How To Create An Email Group In Outlook

Creating an Outlook email group (sometimes known as a “contact group”) can be a huge time saver, especially if you email the same people on a regular basis. If you’re like most people, you probably have friends, family members, coworkers, or clients with whom you maintain regular contact via email. Rather than drafting individual emails for every single person and searching through your contacts to make sure you include all the right people, you can simply create one or more email groups and save a ton of time!

But if you’ve never created an Outlook email group before, you’ve probably got a few important questions. For example, how many contacts can you put in an email group? What’s the process for creating one? Can you exclude certain members of a group when sending a group email? Finally, where can you get help with Outlook from trained IT experts?

In today’s guide, we will answer all of these questions and more, but first, let’s examine exactly what an email group is and how it works:

What Is An Outlook Email Group?

In simple terms, an Outlook email group is just a mailing or distribution list created within Outlook using new or existing contacts. It’s a very intuitive feature that allows you to send a single email to multiple people at once, without having to CC or BCC each additional recipient. Instead, you can group together similar contacts to help save yourself a lot of time and effort when drafting emails. The number of contacts you can add to a single Outlook email group generally maxes out at 70. However, if your Outlook account is linked to an Exchange Server, there is no limit to the number of contacts you can add to a single group.

The Benefits Of Creating An Outlook Group Email

As we’ve already noted, the primary benefit of creating email groups in Outlook is the time-saving factor. If you’re a working professional or just someone who sends a lot of emails, you know that even shaving a few seconds off of each task could end up saving you hours each week. Thus, creating an email group can greatly improve your efficiency at work or in your personal life.

In addition to saving time, there are a few other important benefits to consider:

  • Streamlined Communication – Sending out a single email to a group of individuals makes it far easier and faster to communicate, particularly if you’re working with a team or department. Rather than typing out individual emails to make announcements, ask questions, or provide updates, you can just draft one email for an entire group and hit send.
  • Easier Group Management – You may know which “group” everyone in your contacts belongs to, but actually creating groups and adding members can help you manage different parts of your life in a more organized way. For example, if you want to announce an upcoming family event, you can create a group just for family members. Alternatively, if you have a specific group of coworkers with whom you want to share information on a regular basis, you can create a different group just for them.
  • Fewer Typos & Miscommunications – Without groups, you would have to type out each email individually, which greatly increases the risk of typos. Even if you use copy and paste, you could fail to make some necessary edits, like changing names or specific instructions. Sending group emails can allow you to address everybody in one email, greatly reducing the risk of typos and awkward mistakes.
  • Enhanced Collaboration – When you share emails with an entire group, it fosters an environment of collaboration. Everyone in the group can comment, contribute, share ideas, give feedback, or offer updates. With individual emails, you’re having lots of one-on-one conversations that don’t allow people to develop a rapport with the group as a whole.
  • Reduced Inbox Clutter – Having dozens or even hundreds of active email threads can be a nightmare. Not only is it hard to keep up with every discussion, but it can also clutter your inbox and make it difficult to address the most important emails first. With Outlook email groups, you can reduce those dozens or hundreds of messages to just a few email threads.
  • More Adaptive Contacts List – In a professional environment, you’re bound to see people come and go from a company. Rather than constantly updating your contact list, you can simply create preset email groups that will send to the relevant team or department, regardless of who has left or been added.

How To Create A Group Email In Outlook

Creating an email group is super easy, and then sending emails to one of your groups is even easier. First, let’s look at the steps to create an email group in Outlook:

  1. Open Outlook
  2. In the Navigation bar, select “People”
  3. Go to Home > New Contact Group
  4. Type a name for the group in the Contact Group box
  5. Go to Contact Group > Add Members
  6. Select contacts from Outlook or other email lists to add to the group (you may need to hold the CTRL key to select more than one contact at a time)
  7. Click “Save & Close” to finalize the changes

And that’s all it takes! With just a few easy steps, you can set up a new email group and start sending out messages. Once you’re ready to draft you’re first group email in Outlook, you’ll just need to follow these steps:

  1. Go to Home > New Email
  2. Click “To”
  3. Type the name of your contact group
  4. Double-click the name of the group you want to add
  5. Click “OK”
  6. Draft and send your email

As you can see, sending an email to a group is easy. And if you only want to send an email to certain members of a group, you can do that, too. After you type the name of your contact group in the search box, there should be a plus sign next to it. Click on the plus sign to see a list of all the members of the group. Simply remove members from the list that you want to exclude from this particular message. Keep in mind that this does not remove the contacts from the group; it only excludes them from receiving the message you are currently drafting.

How To Edit Groups

After creating an email group in Outlook, you might have the need to add new members or remove existing ones. Either way, you can follow these steps:

  1. In Outlook, navigate to the left pane and find “Groups”
  2. Select the group you want to edit
  3. Click on the three horizontal dots near the top of the window and then go to “Settings”
  4. Select “Edit Group”
  5. Add or remove members as needed
  6. Click “Save” to finalize your changes

How To Share A Contact Group In Outlook

Finally, if you want to share a contact group in Outlook with someone else, just follow these steps:

  1. Open a new message in Outlook
  2. Select “People” (or “Contacts”) from the navigation bar
  3. Drag the contact group into the body of the message
  4. (Optional) add any explanatory text as needed
  5. Send the message

Note: The recipient of the contact group can save the group to their own contacts by dragging the attachment to the “People” or “Contacts” icons in the Navigation Pane.

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