How to Create a Distribution List in Outlook?

David Hughes
David Hughes
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Are you tired of typing out each email address every time you send group messages? πŸ€”

Imagine how simple your life could be if you could send a single email to everyone at once with just one click!

With Outlook, creating a distribution list is a breeze, allowing you to manage your group emails efficiently. Say goodbye to the hassle and hello to quick, seamless communication. πŸš€

Keep reading to discover the straightforward steps to set up your group email in Outlook, and start communicating smarter, not harder! 🌟

What Are Outlook Distribution Lists?

Ever noticed that when you send an email to multiple people by typing their emails in the To or Cc fields, everyone can see who else got the message? πŸ€” That might not be great for keeping things private.

πŸ”’ The Bcc field helps keep emails private by hiding who else you sent the email to, but adding a bunch of emails every time can be a real hassle!

Enter Outlook distribution listsβ€”also known as contact groups in newer versions. These are special lists you set up once with all the email addresses you need. Whether it’s your work team, college buddies, or family, you can email them all at once without typing each email every time. πŸŽ‰

🌐 Starting with Office 2007, Outlook has let you create these handy lists. If you’re just finding out about this now, don’t worry! The instructions coming up next will make you a pro in no time. πŸ‘

How to Create a Distribution List in Outlook Desktop App

Setting up a distribution list in Outlook on your Mac, Windows, or even online is pretty straightforward.

Although the steps are similar across these platforms, there are a few small but crucial differences you should know. 🌟

πŸ’‘ Important Note: These instructions are for newer versions of Outlook (2013 or later).

#1 Creating a Distribution List in Outlook on Mac

Microsoft introduced a new version of Outlook a few years ago, which they call the New Outlook.

It’s sleeker and more user-friendly with several improvements. However, it’s missing a few features from the old version, including distribution groups.

No worries, though! Here’s how you can switch back to the old version and set up your list:

  • Open Outlook. Start by launching the application.
  • Go to People. Click the People icon at the bottom left of your screen.
  • Create New List. Hit the New Contact List button on the top toolbar.
  • Name and Add Contacts. Give your list a name and start adding email addresses by double-clicking the empty area below the name.
  • Save Your List. Click the Save icon to store your list.

πŸ”’ Privacy Tip: Check the β€œUse Bcc to hide member information” box if you want to keep the emails of your list members private from each other.

#2 Making a Distribution List in Outlook on Windows

Creating a distribution group in Outlook on Windows is a breeze! Just follow these steps, and you’ll have your group set up in no time. πŸš€

  • Open Outlook. Get started by launching the application.
  • Navigate to People. Click the People icon located at the bottom of your screen.
  • Create a Group. Click the small arrow next to “New Contact” and choose the “Contact Group” option.
  • Name and Populate. Name your new contact group and double-click the empty area below to add all the recipients you need.
  • Save Your Work. Hit “Save & Close” to finalize your group.

That was easy, wasn’t it? πŸŽ‰

How to Create a Distribution List in Outlook 365

Using Outlook 365 on the web? You can also create distribution lists easily! Here’s a quick guide to get you started: 🌐

  • Log Into Outlook 365. Open your web browser, go to Outlook 365, and sign in.
  • Go to People. Click the People icon located in the left pane.
  • Start a New List. Click the arrow next to “New contact” and select “New contact list.”
  • Name and Add Contacts. Enter a name for your contact list and add the email addresses you want.
  • Create Your List. Once you’re done, click “Create.”

Creating a distribution list in Outlook on the web is pretty straightforward and not much different from doing it on Windows or Mac! πŸš€

How to Test a Distribution List

Once you’ve set up your distribution list in Outlook, it’s a good idea to test it to make sure everything works perfectly. Here’s how you can do it, no matter which platform you’re using: βœ…

  • Open Outlook. Launch the application to get started.
  • Compose a New Message. Click to create a new email.
  • Enter List Name. Type the name of your distribution list in the “to” field.
  • Send the Test Email. Shoot off the message to see if it reaches all intended recipients.

This process works the same way whether you’re on a Mac, Windows, or using Outlook on the web!


Creating and managing distribution lists in Outlook is a breeze, whether you’re using a Mac, Windows, or accessing Outlook on the web.

By following the straightforward steps outlined in this guide, you can effortlessly set up your lists to streamline communication with groups, be it your work team, your family, or your friends. πŸš€

Remember, once you create your distribution list, testing it is crucial to ensure that your messages reach all intended recipients without a hitch.

This simple check can save you time and avoid communication mishaps. 🌟

Embrace the power of efficient emailing with Outlook’s distribution lists and keep your connections strong and your communications clear! πŸ“§


1. What is a distribution list in Outlook?

A distribution list (or contact group) in Outlook is a collection of email addresses that you can manage under one name. This feature allows you to send emails to multiple recipients easily without entering each address individually.

2. Can I create a distribution list in all versions of Outlook?

You can create distribution lists in newer versions of Outlook (2013 and later) across various platforms including Mac, Windows, and Outlook on the web. However, the method might slightly vary depending on the version and platform.

3. How do I create a distribution list in Outlook on Mac?

To create a distribution list on a Mac, first, ensure you are using the legacy version of Outlook, as the New Outlook client lacks this feature. Then, navigate to People, click New Contact List, add the email addresses, and save the list.

4. What are the steps to create a distribution list in Outlook on Windows?

In Outlook on Windows, open Outlook, go to People, click the small arrow next to New Contact, select Contact Group, add names and emails to the group, and then save and close the group.

5. How can I test if my distribution list in Outlook is working correctly?

To test your distribution list, create a new email in Outlook, enter the name of your distribution list in the “to” field, and send a test message. This will help you verify that all intended recipients receive the email.

6. Is there a privacy option when using distribution lists in Outlook?

Yes, when creating or sending out emails via a distribution list, you can use the Bcc field to hide recipient details and ensure the privacy of your contacts’ email addresses.

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