A distribution list allows you to maintain a list of addresses and send emails to all of them at once. When you create a distribution list, you can include addresses from several different sources.  It’s typically easier to create a distribution list when all the addresses already exist in an address book or Global Address List but doing so isn’t necessary.  You also can add new addresses to a new distribution list on the fly.

Creating a Distribution List/Group: 

  1. Open Outlook 2013 or 2016.
  2. Click on "People" on the bottom left part of the screen. In 2016, this is displayed as an icon (
    )
  3. Click on "New Contact Group" on the toolbar on the top left.
  4. Enter the name of the group you wish to create in the "Name" field.
  5. To add members to the group click "Add Members" from the top toolbar.
  6. After clicking on "Add Members" you will be asked what method you wish to enter those group members: from outlook contacts, from address book, or from adding a new email contact. 
  7. Once you have added the members to the group click "Save & Close" from the taskbar on the top of the page.

Creating a New Message to Send to a Distribution List: 

  1. Click on "New Email" at the top left on the taskbar.
  2. In the "To:" field type the name of the Distribution List, Outlook will find the group for you:
  3. Click the blue drop down to make the group name bold, once the name is in bold send the email as you normally would and Outlook will send the email to the all the members of the group. 

Modifying a Distribution List: 

  1. Click on "People" at the bottom left of the page. In 2016, this is displayed as an icon (
    )
  2. Find the group in the list and double click it.
  3. To add a member to the list: click on the "Add-Members" icon on the taskbar. 
  4. To remove a member of the list: highlight the user's display name and email address and click "remove member" from the top taskbar.

Creating a Distribution List/Group: 

  1. Open Outlook.
  2. Click on the People icon (
    ) located at the bottom left of the screen.
  3. Next, make sure the “Home” tab on the top left side of the page is selected and then click the “New Contact Group” button.
    1. If this button is grayed out, go to the top left of the screen where the Macintosh logo is and click on Outlook | Preferences | General and deselect the box labeled “Hide on My Computer folders”.
  4. In the new window that shows up, enter a name for the distribution list where it says “Untitled group”.
  5. If you don’t want members of the group to see everyone’s information, such as their email addresses, then check the box directly below the name of the group labeled “Use Bcc”.
  6. To add members to the distribution list, either click the “Add” button that’s located above the group name or simply double click the first line under the “Name” section.
    1. If the person you are adding is in your contacts, start typing their name and you should see their information appear in a window below. Click their name and the email should be filled in for you.
    2. If the person you wish to add is not a contact and does not appear when you type their name in, simply enter their email in manually. To do this, just double click the section to the right of their name under the title “E-mail”.
  7. After entering all the names you want, press the “Save and Close” button on the top left of the page.

Creating a New Message to Send to a Distribution List: 

  1. Select the Mail icon (
    ) at the bottom left of the screen and make sure the "Home" tab is selected.
  2. Click the “New Email” button at the top left of the page.
  3. In the “To” box, start typing in the name of your distribution list. A window will appear showing you similar contacts. Find and click the name of your distribution list.
  4. After this, write the email as you normally would. When you send it, Outlook will send the email to all the members of the group for you.

Modifying a Distribution List:

  1. Click on the People icon (
    ) located at the bottom left of the screen.
  2. Find the distribution list in your list of contacts or use the “Find a Contact” search bar at the top of the screen to find it.
    1. By default, the search bar will usually search in “All Folders”. This can make it difficult to find your specific group. To fix this, simply select “Address Book” instead of “All Folders”
  3. Once you find your distribution list, double click on its name.
  4. Here you will see the same dialog you did when creating the group. You can rename the group, add members following the same steps as before, or remove members by clicking on their name and then clicking the “Remove” button at the top of the screen.
  5. Once done making changes, click the “Save and Close” button at the top left of the window.

Creating a Distribution List/Group:

  1. Login to the University of Iowa OWA (Outlook Web App) at: http://office365.uiowa.edu
  2. Click "People".
  3. Click the dropdown arrow to the right of the "New" button at the top of the window.
  4. Choose "Contact List" from the dropdown window that appears.
  5. Enter a name for the list where it says "List name".
  6. Where it says "Add members", start typing the name of a contact you wish to add to the group. You should see their information appear below. Simply click on their name and they will be added. If their information does not show up, add them as a contact first, then add them to the list.
  7. Once done adding people, click the "Save" button at the top of the window.

Creating a New Message to Send to a Distribution List:

  1. Login to the University of Iowa OWA (Outlook Web App) at: http://office365.uiowa.edu.
  2. Click “Mail”.
  3. Click the “New” button at the top of the window.
  4. In the “To” section, start typing the name of your distribution list. It should show up in a dropdown window, click on it.
    1. If you just created the list it may not show up at first since OWA won’t realize it’s in your contacts. Give it some time and then log out and log back in.
  5. Compose the email how you normally would. Then click the “Send” button.
  6. OWA will send the email to everyone in the list.

Modifying a Distribution List:

  1. Login to the University of Iowa OWA (Outlook Web App) at: http://office365.uiowa.edu
  2. Click "People".
  3. Search for your distribution list in the “Search for People” section at the top of the window, or click on “Your contacts” on the left hand side of the window and find the group in your list of contacts.
  4. Click on the name of your group.
  5. At the top of the window, click the “Edit” button.
  6. You can change the name of the group where it says “List Name”.
  7. To add members to the group, start typing their name into the section labeled “Add members”. You should see their information appear below. Simply click on their name and they will be added.
    1. If their information doesn’t appear, either type in their full email and hit Enter to add them manually or add them as a contact and then search for their name again.
  8. To remove members from the group find their name in the list of members and click the “X” to the right of their name.
  9. Once done making the changes to the group, click the “Save” button at the top of the window.

Creating a Distribution List/Group:

  1. Start by opening “Contacts”.
  2. Ensure groups are viewable on the left side of the contacts window.
    1. If they are not, click View at the top of the screen and then select Show Groups.
  3. Click on the location where you would like to save your distribution list. For this example, we will simply save it under the “On My Mac” section.
  4. At the top left side of the screen, click “File” then “New Group
  5. Type in a new name for the group where it says “untitled group” and press Enter.
  6. To add contacts to your new list, select “All Contacts” at the top left of the window.
  7. Find the contact you want to add, drag, and drop it over the name of your new list.
    1. You can select multiple contacts by holding the “Command” button down while selecting them. Once all the contacts you want are selected, simply drag and drop one of the selected items over your new list and they will all be added.
    2. Likewise if you want to select every contact, press the “Command” key and the “A” key at the same time. Everything will be selected and you can just drag and drop like before.

Creating a New Message to Send to a Distribution List: 

  1. Start by opening up mail.
  2. Click on the “Compose New Message” button on the top left corner of the mail window.
  3. In the “To:” section, type the name of your distribution list. You should see your group appear below; click on it.
  4. Compose the email how you normally would.
  5. Once done, send it. The email will send to everyone in the list.

Modifying a Distribution List:

  1. Start by opening “Contacts”.
  2. Ensure groups are viewable on the left side of the contacts window.
    1. If they are not, click “View” at the top of the screen and then select “Show Groups”.
  3. To add contacts to your list, select “All Contacts” at the top left of the window.
  4. Find the contact you want to add, drag, and drop it over the name of your new list.
    1. You can select multiple contacts by holding the “Command” button down while selecting them. Once all the contacts you want are selected, simply drag and drop one of the selected items over your new list and they will all be added.
    2. Likewise if you want to select every contact, press the “Command” key and the “A” key at the same time. Everything will be selected and you can just drag and drop like before.
  5. To remove contacts, click on the list name on the left to display the contacts in the group.
  6. Select the contact you want to remove.
  7. At the top left of the screen, near the Macintosh logo, click “Edit | Remove From Group”.
Article number: 
102532
Last updated: 
February 17, 2017