How to Add Multiple Email Names Into an Outlook Distribution List

By Filonia LeChat

Funnel multiple online contacts into one Outlook group.
i Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images

Microsoft Outlook distribution lists can save you time when you need to contact all of your employees at once or reach out to a specific group of customers. One drawback is that those lists or groups are only as updated as you keep them. With Outlook, you can completely customize distribution lists, and they’re never stagnant. Add new names -- and multiple new names -- as soon as you get them, such as with new hires or client inquiries. The names become part of your current group. They'll be ready to add to an email with a single click instead of typing in the individual names each time.

Open Outlook, and click the “Contacts” option.

Scroll to an existing distribution list you wish to add names into. You can also type part or the entire distribution list name into the “Search” field. Double-click the index card representing the distribution list, and it opens in a new Contact Group window that displays all of the current group members.

Click the “Add Members” button on the ribbon. Click “From Outlook Contacts” or “From Address Book.”

Scroll to the first of the email names to add to the list. Press and hold down the “Ctrl” key. Click each name to add to the list one time so it becomes highlighted.

Click the “OK” button to close the Add window and return to the distribution list. Note the new names are added alphabetically by first name.

Click the “Save & Close” button to update the distribution list with the new names.


You can also add multiple names into a new distribution list if you don’t already have one. Click the “New Contact Group” button on the “Contacts” ribbon, then click “Add Members.” Use one of the options in the drop-down menu to add the names and then name your distribution list.


These instructions apply to Microsoft 2013 and 2010. Other versions of the software may have several differences.