How to Add Several Contacts to a Gmail Group at Once

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Gmail makes it easy to send group emails to multiple addresses at once. If you find that you need to add more people to an existing group or mailing list, it's as simple as selecting who should be a part of the group and then choose the group in which to place them.

There are two primary ways to add people to a group in Gmail. The first method is much quicker than the second, but the second method uses the newer Google Contacts interface.

How to Add Recipients to a Gmail Group

To add existing contacts to a group:

  1. Select the contacts you'd like to add to the group. 

    You can quickly add several in a row by selecting one and then holding down the Shift key to click or tap another contact in the list.

  2. Click on the tiny down arrow next to the three-person icon in the menu at the top of Gmail to select the group to which you want to add the address(es). You can choose multiple groups if you like.

The following method for adding people to a Gmail group works for contacts you already have as well as for ones that are not in your address book.

  1. Open Contact Manager.

  2. Choose a group from the left by selecting it once.

  3. Click or tap the Add to [group name] button next to More. It's represented by a small icon of a person along with a + sign.

  4. Type an email address into that box, or start typing a name to have Gmail autofill the address. Separate multiple entries with a comma; Gmail should add the comma automatically after each recipient is added.

  5. Choose Add at the bottom of the textbox to add those addresses as new group members.

Google Contacts is a newer version of Contact Manager. Here's how to add contacts to a Gmail group using Google Contacts:

  1. Put a check in the box next to every contact you want to add to the group. You can search for them using the search box at the top of the page.

  2. If you're adding a new contact to the group (a contact who isn't already in your address list), open the group first, and then use the plus (+) sign at the bottom right to enter the new contact details. You can then skip these last two steps.

  3. From the new menu that shows at the very top of Google Contacts, click or tap the Manage labels button (the icon that looks like a large right arrow).

  4. Select the group(s) from that list to which the contact(s) should be added.

  5. Click or tap the Manage labels button again to confirm the changes.

Tips on Gmail Groups

Gmail does not let you instantly create a new group of recipients in a message. For example, if you've been emailed by several people in one group message, you cannot quickly add all of them to a new group. You must instead add each address as a new contact individually, and then use one of the methods above to combine those recipients into the same group.

The same is true if you've typed out several email addresses in the To, Cc, or Bcc fields and then want to add them to a group. You can hover your mouse over each address, add them as contacts, and then add them to a group, but you cannot quickly add every address to a new group automatically.