How to Set Up Contacts for Group Mailing in iOS Mail

Easy guide for sending group emails

iPhone and iPad
Apple Corporation

Sending group emails on an iPhone or iPad isn't a super-straightforward task, unfortunately, but it is fairly easy once you grasp how to do it.

Making the Mail app support email lists or group messaging is as easy as creating a new contact in the Contacts app, but instead of putting in just one email address, you need to enter all the addresses that you want to have in the email group.

From there, you can easily use that one contact as if it were several so that you can quickly address an email to multiple people simultaneously.

How to Set Up iOS Contacts for Group Mailing

Follow these steps carefully to send an email to a group on your iPhone or iPad:

  1. Open the Contacts app.

  2. Tap + at the top right of the app to set up a new contact.

    iPad Contacts app iOS screen showing Plus button to add a new contact
  3. In the Last name or Company text field, enter the name you want to use for the email group.

    Screenshot of New Contact group name in Contacts app

    It might be a good decision to name this contact something with the word "group" in it so that it's easy to spot later.

  4. Scroll down to the Notes section. 

  5. Enter every email address you want to add to the group, separated by commas.

    For example, if you're making an email group for people in your company, you might write it like this:,,

    Feel free to paste addresses into the Notes area if you don't want to type them, but remember to put the comma and space between each one. Also, keep in mind that this section should not contain anything else but the addresses as shown above (that is, don't type any actual notes in the Notes area).

  6. Tap and hold anywhere for a couple moments in the Notes text field to bring up the context menu.

  7. Choose Select All from that menu to highlight everything in the Notes area.

  8. Select Copy from the new menu.

    Screenshot of iOS New Contact screen showing Notes field and Copy menu
  9. Scroll up the page and tap the add email item.

    At this time, you can optionally choose a custom label for these email addresses or you can keep the default home or work. To change the label, just tap the name of the label to the left of the email text box.

  10. Tap and hold for a moment or two in the email text box and select Paste to paste all the addresses you just copied from the Notes section.

    add email screen in iOS
  11. Save the new email group with the Done button at the top.

How to Send Group Emails on an iPhone or iPad

Now that the mailing list or group has been made, you can send emails to all of those addresses in a snap:

  1. Open the Contacts app.

  2. Find the email group you made and then open that contact entry.

  3. Tap on the mail icon to create a new email from the group. Alternatively, you can tap the list of emails you pasted into the text field during Step 10 above.

    IOS Contacts screen showing Mail button to send a new email from the contact group
  4. The Mail app will open and populate the To: field with the recipients of the group.

    Screenshot of iOS Mail app with group email in the To field

    From here, you can even drag and drop specific email addresses and put them into the Bcc or Cc area to send blind carbon copies or carbon copies. To do that, first tap the To field to see all the addresses, and then tap-and-drag any of them to a different text box.

  5. You can now send your group email.

You can probably send an email to the group from the Mail app, too, like when sending regular emails, but you'll likely get an "Invalid Address" message in the process.

If you don't want to send group emails using the built-in Mail app, just copy the list of addresses and email them with your favorite email app:

  1. Go to the Contacts app and find the email group.

  2. Tap and hold on the list of addresses in the area where you pasted them during the above step (Step 10), and wait for a menu to pop up.

  3. Choose Copy to instantly copy the whole list of addresses.

    Copy button in Contact app highlighting the group email addresses
  4. Open the email app and locate the area where you're supposed to enter email addresses.

  5. Instead of typing, just tap and hold for a second and then select Paste.

    Paste button in Gmail Inbox app on iPad
  6. Now that the group has been inserted into the email app, you can send an email to all of them just like you can using the iOS Mail app.

How to Edit an Email Group on an iPhone or iPad

If you've been following these steps exactly, you'll notice that the Notes section in the Contacts app is still full of the group email addresses. We'll use this area to edit the recipients of the group, both when adding and removing addresses.

  1. In the Contacts app, open the group contact and select Edit from the top-right corner of the screen.

  2. Scroll down to the Notes area and tap to get in there.

  3. Now that the field is editable, you can remove addresses, update a contact's email address, add entirely new contacts to the group, fix any spelling errors, and so on.

    Remember to always put a comma after each address, followed by a space, before the next address. Return to Step 5 above if you need a refresher.

  4. When you're done, repeat Step 6, Step 7, and Step 8 from the first guide at the top of this page. To recap, you want to highlight and copy this new set of addresses.

  5. Find the email text field that already has the old addresses pasted in. 

  6. Tap that text field and then use the small x on the right-hand side to remove all of them.

  7. Tap in the empty email field and choose Paste to enter the updated group information that you just copied in Step 4.

  8. Use the Done button at the top to save the group.