How-To Geek

Save Time With Distribution Lists in Outlook 2003

Everybody sends out emails to the same group of people on a regular basis, but most people don’t realize that you can create your own private list of email addresses in Outlook by using the Distribution List feature.


To create a new Distribution List, go to File \  New \ Distribution List

Click on Select Members and choose the appropriate names from your address book by double clicking their name.

You will see the selected names at the bottom of this window.

Give your Distribution List a name and click Save and then Close.

The Distribution list will be saved in your Contacts folder under whatever name you call the list, and can be used just like any other Contact.

Brian Burgess worked in IT for 10 years before pursuing his passion for writing. He's been a tech blogger and journalist for the past seven years, and can be found on his about me page or Google+

  • Published 04/21/07

Comments (18)

  1. Kelly Craig

    How do you move an existing Outlook distribution list from one user profile to another user profile on the same computer?

  2. mysticgeek

    Kelly, I believe this can only be done by the administrator on the Exchanger Server side. The Administrator would need to add the Distribution list to the Global Address List and grant specific user profiles access to it. This tip is for Personal Distribution Lists. Global Address Lists cannot be created by the Outlook client.

  3. john

    I want to create a distribution list of my clients. On a monthly basis I will send them a pdf file. I do not want the names in the list to appear on the e-mail when received.

    How do I do that?


  4. mysticgeek


    You can achieve this by using the BCC (Blind Carbon Copy) feature in your email client.

    You can check this out more in my blog:

  5. Henry

    I received a distribution list from a colleague. Is there a way of placing each name in the distribution list as a separate entry as a contact?


  6. Ryan


    I have about 150 names that i want to add to a distribution list in Outlook 2003. Is there a quick efficient way of doing this? I cant imagine that id have to add the 150 names one by one?!

  7. Sandra

    Is there a way to move all the names in a Category in Outlook 2003 into a Distribution List? Other than one at a time.

  8. Cheryl Scaglione

    To the Mystic Geek. Regarding the distribution lists. I own a small business and want to send a newsletter to my clients using an Outlook disitribution list. I do not want the recipients to see all of the other client names & their email addresses. How do I accomplish this…the same as the “BCC” feature or “Private” feature? I know when I receive our church newsletter, on the “To:” bar it displays “Undisclosed Recipients” and does not list all of our church members along with their email adresses. This is what I want to accomplish, I just don’t know how. If you could help me, I would appreciate it!


    Cheryl Scaglione

  9. Damas

    Can I use a distribution list to send an email to only a couple of the DL members but not to all?


  10. Clare


    I’m trying to work out why when i add a contact into my contact book, i cannot add them via a link to a distribution list. I then have to add them seperatley and end up entering everything twice over……Is there a way of linking these items into the distribution list please so they appear as a contact card rather than just an email address? Out IT department ahve been trying to work this out for a while but no one can come up with a solution.
    If you have any ideas at all, i’d be very grateful!!

    Many Thanks,

  11. Dave

    when forwarding a distribution list, the recipient recieves the email but the attached distribution list looks like an envelope and when opened, there is nothing in it? any suggestions?

  12. Claire

    I need to refer to an email I sent to one of my distribution lists but when trying to search for it in my sent items it only lists as each and every email address and not by the title i gave it. Is there a way to filter my sent items to show all emails sent to the title of the list and not each individual that is part of it? I am forever changing who is part of the list it is confusing.

  13. Sally Bohen

    Outlook 2003 cannot find distribution list and comes back with the message, the item could not be found.

  14. Alvin Huffman

    This looks good. It has pictures of the menues and forms to use. I need that.

  15. J D Marshal

    How do I relocate outlook distribution lists from one vista computer to another vista computer?

  16. raghu

    Can somebody tell me, why I can not find the distribution list in my contacts list.

  17. Alisha

    I received a distribution list with 50+ contact, i see the list in my contacts folder, but im wondering how i am able to save individual contacts from the list the fast, easy way without typing every contact in one by one? please help!

  18. Hendrik

    HI, i upgraded my pc, on my old pc i used outlook express and on the new one Outlook 2007, i want to move the OE distribution list to Outlook. I tried to export it etc, the name comes over but not the members. What can i do to fix this?

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