Create a group in Outlook

Updated: August 2017

Groups is a feature of Office 365 that provides a shared workspace for collaboration and sharing. The workspace comes with a shared inbox, calendar, document library, OneNote notebook, and planning tool.

An Office 365 group is different from a contact group (formerly called a distribution list). A contact group is a set of email addresses. You can use the contact group to send an email message or meeting invitation to all the addresses at once. To create a contact group, see Create a contact group.

Office 365 Groups must be enabled before you can use any of the collaboration tools. If you don't see the ribbon or buttons described below, the feature might not be enabled for you. Talk to your IT department for assistance.

Tips: You can also create a group from:

Create a group

  1. Open Outlook on the web.

  2. In the navigation pane, next to Groups, select the + button. (If you don't see the + button, hover your mouse over the navigation pane.)

    Left navigation pane in Outlook on the web with Create button highlighted

  3. In Choose a name, enter a group name that briefly captures the spirit of the group.

  4. A suggested email address is provided.

    If you see "not available," the group name is already in use. Try something different. Note that once you choose a group name, it cannot be changed.

  5. In Add a description, enter a detailed description of the group to help others understand its purpose. This description will be included in the welcome email when others join the group.

  6. In Privacy, do one of the following:

    • To create a group in which anyone within your organization can view its content and become a member, select Public.

    • To create a group in which membership requires approval by a group owner and only members can view group content, select Private.

  7. Optionally, select Send all group conversations and events to members' inboxes. This is recommended when members belong to multiple groups because they can see all group conversations and events in their inbox without having to visit the group workspace. This setting will apply to anyone who you add to the group now, or who joins the group later. After joining the group, each member can change this setting.

  8. Select Create.

    Create group pane with all information filled out

  9. If you're ready to add members to your newly created group (you aren't able to add external users at this time), continue with the create group wizard. Otherwise, select Not now. You can always come back and add group members later.

Create a group

  1. Open Outlook 2016.

  2. On the Home tab, choose New Group.

    Groups options on the main Outlook ribbon

  3. In the Create Group window, enter the required information, including name, email address, description, classification, and privacy level, (Public or Private). You won't be able to change the group email address after you create the group.

    Create a group

  4. Select Advanced options and check the group conversations box to let members receive group emails in their personal inbox or keep it un-checked if you prefer that they access the group's mail only from the group's inbox, and then click Create.

  5. Add the members (you aren't able to add external users at this time), description, and a photo for the group, and then click OK. You can add members after the group is created as well.

    Create a new group

  6. Click Add. You'll see your newly created group in the left nav and a Welcome email in your group's inbox.

Create a PLC group in Outlook (Office 365 for Education)

A Professional Learning Community (PLC) group is a type of Office 365 Group that provides a shared space for educators to use for collaboration. PLCs are available in the Office 365 Education plans.

A PLC is very similar to other Office 365 groups. It comes with a shared mailbox and calendar, shared document library, and OneNote Notebook. The notebook is designed for educators and includes templates and lots of resources that provide ideas and assistance.

Create a PLC

  1. Open Outlook on the web.

  2. In the navigation pane, next to Groups, select the + button. (If you don't see the + button, hover your mouse over the navigation pane.)

    Left navigation pane in Outlook on the web with Create button highlighted

  3. On the Professional Learning Community tile, click Next.

  4. In Choose a name, enter a group name that briefly captures the spirit of the group.

  5. A suggested email address is provided. If you see "not available," the group name is already in use. Try something different. Note that once you choose a group ID, it cannot be changed.

  6. In Add a description, enter a detailed description of the group to help others understand its purpose. This description will be included in the welcome email when others join the group.

  7. In Privacy, do one of the following:

    • To create a group in which anyone within your school or organization can view its content and become a member, select Public.

    • To create a group in which membership requires approval by a group owner and only members can view group content, select Private.

  8. Optionally, select Send all group conversations and events to members' inboxes. This is recommended when members belong to multiple groups because they can see all group conversations and events in their inbox without having to visit the group workspace. This setting will apply to anyone who you add to the group now, or who joins the group later. After joining the group, each member can change this setting.

  9. Select Create.

    The create button is at the top of the screen

  10. If you're ready to add members to your newly created group, continue with the create group wizard. Otherwise, select Not now. You can always come back and add members later.

  11. You'll see your newly created group in the left nav and a Welcome email in your group's inbox.

Related Topics

Learn about Office 365 groups
Join a group in Outlook
Schedule a meeting on a group calendar
Delete a group

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