How to Create a Distribution List from a CSV File in Outlook


Don’t spend hours retyping every email address into a distribution list in Outlook when you can import them. When planning your annual mass email, keep in mind that most databases and programs are capable of exporting data to a CSV file. Create the CSV file, import the data, create the distribution list in Outlook and send your email. That’s all there is to it. This year, you’ll be home in time to watch the evening news.

  • Open Microsoft Outlook. Select “File,” “New” and “Folder” from the menu bar.

  • Type a name for the folder under “Name” in the “Create New Folder” window. Select “Contact Items” from the drop-down box under “Folder Contains”. Click the “+” to expand “Personal Folders” and select “Contacts.” Click the “OK” button. Click the “No” button when asked if you want to add a shortcut to the Outlook bar.

  • Click “File” and “Import and Export” in the menu bar. Select “Import from another program or file” from the “Import and Export Wizard” window. Click the “Next” button.

  • Choose “Comma Separated Values (Windows)” from the pane in the “Import a File” window. Click the “Next” button.

  • Click the “Browse” button. Find and highlight the CSV file that you will use for the distribution list. Click the “OK” button.

  • Select “Allow duplicates to be created” under “Options.” Click the “Next” button.

  • Click the “+” next to “Contacts.” Select the folder you created in step 2. Click the “Next” button.

  • Put a check next to the item under “The following actions will be performed.” Click the “Finish” button.

  • Select “File,” “New” and “Distribution List” from the menu bar. Type a name for the distribution list in the white area next to “Name” on the “Members” tab. Click the “Select Members” button.

  • Choose the folder you created in step 2 from the drop down box next to “Show names from the” in the “Select Members” window. Highlight all of the names in the left pane. Click the “Members->” button. All of the names will appear in the left pane under “Add to distribution list.” Click the “OK” button.

  • Click the “Save and Close” button on the toolbar of the “Distribution List” window.

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