Use contact groups (formerly distribution lists) in Outlook

Use contact groups (formerly distribution lists) in Outlook

Important: January 20, 2017: There's a known issue when sending email to a Contact Group results in error "An unexpected error has occurred" being displayed. We're working on fixing this issue. As a workaround, you can click the + icon to expand the Contact Group to send the email.

A contact group (formerly called a "distribution list") is a collection of email addresses. You can use a contact group to send an email message or meeting invitation to all the addresses at once. You can include contact groups in messages, task requests, meeting requests, and in other contact groups.

See instructions for creating a contact group.

  1. Open Outlook.

  2. Select New Email.

  3. In the To field, type the name of the contact group. For example, if you're sending a message to the editors contact groups, you'd type "Editors". Outlook will present you with a list of choices from the address book. Select the appropriate one.

  4. Fill out the subject and body of the email and then click Send.

  1. Sign in to Office 365.

    Select the app launcher  The app launcher icon in Office 365 , and then select Outlook.

  2. Select New.

  3. In the To field, type the name of the contact group. For example, if you're sending a message to the editors contact groups, you'd type "Editors". Outlook will present you with a list of choices from the address book. Select the appropriate one.

  4. Fill out the subject and body of the email and then click Send.

  1. Open Outlook.

  2. On the Home tab, in the New group, Select New Items > Meeting. If you want to schedule an online meeting select New Items > Skype Meeting.

    New meeting and new skype meeting options in Outlook 2016

  3. In the To field, type the name of the contact group. For example, if you're sending a message to the editors contact groups, you'd type "Editors". Outlook will present you with a list of choices from the address book. Select the appropriate one.

  4. Fill out the subject, location, start and end times, and body of the invitation and then click Send.

  1. Sign in to Office 365.

    Select The app launcher icon in Office 365 , and then Calendar button in O365 app launcher .

  2. Select New > Calendar Event.

  3. Fill in the meeting details.

  4. If you want to schedule an online meeting select Skype meeting > Add Skype meeting.

    New Skype Meeting option in Outlook on the Web

  5. In People, To field, type the name of the contact group. For example, if you're sending a message to the editors contact groups, you'd type "Editors". Outlook will present you with a list of choices from the address book. Select the appropriate one.

  6. Fill out the subject, location, start and end times, and body of the invitation and then click Send.

Have you heard about Office 365 Groups?

Office 365 Groups is the next step in the evolution of distribution lists and contact groups. It's a feature of Office 365 built with collaboration in mind and provides a shared inbox, OneNote notebook, library for files, and more. Learn more about Office 365 Groups.

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