How to create a contact group in Outlook

Outlook 2016 2013 2010 2007 2003
If you regularly send emails to the group of people like your project team or your amateur soccer club, a one-time effort to create an email group for the distribution list pays off in the future many times. Microsoft Outlook offers a Contact Group to manage contact lists with a handful of personal contacts, email groups with dozens of team members, or distribution lists with thousands of subscribers.

There is no limit to the number of contacts you can add to the email group after Outlook 2007.

To create a new Contact Group, do the following:

   1.   Open the Contact Group dialog box to create a new distribution list for Outlook by doing one of the following:

  • In the Contacts view, on the Home tab, in the New group, click the New Contact Group button:
    New Contact Group in Outlook 365
  • In any other view, on the Home tab, in the New group, click the New Items button and then choose More Items -> Contact Group:
    New Items in Outlook 365
  • Press Ctrl+Shift+L (a helpful shortcut for those who need to create dozens of email lists).

   2.   In the Contact Group dialog box:

Contact Group in Outlook 365
  • In the Name field, enter the desired name for the email group (the name can contain spaces).
  • On the Contact Group tab, in the Members group, click the Add Members list and then choose how you can add the member:
    Add Members in Outlook 365
    • If you want to add an existing member From Outlook Contacts or From Address Book, do the following:
      1. In the Address Book drop-down list, click the address book that contains the email addresses that you want to include in your Contact Group:
        Select Members in Outlook 365
      2. In the list of names, click on the names that you want to add, and then click Members.

      You can add names from different address books to the same Contact Group in Outlook.

    • If you need to add a New E-mail Contact, enter the information for the person from the distribution list in the Add New Member dialog box:
      Add New Member in Outlook 365
    Do this for each person whom you want to add to the Contact Group.

   3.   When you've finished adding contacts to the Contact Group, on the Contact Group tab, in the Actions group, click the Save & Close button:

Save and Close contact group in Outlook 365

Now, you can send an email to contact list, email group, or distribution list in a few clicks:

  1. Create a new email message.
  2. In the To, Cc, or Bcc field, start typing the name of the contact group and use auto-complete, or click the To, Cc, or Bcc button before the address field and select the name of the email group from the list.

Thanks to the contact groups, you can treat a bunch of contacts like a personal contact list, an internal email group, or a public distribution list as if they are a single contact. Moreover, if you use the Bcc field, your recipients receive your message as a regular email message and are not able to see other contact group members.

See also this tip in French: Comment créer un groupe de contact.

If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to ask OfficeToolTips team.