsoft Support help center to be sure that all of your billing info is indeed correct.
Also keep in mind that the folks at Microsoft Support are in fact people, so do try to be as kind and patient as possible as they are there to help and to provide support and help, to not just the gamers affected by this sign in problem but to also provide it to anyone else having issues with their systems.
3. Servers Down
Fix – Wait For Server To Resolve
Just as we stated before in the “internet connection” section, technology is not perfect and has problems that must be resolved in order to work properly; this can also occur with Xbox Live.
Whether it’s a bug or something simply not working properly in the system, there are times when someone has to go in and fx said problem, also sometimes the service can still go on while these repairs are made then at times the live service providers have to “close the gates” in order to make repairs; in turn leaving live gamers “standing at the gate” wondering why it’s closed.
You could think of it as a theme park, employees cannot allow people to go on the rides if they are considered to be in disrepair; they must close down the park or ride until the ride or rides are repaired.
So why are they not letting you in? This can be as simple as they have to repair certain things in order for it to be considered safe & secure for the live gamers.
As in a lot of cases with technology and live services, it just takes some patience for developers or coders to get in there and “repair” the areas that need it.
So take a beat or even fill that time with something else you enjoy while you are waiting for the server to resolve, then you can get back in there riding your favorite rides with your friends. It seems we have a theme to this article, that is patience pays off.
4. There’s A Bug
Fix – Remove Your Account Then Add It Again
Removing your account then adding it again will allow you to get rid of any bugs that are preventing you from logging into your Xbox live account.
Fix 2 – Power Cycle Xbox
If you are playing on a console another effective method can be to power cycle the Xbox, which you can achieve by; shutting down the console, physically unplug it then plug it back in and turn the console back on, do note that this process will not erase any of your games or data.
Also this can be a useful method for if your game freezes completely. Be sure not to unplug your console while it is running as that can cause data loss and can really confuse the system in question.
Luckily we’re no longer in the early 90’s where if your Sega had an issue you could either blow on the cartridge and pop it back in or you could lose everything you have ever done in that game and let’s not forget those bricks called controllers.
Fix 3 – Clear Xbox Cache
Just like your phone or computer it can be a good idea to clear your cache in order to clean out all of that useless information clogging up important processes but how do you do that with your Xbox?
Well, go ahead and open the settings menu, from there you’re going to want to scroll down to the “devices & connections” section, then select “Blu-ray”, look for an option titled “persistent storage” select that option then a box will pop up with another option to “clear persistent storage” and that’s the one you want.
This will clear up all that “clutter” and improve your console’s performance. While this is a great and effective method it is not a guarantee to get everything working properly again however this is both a good start and a good habit to form with your devices as all that information can build and cause bigger problems in the future.
So every now and again remember it’s a good idea to clear out that clutter that’s keeping you from getting back in the game where you can have fun and conquer foes in an escaping world, where this world’s problems usually don’t dare to tread.
Fix 4 – Try Again Later
This may have been stated many times, however, it truly can help. Sometimes you’ve got to take a step back and wait, you can fill this time anyway you see fit, catching up on a good book, finally getting back to that hobby, taking your dog on a walk or simply taking a minute to just relax.
All of these are valid “time eaters” and can provide not just you some time to do whatever but also possibly adequate time for the problems to be fixed. Then check back in and you may find that you are good to go and if not, oh darn I guess you’ll have to get back to that book.
Just find a way to occupy that time and take your mind off the issue at hand, maybe check out gamer reviews or gaming news so you can stay up to date with the ever changing landscape of gaming. Any way you find to fill the time is adequate, just remember there are times when taking a break can be the best thing to do when these issues come up.
Fix 5 – Try Signing In On Another Device/Browser
One of the many tactics we have to offer is try signing in on another device or even on a different browser, this can offer the same effect as a “clear cache” or “power cycle” method; giving the system the chance to re-evaluate your sign-in process, hopefully granting you the sought after access.
Fix 6 – Update Xbox
It can be annoying when you go to use your phone only to be interrupted by the “updates required” notification, while this can really hold up your fun, it can also slow things down.
Updates are essential to most devices, this is not a crude attempt for companies to acquire more of your data to be used, no; these updates not only help apps to run correctly but also at times can offer new features.
Just like your phone, your Xbox needs to be updated to run properly so be sure you have done this. Most Xboxes will do this automatically, however, if you’d like to be sure, here’s how to update your Xbox:
First off make sure you are certainly connected to the internet, press the Xbox button to open up the guide, find the section entitled profile & system, then select settings, go to “system” then go to “updates” there you should find an option for “console updates available” and that will update your Xbox console system.
Remember updates are important and are usually relatively easy to install, so stop putting off that long-awaited update and let it do its thing, your console and system will thank you for it.
Plus keeping up on updates is a healthy practice for your devices, think of it as a shower for your tech; not only washing away stuff you really don’t need but offering it stuff it does need such as; software updates, malware protection, and critical processing limitations. If you take care of your tech it will take care of you.
Fix 7 – Try Logging Into Another Account
Among all of these useful tips and tricks to get you signed in is another valid way, you can try logging into another account. This is another “clean slate” method that could be a simple answer to a rather complicated system.
All you have to do is sign out of your current account that you’ve tried to sign in with, then sign into any other account on your console that is capable of Xbox Live.
This is a good way to again; get the system and service to re-evaluate your request to sign in and can expose any problems that may be occurring on the previously used account. Plus you’re in, you can get back to cracking skulls on that kill streak or finally take that number one spot on the leaderboard you’ve been striving towards.
Fix 8 – Contact Microsoft Support
While some gamers and well, anyone can absolutely loathe contacting a “help” or “support” center, this can sometimes prove to be the best option to get answers to why you can’t log in and any other questions or issues you may be having.
See these “help” or “support” centers are there for a reason, the reason being to help you, the consumer; sure at times they can be frustrating however by contacting Microsoft Support you are getting help from not just professionals but also by the team on the other side that is trying to provide the best experience possible.
So while this can be anxiety-inducing for some, it really could be the answer to all of your sign in problems; plus this also helps the team on Microsoft recognize and target where they need to be focused on, as some issues may not be that obvious to them on their side.
Also remember that the helpers on the other side at Microsoft are indeed humans and should be treated fairly as not just one of them is responsible for everything, it is absolutely a team that is striving towards the best performance possible.
Some Last Ditch Attempts
As always there has been some considerable troubleshooting over on Reddit, a lot of gamers are experiencing the same issue. While most have come up with interesting ideas such as, restarting your router.
Also there is a last ditch effort, a hail Mary if you will; which would be uninstalling the game and then reinstalling it, however, this should serve as a last resort as you could possibly lose data in the game.
All of this is believed by gamers to be on Microsoft as some Reddit-ers have also claimed that they could not get into the Microsoft App Store either, almost certainly proving that this is not just a Xbox Live issue but rather an entire system issue, possibly brought on by the adjustments they have been making and while it might not be a long lasting issue it is still an issue waiting to be fixed.
While these problems may not affect other services they could possibly disrupt gamer tournaments creating yet another heavy-handed backlash from the gaming community.
All of these issues are just that, issues; meaning that they can be resolved and there are answers to them, some simple and some not so much. However these problems will not last forever and as stated, who knows what Microsoft plans to do, to not only combat these issues but also what path they will take in the future to avoid these problems.