How to Add Several Contacts to a Gmail Group at Once

Easily create an email group or add new members to an existing one

Gmail makes it easy to send group emails to multiple addresses at once. If you want to add more people to an existing group, you only need to complete a couple of steps to make it happen.

The instructions in this article apply to the desktop version of Gmail that is accessed through a web browser.

Add Recipients to a Gmail Group

Follow these steps to add existing Google contacts to a Gmail group:

  1. Open Gmail. In the upper-right corner, next to your avatar, select the Google apps (square grid of nine dots) icon. From the list, choose Contacts.

    If you don't see Contacts, select More to view additional choices.

    A screenshot of Gmail with the Contacts app icon highlighted
  2. In your Contacts, hover over the avatar (or circled initial for people you don't have a photo for) in front of each contact's name that you want to add to a group. A checkbox is revealed. Select the box to place a checkmark in it.

    A screenshot of Gmail Contacts with a checkmark highlighted
  3. At the top of the list, several new icons appear. Select the Manage labels (right-facing arrow) icon. From the list, choose the group/label you'd like to add the contacts to. At the bottom of the list, select Apply.

    If the group doesn't already exist, select Create label in the Manage labels list. In the Create label dialog box, enter a label name and select Save.

    A screenshot of Gmail Contacts with the Labels icon highlighted
  4. You can check your work by selecting the appropriate label in the left rail. The contacts you added to the group should now appear in it.

Add New Recipients to Your Contacts List

If the recipients aren't already on your Contacts list, the process takes a little longer because you have to add them as contacts before you can add them to a group. There are a couple of ways to add a new contact.

  1. The fastest way to add new contact is by hovering over a name in an email and selecting Add to Contacts in the contact card. Repeat for each new contact you want to add.

    A screenshot of Gmail with the Add to Contacts button highlighted
  2. When you press Create contact, you're given two options: Create a contact and Create multiple contacts.

    If you choose the first one, the new window that appears is actually called Create a new contact. The second option is ideal if you need to add a bunch of contacts at once, either by typing them or importing them from a file.

    A screenshot of Gmail Contacts with the Create Contact button highlighted
  3. Now you can use the steps in the Add Recipients to a Gmail Group section, above, to add the new contacts to a group.

    You can add contacts to a group individually by selecting the More actions (three-dot) icon next to their name and choosing the appropriate group from the dropdown list.

Send an Email to a Group

Now that you have your groups the way you want them, here's how to send an email to one of them:

  1. In Gmail, in the upper-left corner, select Compose. In the New Message box, select To.

    Gmail with New Message box displayed
  2. In the Select contacts box, to the right side above the list of names, select the dropdown menu. Choose the group you want to send the email to.

    A screenshot of a message in Gmail with the contacts options highlighted
  3. A list of the contacts in that group appears. At the top of the dialog box, check Select All. At the bottom of the dialog box, select Insert.

    A screenshot of the Select Contacts window in Gmail with the Insert button highlighted
  4. All the names in the group appear in the To field of your message. Compose your subject and message. Select Send.

    If your group is composed of people who don't know each other well, or who you don't know well, it's better to place their addresses into the Bcc field, rather than the To field; this action prevents recipients from seeing each other's email addresses. To do it, select Bcc instead of To and go through the same steps. Then, in the To field, enter your own email address and complete the sending process as you normally would.

    Gmail with New Message dialog box displayed