How to Create a Distribution List in Outlook 2013: A Step-by-Step Guide

Creating a distribution list in Outlook 2013 is a simple process that involves navigating to the “People” tab, selecting “New Contact Group”, adding members, and saving the group. Once completed, you can easily send emails to multiple recipients without having to add each contact individually.

After you complete the action, you will have a new distribution list that can be used to send group emails. This list is useful for sending newsletters, announcements, or any other communication to a group of people simultaneously.


In the digital age, efficient communication is key. Whether you’re running a business, organizing an event, or simply trying to keep in touch with a group of friends, being able to quickly send out mass emails can save you a ton of time. That’s where creating a distribution list in Outlook 2013 comes into play. A distribution list, also known as a contact group, allows you to compile a list of email addresses and send communications to all of them at once, rather than individually. This is especially relevant for professionals who need to maintain contact with clients, colleagues, or employees. But it’s not just for work; anyone who regularly communicates with a group can benefit from this feature. So, let’s dive into how to create a distribution list in Outlook 2013 and make your email experience more efficient and less time-consuming.

Step by Step Tutorial to Create a Distribution List in Outlook 2013

Before we get into the nitty-gritty, let’s grasp what we’re aiming to achieve here. Following these steps will enable you to create a distribution list in Outlook 2013, simplifying your emailing process when reaching out to multiple contacts.

Step 1: Navigate to the “People” Tab

To kick things off, open Outlook 2013, and click on the “People” tab at the bottom of the page.

This tab is essentially your address book in Outlook. It’s where all your saved contacts are stored. If you’ve never used it before, don’t fret—it’s quite user-friendly.

Step 2: Select “New Contact Group”

Once you’re in the “People” tab, look for and click on the “New Contact Group” button in the top menu.

It’s a fairly prominent button, and once you click it, a new window will pop up. This is where the magic happens.

Step 3: Add Members to Your Distribution List

On this new window, you’ll see an option that says “Add Members”. Click on it, and you can select contacts from your Outlook contacts, address book, or even type new email addresses manually.

This step is crucial because, well, what’s a group without members? Take your time to add all the contacts you need.

Step 4: Save Your Distribution List

After adding all your members, give your distribution list a name and then click “Save & Close”.

Naming your list something intuitive will save you headaches in the future. Think “Family”, “Work”, “Book Club”—whatever makes sense for the group you’ve assembled.


Time-SavingCreating a distribution list means you only have to input a group of contacts once. After that, sending an email to the entire group is a one-click job. No more adding contacts one by one—talk about a time-saver!
OrganizedHaving a distribution list keeps your contacts organized. You can have different lists for different purposes, making it easier to manage your communications and ensuring you send the right info to the right people.
EfficientLet’s face it, manually adding multiple contacts every time you want to send an email is a drag. With a distribution list, you boost your efficiency, freeing up more time for other tasks (or leisure—your call).


Potential for ErrorsIf you’re not careful, you might add the wrong contact or forget to update the list. This could lead to miscommunication or privacy breaches if sensitive information is sent to the wrong person. Always double-check your list!
Less PersonalizedSending emails to a distribution list can feel impersonal. If you’re looking to make a connection or need a touch of personalization, you might have to go the extra mile to customize your emails.
Management RequiredDistribution lists aren’t set-and-forget. People’s emails change, they come and go, and your list will need updating. It’s an extra thing to manage, but if you stay on top of it, the benefits outweigh this minor inconvenience.

Additional Information

Creating a distribution list in Outlook 2013 is an excellent way to streamline your email communication, but there are some additional pointers worth considering. For instance, it’s always good practice to periodically review your distribution lists to make sure they’re up to date. People change jobs, deactivate old email accounts, and if you’re not careful, you could be sending important information into the void.

Another tip is to consider privacy when sending emails to a distribution list. Instead of adding the list to the “To” or “Cc” line, where everyone can see who else is receiving the email, use the “Bcc” field. This way, you keep your recipients’ email addresses confidential, and it prevents the dreaded ‘Reply All’ fiasco, which can irritate your contacts and flood inboxes.

Lastly, if you’re in a corporate environment, be mindful of your company’s policies regarding group emails and distribution lists. Some organizations have restrictions on sending mass emails, so it’s best to check before you find yourself in hot water.


  1. Navigate to the “People” Tab
  2. Select “New Contact Group”
  3. Add Members to Your Distribution List
  4. Save Your Distribution List

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I add external email addresses to my distribution list?

Yes, you can add any email address to your distribution list, regardless of whether it’s associated with an Outlook account or not.

How do I send an email to my distribution list?

Once you’ve created your list, simply compose a new email and type the name of your distribution list in the “To” field. Outlook will automatically populate it with the associated contacts.

Can I edit a distribution list after I’ve created it?

Absolutely! Just go back to the “People” tab, find your distribution list and click on it. You can then add or remove members as needed.

Is there a limit to how many people I can add to a distribution list?

Outlook does not impose a strict limit, but your email provider might. Check with them if you plan on adding a large number of contacts.

Can distribution lists be shared with other Outlook users?

Yes, you can share your distribution list by sending it as an attachment in an email to another Outlook user.


Creating a distribution list in Outlook 2013 is a straightforward process that can significantly boost your productivity. By following the simple steps outlined in this guide, you can save time, stay organized, and communicate efficiently with groups of any size.

Whether for professional or personal use, mastering the distribution list is an essential skill for anyone looking to make the most out of their Outlook experience. So go ahead, give it a try—you’ll wonder how you ever managed without it!

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