How to Send a Message to a Group Fast in Mac OS X Mail

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OS X Mail lets you send a message to a group of recipients quickly and easily with just using a few clicks.

Not Just One Recipient

With the option to have your life's groups reflected in the Mac OS X Address Book — one group for all your colleagues, one that collects your family's members, another for all friends with that particular Epicurean sense of humor, etc… — let's get started sending messages to these groups.

In Apple's Mac OS X Mail, this is easy, of course. Mailing a list of people in one go is no more difficult than sending an email to a single recipient. Whether a group is manually constructed or of the "smart" type does not matter either.

Send a Message to a Group Fast in Mac OS X Mail

  1. Create a new message.

  2. Type your email address in the To: field.

    You can try skipping this step and leave the To: field empty. Some mail servers may reject your incomplete message, however, as the email standard asks for at least one email address to be in the To: field.

  3. Make sure the Bcc: field is visible.

    If you cannot see the Bcc: field, select View > Bcc Address Field from the menu or press Command+Option+B.

  4. Type the name of the desired address book group in the Bcc: field.

    Of course, you can also drag-and-drop the group from either the Contacts (or Address Book) application or the Mac OS X Mail Addresses panel (Window > Address Panel in the menu).

    The address panel is not available in later versions of OS X Mail.

  5. Compose and send your message.

Is There a Limit to How Large of a Group I Can Mail?

Most email servers will not accept messages that have too many recipients. A typical limit is 50 total recipients per message, though smaller and larger numbers are possible. If your group is just above the limit and a message fails to send successfully, try splitting the group in two and send in two batches.

For mailing larger groups easily, you can use a group mailing service.

Is There a Way to Edit a Group on the Fly?

You can see all members of a group to which an email will be sent and edit the list (though not the group itself, of course) right in the message you are composing.

To expand and edit the list of group members when writing a group email in OS X Mail:

  1. Click the downward-pointed arrowhead () next to the group name in the Bcc: field.

  2. Select Expand Group from the menu that has appeared.

  3. Edit the list of recipients — or individual recipients' addresses perhaps — in the Bcc: field.

Tested with OS X Mail 2, 3, and 9