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Due to many unique and useful facilities which have proved to be quite fruitful for the users, Office 365 has clearly become their favorite management application. Users working in the same workplace often collaborate with each other to work on the same projects. Office 365 has advanced amenities like Groups, Distribution Lists, Shared Mailboxes, Teams etc. which allows multiple users to collaborate and communicate easily. To take the discussion regarding Distribution Lists forward, let us understand about its features and the right method to create Distribution List in Office 365.

Distribution Lists – Feature

Distribution Groups also known as Distribution Lists are a convenient method for sending bulk emails to numerous users. It eliminates the unproductive task of adding each recipient separately. All the members get their emails added to the list/group. This feature is useful for those who work on a common project to get updated with all the information. Also, it can be used to send emails related to a common topic. Here are the peculiarities of a Distribution List-

  • Can be managed through EAC as well as PowerShell cmdlets
  • Allows any user (external or internal) to send emails to the members of the group
  • Dynamic membership is available through Dynamic Distribution Groups
  • Free or Paid AAD subscription works as a license

So, the Distribution List helps to create a central communication platform for multiple users to share their work, ideas, crucial information, urgent messages, etc. An Office 365 user with global administrator rights can easily create Distribution List in Office 365.

What is the need of a Distribution List?

Before we proceed on how to Create Distribution List in Office 365, it is necessary to know the need it serves-

  • It saves time and effort by sending emails to multiple users all at once.
  • The sender can avoid the situation of reaching the maximum limit of recipients which each message has.
  • External users can also communicate smoothly.
Create an Office 365 Distribution List

An Office 365 administrator can create Distribution List in Office 365 by performing the following procedure-

    1. Open Office 365 admin center and then navigate to Groups>Groups.
      Open Office 365 admin center
    2. Then click + Add a group option to add a Distribution List.
      add a Distribution List
    3. The New Group page will get open. Here, under Add a group, select the Distribution List option from the Type drop-down.
      Add a group

Note: Users can click on the +Distributions list tab on the Home>Groups page to add Distribution List directly.
add Distribution List directly

  1. Add a Group name, Group email address, Description (optional), drag the option to On/Off to allow/disallow external users (outside of the organization) to send emails to this group. Read the instructions given below and click Add.
    allow/disallow external users
  2. A message will be displayed that the Group was added. Click Close.
    Click Close
  3. Select your newly created Distribution List and double-click on it. You can anytime edit the Group name, Owners, Members, and Exchange Settings using the respective Edit options.
    edit the Group name etc
  4. Click Edit against Owners to add the Group owners. Click + Add owners, search them using the option, and add them. After adding desired owners, click Close.
    Note: Group Owners need not be members of the distribution group. By default, the user who is creating the group is the owner. However, he can add more owners to the group.
    add more owners to the group
  5. To add members to the Distribution List, click Edit against Members option. Then click + Add members to search and add the members from the users’ list. Add the desired members and click Close.
    Add the desired members
  6. You can also change the Exchange Settings by clicking the Edit Exchange Settings option against Exchange Settings. Different Exchange Settings categories like ownership, membership, membership approval, delivery management, message approval, email options, MailTip, group designation are available. Users can change the settings as per the need and click Save to save it.
    click Save to save it
  7. You can manage the senders of the emails whether from inside the organization only or both inside and outside the organization by clicking the delivery management category within the Exchange Settings option. Select the desired radio button and click Save to save this setting.
    Save to save this setting
    Therefore, the Distribution Lists group in Office 365 is successfully created along with desired members and settings. Before users create an office 365 group you should know about office 365 group too.
How to Add a User or Contact to a Distribution List?
  1. Login to Office 365 using a work/school account.
  2. Click app launcher icon > Admin.
  3. Select Groups from the left pane > choose the preferred distribution list.
  4. Click Edit from Members, open View members page.
  5. Add members by clicking “Add members” & hit on “Close.”
Steps to Send an Email as a Distribution List in Office 365

The following steps can be performed only if you are part of the Office 365 distribution list management that has the ‘Send as permission’ option.

  1. Access Outlook on the web & select inbox.
  2. Open a received message from the distribution list & choose to reply.
  3. Under More, click Show from at the message’s bottom.
  4. Right-click on the From address & select Remove.
  5. Type in the distribution list on the same field & hit Send to broadcast your email to the list.
Modifications in a list

The admins have the flexibility to make some changes to the existing Distribution Lists if required. The major modifications are-

  • Add and remove members and admins from the group
  • Editing the group name, email addresses and certain properties
  • Allowing external users to send emails to the members
  • Deletion of a Distribution List

Some users need to backup Office 365 data to Outlook due to many reasons. For such users, we recommend Kernel Office 365 Backup and Restore software which swiftly backups the complete Office data including mailboxes, groups, distribution lists, etc. to PST format which can be opened within the Outlook application later on. This software can restore or import the PST files to Office 365 too. Download the tool for free (Trial version) to try its features.


In Office 365, groups and distribution lists can be created to communicate through a single email address to multiple members. It ensures a strong collaboration among professionals working towards the same goal. A Distribution List can be created, modified, and deleted easily while following some direct steps. The procedure to create one has been discussed here. However, users can try the automated Kernel Office 365 Backup and Restore software if they need to backup Office 365 to PST.

Q1- What is the difference between Microsoft 365 group & distribution list?

A– Microsoft 365 Group is a powerful tool for collaboration, allowing users to work together on projects & share files both inside & outside of your organization. These groups come equipped with a range of services, including SharePoint & Planner for seamless team collaboration. On the other hand, distribution lists are designed primarily for sending email notifications to a group of people.

Q2- How many members can be in a distribution list?

A- You can have a total of 1000 recipients, which includes your own address. A recipient can be an individual email address, or an address that is part of a distribution list you’ve created, an Active Directory Group address, or even a Class List.

Q3- Why create a distribution list?

A- Establishing a distribution list makes communication with a group of individuals simpler and more efficient. Through this approach, you can add the email addresses of individuals who are interested in receiving regular updates from you. The benefit of this is that it allows you to send out emails to your entire email list based on a predetermined schedule. Furthermore, list segmentation is possible, which means you can send targeted emails to specific members of your email list.