How to Add Members to a Distribution List in Outlook

Use a new address or existing contact to update Outlook contact groups

When you create a distribution list in Microsoft Outlook, it's easy to send a single email to a group of people. There are two ways to add users to a distribution group in Outlook: Import contacts that are in your address book, or add members to the list by their email addresses.

Instructions in this article apply to Outlook 2019, Outlook 2016, Outlook 2013, Outlook.com, and Outlook for Microsoft 365.

How to Add Emails to a Distribution List in Outlook

To add members to a distribution list (also called a contact group) in Outlook:

  1. Open the Outlook desktop app and select the Home tab, then select Address Book.

    Open the Outlook desktop app and select the Home tab, then select Address Book.
  2. In the Address Book window, select the distribution list.

    In the Address Book window, double-click the distribution list.
  3. In the Contact Group window, go to the Contact Group tab, select Add Members, then choose the location where the contact is stored. If the contact is in your address book, choose From Outlook Contacts. If the contact isn't in your address book, select New E-Mail Contact.

    In the Contact Group window, go to the Contact Group tab, select Add Members, then choose the location where the contact is stored.
  4. To add existing contacts from your Outlook Contact list, choose the contacts you want to add to the distribution list (hold Ctrl to select more than one contact), then select Members. Select OK to return to the distribution list.

    Choose the contacts you want to add to the distribution list, then select Members. and OK.
  5. To add a new contact, enter a Display name and E-mail address. Select OK to return to the distribution list.

    To add a new contact, enter a Display name and E-mail address, then select OK
  6. In the Contact Group window, go to the Contact Group tab and select Save & Close.

    In the Contact Group window, go to the Contact Group tab and select Save & Close.

The group is now updated with the new contact, and you can send an email to the distribution list.

How to Add Emails to a List in Outlook.com

The process for adding members to a mailing list is a little different when using Outlook.com:

  1. Select the People icon in the lower-left corner of Outlook.com

    Select the People icon in the lower-left corner of Outlook.com
  2. Select the All Contacts tab, then select the contact you want to add.

    Select the All Contacts tab, then select the contact you want to add.
  3. Select Add to list, then select the plus (+) next to the distribution list.

    Select Add to list, then select the plus (+) next to the distribution list.