How to Create a Contact Group in Outlook? + Merge [Distribution List]

In Outlook, a contact group (formerly called a distribution list) is a collection of email addresses that you can use to send an email to multiple people at once.

You can create a contact group from scratch, or you can add contacts to an existing contact group. You can also add contacts to a contact group directly from an email message.

How to create contact group in Outl...

Outlook users regularly send emails to specific people like the project team, core team members, professors, students, group club members, friends, and many other related groups of people.

Currently, what is the process?

Enter the name or email address of the person individually to the To, Cc, or Bcc line, sounds like no problem.

But there is one issue.

  • If you forget some members in the queue.
  • If the list of huge what is the alternative?

Create a Contact Group in Outlook [Distribution/Email List]

Microsoft Outlook offers you to create a Contact Group/Distribution List/ Email List/ Email Group (whatever you name all are the same) to manage dozens of team members and send specific email messages designed for them.

How To Make Outlook Group?

If you’re looking to make a group in Outlook, there are a few things you’ll need to do.

First, open Outlook and click on the “Contacts” tab. Next, click on the “New Contact Group” button.

A new window will open asking you to name your group and add members.

To add members, you can either type in their email addresses or click on the “Add Members” button to select them from your contact list.

Once you’ve added all the members you want, click on the “Save” button. And that’s it! You’ve now created a group in Outlook.

  • Open Outlook >> Click Home Tab >> New Items >> More Items >> Contact Group
Outlook Group

You can also get there using a keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Shift+L.

  • Contact Group window dialog box appears, now it’s time to do some homework.
  • Name your group (for instance – Black Friday Sales). As soon as you name the group, the window automatically names itself.
Add members group

On the Contact Group tab, in the Members group, click the Add Members list and then choose how you can add the member:

There are three ways you can add members.

  • From Outlook Contacts
  • From Address Book
  • New E-mail Contacts

From Outlook Contacts & From Address Book

Both the options are technically the same, after clicking on the options (Outlook contacts/address book), you will be forwarded to the address book,

You will get a massive list of contacts in your contacts, simply double click on the connection you like to add to the group, and the name automatically added to the member below: refer to snapshot

Click as many members as possible, you like to add.

From <a href=

After adding members, you can see the email address list on the board, Click Save, and close on the left-hand corner of the page.

You can also remove any member, if by mistake added, by selecting that member and clicking Remove Member from the tab.

Remove Member

From New E-mail Contacts

Once you have added the required members already in your address book, there must be some more members you need to add to the group.

For that, New E-mail Contact options come into play.

How does it work?

When you like to add members through new email contacts, that means your members are not added to your contacts list.

Simply click to Add Members >> New email contacts >> you will be directed to (Add new member form)

add new member

For new contacts, enter the name you’d like to display for them in the window, insert in their email address, and click OK, [It is recommended to always check – add to contacts option], it will save your new entry into your contacts.

Click OK, and your contact is added to the list of the group, and finally, Click Save and close.

What if, you need to add multiple email address which is not on your address list? New email contacts are a good option but not for multiple emails, for that you need something else.

You can create a contact list in excel, and import the list in outlook (refer to the article – How to Import Contacts from Excel to Outlook?)

How to Add Members to the Existing Group?

After saving the group the same is saved in the contacts on your computer, for more editing like adding more members or selecting an existing one, you have to find the group.

  • Open Outlook
  • Click to people from the navigation section
find the group email

You will find your group, double click on the group, you can further add members.

How does Outlook Send Emails to Contact Group?

Use a contact group (formerly called a “distribution list”) to send an email to multiple people—a project team, a committee, or even a group of friends—without adding each name to the To, Cc, or Bcc line individually.

As usual, creating an email for the group or individual is the same, type the group’s name into CC: or BCC:

A particular group name entry automatically adds all the members of the group, you can double-cross by clicking on the plus sign before the name of the group.

After clicking on the plus sign, the group member’s email address is split, and you can check a separate entry.

How Outlook Send Email To Contact Group

Click send and all your members get the messages. That’s the beauty of Outlook.

How To Merge Two Contact Groups in Outlook

Case Study: I worked in a multinational company (project section), and my job was to coordinate with the team members in different segments.

Execution team, billing team, and majoring team, the work of all the teams is different at some stage but when the billing of the executed work starts, there must be clean coordination amount all three team members.

So instead of dealing with the teams separately, Management decided to merge all teams.

For, transparency and proper communication all three groups required a single gateway.

How To Combine Distribution Lists?

There are three simple ways to send the message to the merged or combined group with a single click.

Option A:

During creating a mail, you can simply type the name of all the groups into To: CC: or BCC, when you click on the plus sign of both groups, all the email addresses expand, and the mail is sent to all the members.

Combine Distribution Lists

Option B:

You can create a new group while adding members you can simply add that specific group (instead of any member), that way you add all group members in a single group, name your new group, and the process of mailing is well aware.

Option C:

In the third option, you can edit one group and add another group directly, refer to snapshot – while editing the billing group, and adding more members, I simply added the group with other members, that’s a beautiful example of merging or combining the distribution list.

How To Combine Distribution Lists

You can also copy all the members of one group and add all those members by name to another group, that also works but is quite lengthy.

Wrap Up

In summary, A contact group allows you to create a consolidated, named email list of contacts. You begin by setting up a group and then adding members to it.

When you create a contact, you can choose whether to make that person a member of one or more groups. You can then view group members’ information in one place.

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