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How to merge or combine distribution lists in Outlook?

Author: Siluvia Last Modified: 2014-11-20

At the very beginning, for example, you created two contact groups named “Marketing” and “Sales” with all the relevant contacts included the groups. But now, the Marketing group belongs to the Sales group, and you need to combine this two distribution lists into one. What would you do to deal with this problem? This article provides you with two methods of merging distribution lists.

Merge distribution lists with expanding group in the To field

Merge distribution lists with saving as txt file

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arrow blue right bubbleMerge distribution lists with expanding group in the To field

In this section, we will show you how to merge distribution lists with the help of expanding group in the To field.

1. Create a new email message.

2. In the Message window, click the To button to select the distribution list which you want to merge to another group.

3. Click the expand button before the distribution list, then click the OK button in the Expand List prompt box. See screenshot:

4. Press the Ctrl + A keys to select all contacts on the To field, then press Ctrl + C keys to copy them.

5. Close the Message window without saving.

6. Shift to the Contacts or People view, get into the contacts folder which the destination distribution list locates, then double click to open it.

7. Now the contact group is opened. Please click Add Members > From Outlook Contacts under Contact Group tab.

Note: In Outlook 2007, just click Select Members under Distribution List tab.

8. In the Select Members dialog box, click on the Members-> box, press Ctrl + V keys to paste the contacts you copied in the step 4 to the Members box, and then click the OK button.

9. When it returns to the Contacts Group window, click the Save & Close button.


1. If there are multiple distribution lists you need to merge, please repeat the above method until they are all merged into one;

2. After merging, you can delete the distribution list which you don’t need any more from the Contacts folder.

arrow blue right bubbleMerge distribution lists with saving as txt file

Besides the above method, you can also merge distribution list with the help of saving the distribution list as txt file.

1. Double click to open the distribution list you want to merge into another one, then click File > Save As.

2. In the Save As dialog box, choose a folder for saving the file, select Text Only in the Save as type drop-down list. Then click the Save button.

3. Open the txt file, select and copy all contacts inside it.

4. Now please do as above method 1 from step 6 to 9 to finish the merging.

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Thank you - Finally an answer that is simple clear and solves my problem. Brilliant.
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