Distribution Lists (also called Distribution Groups) are used to easily send email to multiple recipients without having to address them to each individual’s email address. This article will go over setting up a basic Distribution List in Office 365 using the Admin Center.
First you will need to open the Office 365 Admin Center and log in with your account (your account must be marked as an administrator for your organization already). Once you’re logged in click on Groups and then Groups in the expanded list.
The Groups section in the Admin Center
You may see some existing groups already or the list could be empty depending on your organization. Locate the + Add a group button and click on it. The New Group pane should appear on the right-side of the page. Under Type it may default to Office 365, click on it and set it to Distribution list.
Selecting the Group type
Next fill out the other fields to your preference. Once you’re done filling in the fields click the Add button to create the group, then click Close.
Take special note of the Allow people outside of my organization to send email to this distribution group preference; if this is set to On it allows senders from outside your Office 365 organization to send email to the group. If this is set to Off, emails sent from outside the organization will not be accepted by the distribution list.
Allowing external senders to access the distribution list
It may take up to 60 minutes for the group to be accessible inside the Office 365 Admin Center, if you do not see the group in the list immediately, just wait for a little then check back.
Once you can see the group in the list of groups inside the Admin Center, click on it to view the settings. By default you will be set as the Owner of the group and it will have no members inside it. On the right-hand side of the group settings inside the Members section click on Edit.
The Edit link to add members to a group
Click on the + Add members button. A list of all available users should populate (it may take a moment to appear), just add a check-mark beside the names of any users you wish to add to this group. Alternatively you can use the search function if you have a large number of users displayed to narrow your user list down.
Once you’ve selected the users you want to belong to this group, click the Save button at the bottom. It may take a moment to save and update, this is normal. Click the Close button once it completes saving, you should now see the current members of the group. If you need to remove any users just click the X to the right of their email address to remove them and click the Save button. Otherwise you can click the Close button.
Viewing group members
You should now have a functional Distribution list. If you email the address you assigned for the group it will distribute the email to all members of that group. If you need to you can always return to the Office 365 Admin Center and edit the group to remove or add members, or even delete the group entirely if you need.
If we missed anything or you have further questions on Distribution lists please don’t hesitate to contact us!