Distribution Groups


Topic last modified: 2011-12-01

A distribution group, also called a public group, is a collection of two or more people that appears in the shared address book. When an e-mail message is sent to a group, it goes to all members of the group. Using a group, instead of typing individual e-mail addresses, saves time and ensures that everyone is on the same page.

Administrators and regular users can create groups, and, if they own the group, they can add and remove members. Users can also join the group on their own, if it's open to new members and if your organization allows users to join and leave groups.

So how might you use a group? In a school, an instructor could create a group called "Learn Spanish" for people interested in studying Spanish. Students add themselves to the group, and the instructor adds the whole Spanish department staff simply by adding the Spanish staff distribution group as a member. Together they use the "Learn Spanish" group to set up study sessions and to discuss homework questions, overseas study opportunities, and recommended books.

What else can you do with groups?

  • Make the group a security group

  • Add group owners

  • Control who joins or leaves the group

  • Apply a group naming policy to standardize and manage the naming format

  • Approve or reject messages sent to the group

  • Restrict who can send messages to the group

  • Hide the group from the shared address book

Use the following items on the Distribution Groups tab to create and manage groups:


To create a new group, click New. For details, see Create a New Distribution Group.


After you create a group, you can make changes and set additional properties by selecting a group from the list and clicking Details. For more information about what you can do, see Change Distribution Group Properties.


To delete a group, select a group and then click Delete Delete.


Click Refresh to refresh the list of groups.

Search groups

If you don't see the group you're looking for in the list, type the appropriate keywords and click Search Search icon.

Standardize and manage the naming format with a group naming policy

Sometimes when people create distribution groups, they use confusing display names or inappropriate words. Administrators can apply a group naming policy to standardize and manage the naming format for groups in your organization. Here's how: Create a Naming Policy for Distribution Groups.

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