Outlook 2007: Create a Distribution List

If you frequently email the same group of recipients, a distribution list can be a real time saver. Instead of having to add each individual contact one-at-a-time, you can simply add the distribution list to your email and you have included all of those contacts in one step.

1. Go to the Standard toolbar and click New and select Distribution List (if you aren’t displaying the Standard toolbar, click File, mouseover New and select Distribution List).

2. A blank Distribution List will appear. In the Name textbox, input a name for your list.

3. Go to the Ribbon, in the Members section, and click Select Members.

4. The Select Members window will appear.

5. Double-click on each contact you wish to add to the list, they will appear in the Members textbox.

6. When you have selected all of the contacts you wish to add to the distribution list, click OK.

7. In the Distribution List window, go to the Ribbon and in the Actions section, click Save & Close.

8. The newly created distribution list will now appear in your contacts.


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31 Responses to “Outlook 2007: Create a Distribution List”

  1. October 17, 2008 at 8:32 pm, eliz said:

    Anyone know how to cut & paste a long list of names from an email or document instead of selecting members one by one (in 2007)?


    • March 03, 2009 at 3:07 pm, Archierb said:

      Copy them all (highlight & Crtl+C) – then when you get to the ‘Add members’ bity above, paste the list into the box at the bottom.


      • April 02, 2009 at 4:46 pm, chasb said:

        That doesn’t work if the name displayed on the email that you copy them from only contained a name and not an email address. You get an error message: “Microsoft Office Outlook does not recognise [name]. Select the address to use: no suggestions”
        I’ve tried getting into the internet headers and copying & pasting from there, but Outlook 2007 isn’t displaying the headers.
        Very frustrating.


        • September 17, 2009 at 5:39 pm, Pat said:

          did you ever find a solution to this problem?


          • January 04, 2011 at 1:43 pm, Landfill321 said:

            copy the names, follow the above steps, click on select members then paste in the “Members field” worked for me….

  2. April 08, 2009 at 7:32 pm, Ashley said:

    This is a fantastic step-by-step process. VERY pleased!


    • June 09, 2009 at 3:34 pm, Alexis. said:

      This helped us at work very much. Thanks y’all for sharing the knowledge. *P.S… make sure to seperate each email address with a semicolon or Outlook gives an error messages saying it doesn’t recognize the email address


  3. August 31, 2009 at 1:00 pm, Anonymous said:

    Does anybody know if you can make a sublist for The distribution list. I have primary contacts and secendary contacts for different districts and I’m not sure if you can do that with Outlook 2007 or not.


  4. December 16, 2009 at 9:02 pm, Anonymous said:

    I can follow your advice above up to the Select Members window that appears with “Seach” on the left side and Address Book on the right side – with the word “Contacts” in the box below it. However, there are no names that appear to allow me to add members to the DL list!
    Note: All of my previous DL’s, and contact names therein, from Outlook 2003, are showing as separate folder lists under the “Contacts” listing. Do these names need to be moved?


  5. February 10, 2010 at 4:11 pm, Karen said:

    does anyone know how to create a duplicate distribution list ?


  6. March 08, 2010 at 7:33 pm, Anonymous said:

    I want to create a distribution list from email inquiries that I receive but am having problems. I create this ‘Prospect’ Distribution list. I click ‘Select Member’ but I only get the selections from my contact list. How can I select members from those who have emailed me?


    • December 09, 2010 at 4:47 am, Jack said:

      Did you get an answer to this. I do the same things with student emails. I don’t want them all in my address book, just copy and paste their email into a Disb list to use for the rest of the course.


    • January 30, 2011 at 1:44 pm, Jere said:

      This would be very useful. I have 1000′s of emails from job applicants and have been trying to find a way to build a DL without adding each individual to my contacts. Seems so obvious.


  7. October 01, 2010 at 7:13 pm, Gary said:

    This does not work for Outlook version 2007. I wish it did.


  8. November 15, 2010 at 8:29 pm, SheriL said:

    stupid MicroSoft…such a simple thing that would be so helpful…duplicating an already created distribution list so that it could be edited and renamed for another purpose (others added or removed)…sigh


    • December 09, 2010 at 4:48 am, Jack said:

      Did you get an answer to this. I do the same things with student emails. I don’t want them all in my address book, just copy and paste their email into a Disb list to use for the rest of the course.


  9. January 08, 2011 at 10:00 pm, Taya said:

    Does anyone know what the maximum number of names you can put on a distribution list is? It seems I often have to break up my lists and send out in smaller groups to get it to send? ANy suggestions??


    • January 30, 2011 at 1:41 pm, Jere said:

      It has been my experience that the ISP (Verizon in my case) sets the maximum number of recipients. I use hosted exchange.


  10. March 21, 2011 at 6:47 pm, Maria said:

    does anyone now the max number you can put in a distribution list with Microsoft outlook 2007


    • November 17, 2012 at 11:11 pm, Tim Galvin said:

      Did you ever get an answer to this question? I have roughly 2,000 contacts I want to email from Outlook as a group and I can’t.

      Any help would be greatly appreciated.>


  11. March 28, 2011 at 12:16 am, Greg said:

    I have finally discovered a “trick” to add names easily into a Distribution List. Let’s say you have received an email from someone sending a “broadcast” email with names you want to select, you’ll need to REPLY TO ALL or open the message and RESEND to get all the names in the To box. However, do not try to copy directly from this email message since the addresses are not properly formatted and look like this “John Doe .” Instead, you’ll need to click on the To box in your open email (either REPLY TO ALL or RESEND) to open the To box up to the “Select Names: Contact” box. You’ll see the same names in the To box EXCEPT that the names will all be underlined. This means that the email addresses are embedded into the names shown. You can then copy these names and proceed with the directions given in this column.


    • October 14, 2012 at 8:16 pm, Chris said:

      > That’s awesome, worked great! Thanks,


  12. March 28, 2011 at 6:04 pm, Ktkec324 said:

    I created the list but as said the address is not getting displayed as DL instead it shows up individual names in the sent items. Also not showing up for others. How to make it permanent/uneditable in global address book and make it look as DL instead of individual names?


  13. February 08, 2012 at 8:45 am, ConradvD said:

    I’m not sure whether this is possible but I need to link a group to a contact while adding the contact. Once I save the contact and leave the “Contact form” it is no longer viable to go to another screen to select the desired group (from a list of 38 groups) and then find the contact again (from a list of around 2000 contacts) to link the user to the group. There must be a friendlier way…


  14. March 04, 2012 at 11:36 pm, Nikhilesh said:

    when i am sending email from group it is displaying all the members in group name but i want only group name should display?


    • August 27, 2012 at 6:09 pm, Don Shellenberger said:

      > Did you get an answer for this? I’m trying to accomplish the same thing but have not found a solution.


  15. April 30, 2012 at 8:42 pm, Doris Horne said:

    Is there a maximium amount of names that you can have on the distribution list?


  16. June 23, 2012 at 12:28 am, Tom said:

    how do you hide the names in the group list in emails to the group?


    • June 25, 2012 at 7:21 pm, Jaime said:

      > @ Tom…I’ve created a contact for myself and in the ‘Display as’ box typed ‘Undisclosed Recipients’…now when sending an email to my group/distribution list I put them in the ‘Bcc’ box and myself (Undisclosed Recipients) in the ‘To’ box.


  17. July 19, 2012 at 2:05 pm, Anita said:

    I have reentered a distribution list and each time I try to send a message with that name; it returns with an error message. What is wrong? Do the display names have to be exact?


  18. July 26, 2013 at 1:13 pm, Chuck said:

    Thanks for the instructions. I followed them exactly and was able to create the list,but,I’m not able pull the distribution list up when I try to send a e-mail. The list name does not pull up in the “To” section. I tried entering it in the Global add and it does not pull up either. Any suggestions?



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