How to Add Members to a Distribution List in Outlook

Use New Addresses or Existing Contacts

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Adding contacts in Outlook. Sam Edwards/Getty Images

You can add members to a distribution list (contact group) in Outlook if you want to include more people so that you can easily email all of them at once. 

There are two ways to do this. You can import contacts that you already have set up in your address book or you can add members to the list by their email address, which is useful if they don't need to be in any other contact list but this one.

Tip: If you don't have the distribution list yet, see how to make a distribution list in Outlook for easy instructions.

How to Add Members to an Outlook Distribution List

  1. Open Address Book from the Home tab. If you're using an older version of Outlook, look instead in the Go > Contacts menu.
  2. Double-click (or double-tap) to distribution list to open it for editing.
  3. Select the Add Members or Select Members button. Depending on whether they're already a contact, you might also have to select a sub-menu option like From Address BookAdd New, or New E-Mail Contact.
  4. Select all the contacts you want to add to the distribution list (hold down Ctrl to get more than one at once) and then click/tap the Members -> button to copy them down to the "Members" text box. If you're adding a new contact, type a name and their email address in the text fields provided, or just type the email addresses in the "Members" text box, separated by semicolons.
  5. Click/tap OK on any prompts to add the new member. You should see them show up in the distribution list after adding them.
  6. You can now send an email to the distribution list to email all of the members at once.