How to Create a Distribution List in Outlook: A Step-by-Step Guide

Creating a distribution list in Outlook is a handy way to send emails to a group of people without having to enter each email address individually. It’s a time-saver and a must-know for anyone who regularly communicates with the same group of people. To get started, you’ll need to open Outlook, go to the ‘People’ tab, and then follow some simple steps to create your list.

Step by Step Tutorial for Creating a Distribution List in Outlook

Before diving into the steps, let’s understand why you’d want to create a distribution list. A distribution list, also known as a contact group, allows you to group multiple contacts under one name. When you send an email to the distribution list, every contact on that list receives the email. It’s perfect for sending out newsletters, meeting reminders, or any communication intended for a group.

Step 1: Open the ‘People’ Tab

Go to the bottom of Outlook and click on the ‘People’ icon.
This is where all your contacts are stored. By clicking on the icon, you’ll be able to access the features needed to create a new distribution list.

Step 2: Click ‘New Contact Group’

On the Home tab, you’ll see a ‘New Contact Group’ button. Click on it.
A new window will appear where you can start adding contacts to your new group.

Step 3: Name Your Distribution List

In the ‘Name’ box, type a name for your distribution list.
Choose a name that is easy to remember and clearly identifies the purpose of the group.

Step 4: Add Members to Your List

Click ‘Add Members’ and choose from your Outlook contacts or add new email addresses.
You can add as many contacts as you need. If someone is not listed in your contacts, you can simply enter their email address manually.

Step 5: Save and Close

Once you’ve added all the members, click ‘Save & Close’.
Your distribution list is now created and ready to use whenever you need to send a group email.

After completing these steps, your distribution list will be available in your ‘People’ tab. You can send an email to the entire group by simply entering the name of the distribution list in the ‘To’ field of a new email message. It’s that easy!

Tips for Managing Your Distribution List in Outlook

  • Regularly update your distribution list to ensure all the email addresses are current.
  • If a member of your list changes their email address, make sure to update it in the group to avoid bounce-backs.
  • Use a clear and concise naming convention for your distribution lists to avoid confusion.
  • You can create multiple distribution lists for different purposes or groups of people.
  • Before sending sensitive information to a distribution list, double-check to make sure only the intended recipients are included.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I delete a member from a distribution list in Outlook?

To remove a contact, open the distribution list, select the member, and click ‘Remove’.

Can I add a distribution list to another distribution list?

Yes, you can nest distribution lists within each other for larger group emails.

How many members can I add to a distribution list in Outlook?

Outlook does not have a set limit, but larger lists may be subject to your email provider’s sending limits.

Can I send attachments to a distribution list?

Yes, you can send attachments just as you would in a regular email.

Is there a way to hide the email addresses in a distribution list when sending an email?

You can use the BCC field to hide the individual email addresses of the distribution list members.


  1. Open the ‘People’ tab in Outlook.
  2. Click ‘New Contact Group’.
  3. Name your distribution list.
  4. Add members to your list.
  5. Save and close.


Creating a distribution list in Outlook is a simple but powerful way to streamline your email communication. Whether you’re coordinating with a team at work or organizing a community event, a distribution list ensures that everyone gets the same message at the same time. Remember to manage your lists carefully, keeping contact information current and organizing your groups in a way that makes sense for your needs. With a distribution list, you’re not just sending emails; you’re building a network of communication that can foster collaboration, keep people informed, and save you valuable time. So, go ahead and give it a try – your inbox will thank you!