Office 365 (Outlook 2016 for Mac) - Create, edit, or delete a contact group

A contact group, also known as a distribution list, is a grouping of e-mail addresses collected under one name. A message sent to a contact group goes to all recipients listed in the group. You can include contact groups in messages, meeting requests, and in other contact groups.

Important: Contact groups can only be created (edited/deleted) within your local address book on your computer. These are not saved to your account within Office 365. Any groups that you create are saved on your computer and are available only in Outlook 2016 for Mac on that specific computer. Microsoft is aware of this issue and is working on a solution for a future update.

  1. At the bottom of the navigation pane (the lower left pane of the Outlook 2016 for Mac window), click People

    People tab to click to open contacts

  2. On the Home tab, click New Contact Group.

    Image of Contact Home Tab, group 1

    If Contact Group is not available, you must set your preferences to show the On My Computer folders before you can create a contact group.

    • On the Outlook menu, click Preferences...
    • Under Personal Settings, click General.

      General Preferences button

    • Under Folder list, clear the Hide On My Computer folders check box.

  3. Enter a name for the contact group.

  4. Do any of the following:


    Do this:

    Add a person from your contacts, or add a person with whom you've recently exchanged email

    Click Add Add to Group button, type the first few letters of the person or group's name, and then click the appropriate entry on the pop-up menu.

    Add a person who is not in your contacts or with whom you haven't recently exchanged email

    Click Add Add to Group button, and then type the person's email address.

    Prevent message recipients from seeing the addresses of other group members

    Select the "Use Bcc to hide member information check box."

    Remove a member

    Click the member, and then click Remove Remove button.

  5. Click Save & Close.

    Group tab, Save & Close button

    The group appears in your Outlook contacts, and you can send messages to the group exactly as you would to one person.


  • To delete a contact group, open the group, and then on the Group tab, click Delete. Deleting a group does not delete contacts that you already have saved in Outlook or contacts from your organization's directory.
  • You can view the contact names in the header of a message or meeting request. In the To box, click the arrow next to the name of the Contact Group. After the list is expanded, you can't collapse the list again in that message.

Tip: You can import and export contacts from other applications such as Outlook for Windows, Apple Mail, and Entourage. For more information, see Import information into Outlook regarding how this was handled in Outlook 2011. It is handled in a similar fashion for Outlook 2016 for Mac.

Keywords:microsoft office 365 event appointment schedule scheduling outlook 2015 calendars email contacts tasks people groups distribution lists o365   Doc ID:47425
Owner:Ara M.Group:Office 365
Created:2015-02-19 13:19 CDTUpdated:2016-03-22 09:06 CDT
Sites:DoIT Help Desk, DoIT Tech Store, Office 365
Feedback:  8   23