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How To Create A Distribution List In Outlook Office 365 | Easy Guide [Updated]

Learn how to create an email group or a distribution list in Microsoft Outlook and see what a tremendous timesaver it can be.

How To Create A Distribution List In Outlook Office 365 | Easy Guide

Contact Groups are a wonderful process to email a large group of people, in your organization, or even a family mailing or other groups like a team or club. You can use this group mailing system for your project team at work and your immediate family members at home. Creating an email group for a distribution list in Microsoft Outlook can save you a lot of time.

Once the group is set up, you can just pop it into the email and contact several people with a single message. If you’ve never done this before, we’re here to help.

How To Create A Distribution List In Outlook Office 365

Differences Between Contact Group, Contact List, Email Group, And Distribution Lists

Literally there is no difference between a contact group, contact list, email group, or distribution list while talking about Microsoft Outlook. The terms are used interchangeably.

Actually, the Microsoft Office support site now offers up the term “Contact Group” as opposed to “Distribution List“:

Use a contact group (formerly called a “distribution list”) to send an email to multiple people…

The Outlook application itself uses the terms Contact Group (Windows) and Contact List (Mac) on its ribbon, in its menus, and in its support documents. So, as we move through the steps below, those are the phrases you’ll see most often.

Outlook Distribution Lists – Feature

  1. By using a single email address, you can send emails to many people.
  2. Can be managed through EAC as well as PowerShell cmdlets.
  3. Allows any user (external or internal) to send emails to the members of the group
  4. Dynamic membership is available through Dynamic Distribution Groups
  5. Free or Paid AAD subscription works as a license

How To Create A Distribution List In Outlook Office 365

1. On the Navigation bar & Select People from the bottom left of the Outlook window.

3. Under My Contacts, select the folder where you want to save the contact group. Usually, you’ll select Contacts.

4. Click the New Contact Group from the ribbon.

5. Give your contact group a name.

Note: You can also select New Items > More Items > Contact Group from the Home tab menu.

6. To add contacts to your group, click Add Members from the ribbon. You can add members from your Outlook contacts or address book, or you can create new contacts.

Note:  To add someone who is not in your address book or contacts, select New E-mail Contact.

7. To add members from your Outlook contacts or address book, just double-click their name in the popup window and it will be added to the Members area at the bottom. When you finish, click OK.

8. For new contacts, enter the name you’d like to display for them in the window, insert in their email address, and click OK.

9. When you’re done adding members to the group, click Save & Close from the ribbon.

How To Create A Distribution List In Outlook Office 365 Admin Panel

Step By Step Process Of How To Create A Distribution List In Outlook Office 365 Admin Panel

1. Open Office 365 admin center and then navigate to Groups>Groups.

2. Then click + Add a group option to add a Distribution List.

3. The New Group page will get open. Hereunder Add a group, select the Distribution List option from the Type drop-down.

Note: Users can click on the + Distributions list tab on the Home>Groups page to add the Distribution List directly.

4. Add a Group name, Group email address, Description (optional), drag the option to On/Off to allow/disallow external users (outside from the organization) to send emails to this group. Read the instructions given below and click Add.

5. A message will be displayed that the Group was added. Click Close.

6. Select your newly created Distribution List and double-click on it. You can anytime edit the Group name, Owners, Members, and Exchange Settings using the respective Edit options.

7. Click Edit against Owners to add the Group owners. Click + Add owners, search them using the option, and add them. After adding desired owners, click Close.

Note: Group Owners need not be members of the distribution group. By default, the user who is creating the group is the owner. However, he can add more owners to the group.

8. To add members in the Distribution List, click Edit against Members option. Then click + Add members to search and add the members from the users’ list. Add the desired members and click Close.

9. You can also change the Exchange Settings by clicking the Edit Exchange Settings option against Exchange Settings. Different Exchange Settings categories like ownership, membership, membership approval, delivery management, message approval, email options, MailTip, group designation are available. Users can change the settings as per the need and click Save to save it.

10. You can manage the senders of the emails whether from inside the organization only or both inside and outside the organization by clicking the delivery management category within the Exchange Settings option. Select the desired radio button and click Save to save this setting.

Therefore, the Distribution Lists group in Office 365 is successfully created along with desired members and settings. Similarly, users can create Office 365 Groups.


In-Office 365, groups and distribution lists can be created to communicate through a single email address to multiple members. The procedure to create distribution lists is discussed here.

FAQ On How To Create A Distribution List In Outlook Office 365

1. How to create a distribution list in outlook office 365 mac

2. How to create a distribution list in outlook 365 from excel

  • Arrange your contacts and their email addresses in consecutive cells.
  • Select all the adjoining cells and choose Copy.
  • Open Outlook
  • From the File menu, choose New
  • Select Distribution List
  • Give the list a Name.
  • From the Distribution List ribbon, in the Members group, choose the Select Members command.
  • Click the Select Members button and the Contacts list appears.
  • Click into the Members box (at the bottom).
  • Right mouse click and choose Paste (ignore the format)
  • Click OK  The names will be added to the list
  • Click Save and Close

3. How to create a distribution list in outlook from excel

1. Open the Contacts folder by clicking on the Contacts folder in the Navigation Pane.

2. Click the New Contact Group icon.

3. Type a name for your distribution list in the Name text bar.

4. Click Add Members.

5. Choose one From Outlook Contacts or the Global Address List.

6. In Excel, select and copy your data.

7. Click in the Text field next to the Members and paste your data directly into it. If done correctly, each address will be listed on its own line. If so, click OK.

8. Your contacts should display like the example below.

9. Click Save & Close.


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