Create a group in Outlook

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

  1. Open Outlook 2016.

  2. Select Home > New Group.

    Groups options on the main Outlook ribbon

    Question mark indicates help content Don't see New Group in your ribbon? Your IT department might not have enabled Groups for your organization. Contact them for assistance.

  3. Fill out the group information.

  • Group name: Create a name that captures the spirit of the group.

    Once you enter a name, a suggested email address is provided. "Not available" means the group name is already in use and you should try a different name. Note that once you choose a group name, it cannot be changed.

  • Description: Optionally, enter a description that will help others understand the group's purpose. This description will be included in the welcome email when others join the group.

  • Classification: Choose a classification. Options available depend on what your organization has set up.

  • Privacy: By default, Groups are created as Private. This means only approved members in your organization can see what's inside the group. Anyone else in your organization who is not approved cannot see what's in the group.

    • Select Public to create a group where anyone within your organization can view its content and become a member.

    • Select Private to create a group where membership requires approval and only members can view group content.

  • Send all group conversations and events to members' inboxes Optionally, check this box to enable members to see all group conversations and events in their inbox without having to visit separate group workspaces. Members can change this setting for their own mailboxes.

  • Select Create.

Create a group

Note: This feature is available to Office Insider participants with Office 365 subscription. If you are an Office 365 subscriber, make sure you have the latest version of Office.

  1. Open Outlook for Mac.

  2. Select File > New > Group.

    Question mark indicates help content Don't see Group in your menu? Your IT department might not have enabled Groups for your organization. Contact them for assistance.

  3. Fill out the group information:

    • Group name: Create a name that captures the spirit of the group.

      Once you enter a name, a suggested email address is provided. "Not available" means the group name is already in use and you should try a different name. Note that once you choose a group name, it cannot be changed.

    • Description: Optionally, enter a description that will help others understand the group's purpose. This description will be included in the welcome email when others join the group. Click Next.

    • Type member email addresses or select members from the contact list to add to the group. You can add guests who are people outside your school or your organization to the group.

    • Privacy: By default, Groups are created as Private. This means only approved members in your organization can see what's inside the group. Anyone else in your organization who is not approved cannot see what's in the group.

      • Select Public to create a group where anyone within your organization can view its content and become a member.

      • Select Private to create a group where membership requires approval and only members can view group content.

    • Classification: Choose a classification. Options available depend on what your organization has set up.

    Showing create a group ui in Mac

  4. Click Create. You'll see a welcome mail in your newly created group inbox.

Choose your version for instructions

The instructions are slightly different depending on whether you're using the new Outlook on the web. Choose which version of Outlook on the web you're using to see the steps that apply to you.

IF YOUR MAILBOX LOOKS LIKE...

IF YOUR MAILBOX LOOKS LIKE...

Outlook on the Web Beta

See Instructions for the new Outlook on the web.

Outlook on the web

See Instructions for classic Outlook on the web.

Note: If your organization has included its logo in the toolbar, you might see something slightly different than shown above.

Instructions for the new Outlook on the web

  1. Open Outlook on the web

  2. In the left pane, under Groups, select New group or right-click Groups and select New group.

    Screenshot of New group button

    Note: If you don't see Groups in the left pane, your organization may not have turned on Groups.

  3. Fill out group information:

    • Group name: Create a name that captures the spirit of the group.

      Once you enter a name, a suggested email address is provided. "Not available" means the group name is already in use and you should try a different name. Note that once you choose a group name, it cannot be changed.

    • Description: Optionally, enter a description that will help others understand the group's purpose. This description will be included in the welcome email when others join the group.

    • Privacy: By default, groups are created as Private. This means only approved members in your organization can see what's inside the group. Anyone else in your organization who is not approved cannot see what's in the group.

      • Select Public to create a group where anyone within your organization can view its content and become a member.

      • Select Private to create a group where membership requires approval and only members can view group content.

    • Classification: Choose a classification. Options available depend on what your organization has set up.

    • Send all group conversations and events to members' inboxes Optionally, check this box to enable members to see all group conversations and events in their inbox without having to visit separate group workspaces. Members can change this setting for their own mailboxes.

    • Select Create.

Instructions for classic Outlook on the web

  1. Open Outlook on the web.

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

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

    Note: If you don't see Groups in the left pane, your organization may not have turned on Groups.

  3. Fill out the group information.

  • Group name: Create a name that captures the spirit of the group.

    Once you enter a name, a suggested email address is provided. "Not available" means the group name is already in use and you should try a different name. Note that once you choose a group name, it cannot be changed.

  • Description: Optionally, enter a description that will help others understand the group's purpose. This description will be included in the welcome email when others join the group.

  • Privacy: By default, groups are created as Private. This means only approved members in your organization can see what's inside the group. Anyone else in your organization who is not approved cannot see what's in the group.

    • Select Public to create a group where anyone within your organization can view its content and become a member.

    • Select Private to create a group where membership requires approval and only members can view group content.

  • Classification: Choose a classification. Options available depend on what your organization has set up.

  • Send all group conversations and events to members' inboxes Optionally, check this box to enable members to see all group conversations and events in their inbox without having to visit separate group workspaces. Members can change this setting for their own mailboxes.

  • Select Create.

Create group pane with all information filled out

  1. Open the Outlook mobile app.

  2. Select Groups from the folder pane.

    Groups folder in navigation pane

    Question mark indicates help content Don't see Groups in your folder pane? Your IT department might not have enabled Groups for your organization. Contact them for assistance.

  3. In the Groups header, tap +.

    Tap the plus sign at the top right corner of the screen to create a group

  4. On the New Group page, type a name for the group > Next.

  5. On the Settings page, enter the required information, including privacy level, (Public or Private), classification, and whether group members should follow group conversations and events in their personal inboxes.

  6. Tap Create.

  7. Type member email addresses or select members from the contact list to add to the group. You can add guests to the group.

  8. Tap Add. You'll see a welcome mail in your newly created group inbox.

Create a PLC group in Outlook (Office 365 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.

Notes: 

  • Creation of PLC groups is not supported in the new Outlook on the web. Creating PLC groups is now only available on Teams

  • If you want to create a PLC group, you can still do it in Teams or by switching to the classic version of Outlook on the web while it's available.

  • Existing PLC groups are not affected, can be accessed from Outlook on the web as usual, and used as you have always done. This change only affects new PLC groups. To learn more on how to create PLC groups in Teams, see Create team for PLCs in Microsoft Teams

See Also

Add group members

Create a group in Yammer

Learn about Office 365 groups

Join a group in Outlook

Schedule a meeting on a group calendar

Delete a group

Get support
Contact us
Expand your Office skills
Explore training

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