How to Update an Outlook Distribution List

By Bennett Gavrish

Distribution lists are groups of contact data that you can use to easily send mass email messages without needing to type every individual address. The Microsoft Outlook application has a built-in distribution list feature which allows you to create contact groups and send messages out to them. Since distribution lists do not automatically reflect changes in your address book, you need to manually update your lists if you make changes to a contact's email information.

Things You'll Need

  • PC running Windows XP or later
  • Microsoft Outlook 2007 or later

Step 1

Launch the Microsoft Outlook application.

Step 2

Navigate to the "Contacts" tab in the lower-left corner of the main Outlook window.

Step 3

Make any desired changes to the contact information in your Outlook address book. If you have not made any changes, you do not need to update your distribution lists.

Step 4

Highlight the "Contacts" folder on the left side of the window. All of your contacts and distribution lists are displayed in the center part of the window. Distribution lists are indicated by the icon with three heads.

Step 5

Double-click on the name of the distribution list that you need to update.

Step 6

Press the "Update Now" button in the toolbar along the top of the pop-up window. Outlook now goes through the members of the distribution list and updates all necessary contact information.

Step 7

Click "Save and Close" to save the distribution list and return to the main Outlook window.