How to Create an Emailing List in Apple Contacts

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Apple’s last few operating system updates included features borrowed from iOS, the mobile platform on which the iPod, iPhone, and iPad operate. Mac OS X now includes versions of iOS’s Calendar, Contacts, Messages and FaceTime apps, and the information stored on those apps syncs automatically with your Apple mobile devices. The Contacts app includes functionality for creating emailing and call lists. Apple refers to them as Groups.

Create an Empty List

  • Open the Contacts app on your Mac. Click the “View” menu item and select “Show Groups” to display your existing contact groups.

  • Click “File” and then select “New Group” to create a new untitled group in the Groups pane of the Contacts application.

  • Click the title of the new group to edit its title. Name the group based on how you associate its contacts to one another; for example, a group for book club members could be titled “Book Club,” while a group for co-workers could be titled "Work Contacts."

  • Click the “All Contacts” item in the Contacts pane. Scroll through the list of contacts and drag entries into the new group. Hold the “Command” key to select multiple entries and then drag them over.

Create a List From Selection

  • Open the Contacts application. Click “View” and enable the Groups display by selecting “Show Groups.”

  • Click the “All Contacts” option in the left pane and browse through your contacts. Hold the “Command” key and select all the contact entries you wish to add to a new group. This method gives you the same results as creating the group from scratch but lets you start by focusing on contacts rather than on the group itself.

  • Click “File” and then select “New Group From Selection.” This option creates a new untitled group populated with your selected contact entries; double-click the group name to rename it.

Tips & Warnings

  • Contact Groups are shared between devices. Groups you create in OS X automatically update on your iPhone and iPad if all devices are sync under the same Apple ID.
  • To send a message to your group, enter the Group name in the "To" field of your email message when using Apple's Mail application on your desktop, tablet or phone.
  • You can use the Smart Groups tool to create groups based on information shared between contacts. For instance, if you have several work contacts in your address book and you've entered a company name on their contact pages, you can create a Smart Group that automatically searches for and adds contacts from that company. Smart Groups are accessible from the File menu in Contacts; click "File" and then select "New Smart Group" to bring up a dialog box with selection criteria.
  • Information in this article applies to Mac OS X Mavericks. It may vary slightly or significantly with other versions or products.

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