Creating a Distribution List in Public Folders

Distribution Lists can be very useful when you need to send emails to several people at once. Once set up, it’s very easy to maintain a list and use it regularly. Here’s how!

Prerequisite: Have your system administrator create a Contacts Public Folder and make sure it’s set to behave as an address book. I’ll create a separate tutorial for administrators on how to do that. Once that’s done…

  • Open Outlook and switch to the Folder View as illustrated below. Then expand the Public Folders until you find the Contacts Folder that has been set up for you.


  • Click once on the name of your Contacts Folder and click New Contact (at the top/left). You’ll see the following dialog. Fill out the details of your contact then click Save and Close. Repeat as needed.


  • Once you have created a few contacts, right-click and select New Distribution list as shown.


  • In the Create Distribution List dialog, give your list a name then click Select Members.
  • Now click the drop-down list at the top-right and choose the name of your Contacts Folder
  • You’ll now see the names of the contacts you created. Select them and click the Members -> button
  • You should see something like this:


  • If you’re happy with that, Click OK
  • You should see something like the image below.


  • If you need to add more members, do so. If you need to create them first, jump back up a couple of steps and do so. I’ll wait.
  • Otherwise, click Save and Close.

Reviewing what we’ve done, we have:

  • Created some Contacts in a Contact Folder
  • Created a Distribution List
  • Added some Contacts to the Distribution List

Now it’s time to create a memo and send it to the address list!

  • Click on your inbox icon near the top left and click on New Memo
  • Click the To: or CC: button
  • At the top-right of the new dialog, choose the Contacts folder from the drop-down.
  • You’ll see the individual contacts and the new Distribution List!
  • If you want to send to the list discretely (without the recipients seeing the names of everyone else), click on the BCC option.


Now you’re done! Flesh out the rest of the email as normal and click Send when you’re done.

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