How to Separate Email Recipients With Commas in Outlook

Commas as Email Address Separators Aren't the Default in Outlook

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In most email programs, it is common practice to separate names of email recipients with commas. This process doesn't work seamlessly in Outlook, but you can change the settings to let you separate your email recipients with a comma when sending email.

Why Comma Separators Don't Work in Outlook

If you've tried using commas to separate recipients in Outlook, you may have received a "name could not be resolved" message. It means that Outlook doesn't understand what you want. That is because Outlook thinks a comma separates a last name from a first name. If you enter, Mark in Outlook, it becomes something like Mark, for example.

However, you can tell Outlook to treat commas as separators of email addresses, not names.

Make Outlook 2010, 2013, and 2016 Allow Commas to Separate Multiple Email Recipients

To have Outlook see commas as separating multiple email recipients:

  1. Select File > Option in Outlook.

  2. Open the Mail category and go to the Send messages section

  3. Put a check next to Commas can be used to separate multiple message recipients.

  4. Click OK.

Make Outlook 2003 and 2007 Allow Commas to Separate Multiple Email Recipients

To make Outlook 2003 and Outlook 2007 recognize commas as separating multiple recipients in an email:

  1. Select Tools > Options… from the menu in Outlook.

  2. Go to the Preferences tab.

  3. Click E-mail Options… under E-Mail.

  4. Select Advanced E-mail Options… under Message handling.

  5. Place a check next to Allow comma as address separator under When sending a message.

  6. Click OK.

  7. Click OK.

  8. Click OK once more.