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How to create a group email in Outlook to make emailing a group of people more efficient

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  • You can easily create a group email in Outlook (also known as a Contact Group) to make emailing a group of people more efficient and convenient. 
  • A Contact Group is a distribution list that lets you add multiple names to an email message with a single entry on the To: line. 
  • You can add multiple names to a Contact Group and give it a friendly name you can enter on the To: line of an email.  
  • Visit Business Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

If you find yourself sending email messages to the same group of people over and over – perhaps your boss and a handful of co-workers – you don’t need to keep adding them to the To: line by hand every single time. Instead, create a Contact Group and simply send your message there. 

Here’s how to create a group email in Outlook. 

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How to create a group email in Outlook 

A Contact Group, which is sometimes referred to as a “distribution list,” is a set of names you can add to an email message with a single action. Before you can add one to an email, you need to create it.

1. Open Outlook and then click the Contacts icon at the bottom left of the window to switch to the Contacts view. 

2. In the ribbon bar, click “New Contact Group.”

How to create a group email in Outlook 1

Create a new Contact Group from Outlook’s Contacts view.

Dave Johnson/Business Insider


3. Give your Contact Group a name that’s easy to remember in the Name field.

4. In the ribbon bar, click “Add Members” and then choose “From Outlook Contacts” from the drop-down menu. The Select Members dialog box should appear.

How to create a group email in Outlook 2

You can add names to your Contacts Group from your address book or just enter new email contacts.

Dave Johnson/Business Insider


5. Double-click each name you want to add to your new Contact Group. You should see the names appear at the bottom of the dialog box. 

How to create a group email in Outlook 3

You can place any number of names from your contacts list in a new Contact Group.

Dave Johnson/Business Insider


6. When you’re done adding names to the group, click “OK.”

7. You can also manually enter names to the Contact Group that aren’t already in your Outlook contacts by clicking “Add Members” and choosing New E-mail Contact from the drop-down menu. 

8.  In the ribbon bar, click “Save & Close.” 

How to send email to a group email in Outlook 

You can repeat those steps to create as many Contact Groups as you want. Just be sure to give them names you’ll be able to easily recall so you can add them to email messages. To do that, just type the group’s name in to To:, CC:, or BCC: line of an email message, in the same way as you would enter any name from your Outlook contacts. 

How to create a group email in Outlook 4

Add the group email to the recipient column.

Dave Johnson/Business Insider


You might notice that a Contact Group has a small plus sign to its left. If you click the plus sign, you can “expand” the list to show you the names of all the people in the group. Be sure that you really want to do that, though, because once you expand a group in an email message, you can’t compress all those names back down to just a single entry. 

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