How to Create a Group Email in Gmail

Saikat Basu 14-12-2019

Look around. Groups are everywhere. That’s the way we roll in social apps like Facebook or WhatsApp. So why should the old and humble Gmail be any different? A group email in Gmail can save you the bother of picking out addresses one by one. But we need to talk about the other benefits of group emails too.


A group email is more than a simple list of email addresses. Let’s come to the benefits after we create our first email group in Gmail.

How to Create a Group Email in Gmail Quickly

Create an email group the instant you find that you are mailing the same bunch of people often. An email group is what it says on the tin—a bunch of email addresses that can share a common conversation. So open your Gmail inbox and follow the steps below.

1. Log into Google Contacts with your Gmail account.

2. Select the contacts you want to group with a checkmark against their names and email addresses on the list. I have blurred the email IDs in the screenshot below.

Google Contacts


3. Click the Groups icon on the top (the icon with three stick heads) to show a dropdown menu.

Click the Google Groups Icon

4. In this drop-down menu, select an existing group or click Create new to place these contacts into their own unique list.

5. Enter a unique name for the new group in the New group dialog that pops up.


Name this email group.

6. Click OK to save the email group. The group now appears on the left side of the screen, under “My Contacts”. You can also spot a label with the group name against their names on the contacts list.

Use the Search Box to Create a Common Group

The Google Contacts search box is another quick way to create an emailing group. If you have most of the contact information organized in Google Contacts, then you can organize a group around any search criteria.

For instance, in the screenshot below, I used a keyword from the Notes field to find my friends who work in information technology.


Use search to create a Gmail Group quickly.

Then, it is just a matter of selecting the contacts and creating a new group or adding the members to an old one.

You can use any criteria to create a common list. For instance, a list of members from the same country, or with the same last name. This is why you should keep your Google Contacts clean and tidy 10 Easy Tips to Rescue Google Contacts from Neglect Google Contacts is perhaps the least organized of all Google services we use. Most of us neglect it. Here's a complete guide to spring clean and organize Google Contacts. Read More .

How to Add Contacts to an Email Group

These specific email groups are one of the secrets to inbox organization. So keep adding new contacts to the right groups and you won’t have to do rummage through the list of addresses every time. You can add contacts to an email group from the master My Contacts list or from within a group with a couple of clicks.


Here’s how to do it from inside a group.

1. Select the group from the left sidebar.

2. Click the icon with a single stick head that says Add to “Group Name”.

Add Contacts to an Email Group

3. Type their name in the text box and pick the email address suggested by Gmail. Click Add. If they have multiple emails, Google picks the first one listed for the contact.

You can also add individual contacts to any groups from their contact cards. See the screen below:

Group Email from a Gmail Contact Card

How to Delete Contacts from an Email Group

You might have added a wrong contact, or you just want to shuffle a few members around. Remove a member from an email group by just de-selecting them. Here’s how in six steps.

Delete from Group

  1. Select and open the group from the left sidebar of Google Contacts.
  2. Select one or more contacts you want to remove with a checkmark against their names.
  3. Click the Groups button on top.
  4. Uncheck the checkbox for the group you want to remove them from.
  5. Click Apply from that drop-down menu.
  6. The contacts should immediately be removed from the list and Gmail displays a small notification at the top of the screen to confirm it. You can choose to undo it within a few seconds if you want.

Create a Distribution List in Gmail

Once a group is created it becomes your distribution list for any content. You can also email right from Google Contacts. But it’s more likely that you would want to use Gmail instead.

  1. Open Gmail.
  2. Click the Compose button
  3. In the To: text box, start typing the group name. Gmail will auto-suggest the group name for you to select.
  4. Choose the Group name and all the email IDs will get added to the To: field.

Send a Group Gmail

You can also include Gmail groups in the CC (Carbon Copy) and BCC (Blind Carbon Copy) fields as you would any other address. Use the BCC field if you want to mail a group of people who are unrelated to each other. The only address they will see is their own.

Gmail Contact Groups Vs. Google Groups

Gmail mailing list and Google Groups are two different things.

A Gmail contact group is for personal use while Google Groups are like online discussion forums. The group email in Gmail are managed through contacts and is owned by the creator.

You can create email based groups with Google Groups. They can be used by all members and anyone else who requests membership. One of the benefits is that you can join Google Groups without Gmail too. These can be a good collaborative space for like-minded teams. Google Groups allows you to create a collaborative inbox 10 Ways to Make the Most of Google Groups Once Google Groups was on the cutting edge of online social interactions. Social media is now the elite. With an upgrade recently, Google Groups has come out to create an identity of its own. Read More with a common shared email address, and the freedom to share a Google Calendar.

We are focusing on group emails from Gmail here, so I will point you to the right support page for Google Groups if you want to know more.

The Productivity Benefits of Email Groups

Gmail group emails are not only meant for teams. Like any other group, you can create them around any common interest. I would recommend that you should create custom contact groups for every purpose.

  • Want to coordinate a study group? Create a Gmail group.
  • Want to send a personalized newsletter? Make a distributed mailing list along with a newsletter template.
  • An event on the horizon? With these distribution lists, you don’t have to worry about forgetting anyone.
  • Manage multiple email accounts in Gmail? Use custom group emails to organize your sent mails.

Email groups as distribution lists are a common feature in Outlook. With some effort, you can make Gmail behave like a powerful desktop email client too. It’s an easy step to take and will help you become a power user of Gmail The Power User Guide to Gmail This free Gmail Guide is for those of you who already use Gmail as an email client and want to take maximum advantage of its many productivity features. Read More .

Related topics: Contact Management, Email Tips, Gmail.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

Whatsapp Pinterest

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Joti
    March 13, 2020 at 3:48 am

    I created a distribution list, but now all these 50+ people show up on my phone. I don't want these people on my phone. Is there any way of creating a list without having them on my phone?

  2. Michael
    October 27, 2019 at 12:01 am

    Sadly the new Gmail Contact don‘t allow the easy described way anymore. Not it’s really complicated and slow to manage groups. You can drag and drop single contacts to a group, but you have to scroll trough hundreds of contacts first. Or you search the contact, edit it manually and after a bunch of clicks and scrolling you finally find the right group. Anyway, if you know a better way, let me know. Best would be to have the old good method back ... :-/

  3. Dr. Frank Buck
    February 12, 2019 at 1:39 pm

    Saikat, nice article. The process for creating a group is not obvious, and my experience is most people need to be shown. The screen shots are from the old version of Google Contacts. In the new version, the process works the same, except the icon has changed. The 3-headed person is no longer there.

    Instead, look for a 5-sided shape. Mousing over it reveals the text "Manage labels." Click on that shape and either choose an existing group or create a new one.