Create a contact group (also called a distribution list)

A contact group, also known as a distribution list, is a grouping of e-mail addresses collected under one name. A message sent to a contact group goes to all recipients listed in the group. You can include contact groups in messages, meeting requests, and in other contact groups.

 Note   If you have an Microsoft Exchange account (Microsoft Exchange account: An account managed by Microsoft Exchange Server. Microsoft Exchange accounts are used by organizations with many users. They make it possible to synchronize e-mail, calendars, and contacts between multiple computers.), contact groups are not saved to the Exchange server. Any groups that you create are saved on your computer and are available only in Outlook for Mac.

  1. At the bottom of the navigation pane (navigation pane: The left pane of the Document Connection for Mac window that displays saved locations and files.), click Contacts Contacts view button.
  2. On the Home tab, click Contact Group.

Contact Home tab, group 1

ShowIf Contact Group is not available

To create a contact group, you must set your preferences to show the On My Computer folders.

  1. On the Outlook menu, click Preferences.
  2. Under Personal Settings, click General General Preferences button.
  3. Under Folder list, clear the Hide On My Computer folders check box.
  1. Enter a name for the contact group.
  2. Do any of the following:
To Do this
Add a person from your contacts, or add a person with whom you've recently exchanged email Click Add Add to Group button, type the first few letters of the person or group's name, and then click the appropriate entry on the pop-up menu.
Add a person who is not in your contacts or with whom you haven't recently exchanged email Click Add Add to Group button, and then type the person's email address.
Prevent message recipients from seeing the addresses of other group members Select the Use Bcc to hide member information check box.
Remove a member Click the member, and then click Remove Remove button.
  1. Click Save & Close.

Group tab, Save & Close

The group appears in your Outlook contacts, and you can send messages to the group exactly as you would to one person.


  • To delete a contact group, open the group, and then on the Group tab, click Delete. Deleting a group does not delete contacts that you already have saved in Outlook or contacts from your organization's directory.
  • You can view the contact names in the header of a message or meeting request. In the To box, click the arrow next to the name of the Contact Group. After the list is expanded, you can’t collapse the list again in that message.

 Tip   You can import and export contacts from other applications such as Outlook for Windows, Apple Mail, and Entourage. For more information, see Import information into Outlook

See also

Add a directory service (LDAP) account

About On My Computer folders

Applies to:
Outlook for Mac 2011