How to Add Several Recipients to a Gmail Group at Once

Make Gmail distribution lists to email several recipients simultaneously

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You can send group emails in Gmail to message multiple addresses at once. If you find that you need to add more people to a group or mailing list, it's as simple as selecting who should be a part of the group and then choosing which group to put them into.

There are two primary ways to add people to a group in Gmail. The first is much quicker than the second, and the method at the bottom of this page shows how to add contacts to a group using the newer Google Contacts interface.

How to Add Recipients to a Gmail Group

This first method is the quickest way to add contacts to a group in bulk. It works by using recipients you already have in your address book (not for new contacts that are yet to be added).

  1. Open Contact Manager.
  2. Select the contacts that should be included in the Gmail group. You can quickly add several in a row in Windows by selecting one and then holding down the Shift key to click or tap another contact in the list.
  3. Use the three-person icon from the menu at the top of Gmail to select the group that the user(s) should be included in. You can choose multiple groups if they should be added to more than one group at once.

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 person with a + sign.
  1. Type an email address into that box or start typing a name to have Gmail autofill the address. You can separate multiple entries with a comma (Gmail should add the comma automatically after each recipient is added).
  2. 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. Open Google Contacts.
  2. Put a check in the box next to every contact that you want to add to the group. You can search for them using the topmost search box.
  3. If you're adding a new contact to the group that isn't already in your address list, open the group first and then use the plus sign from the bottom right to enter the new contact details. You can then skip these last two steps.
  4. 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).
  5. Select the group(s) from that list that the contact(s) should be added to.
  6. 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 from 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 a method from 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.

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