Managing Distribution Groups in Office 365

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A Distribution group (formerly known as mailing list) in Office 365 is a uniquely named email address that consists of multiple users and is managed by a designated owner. Distribution groups are intended to easily facilitate ongoing communications between a large and relatively fixed group of people.

There are a few important concepts to understand about distribution groups before we get started with group management:

  • Emails sent to a distribution group are distributed to all members of that distribution group.
  • Only users granted permission by the Distribution Group Owner can send emails to a particular distribution group. Permission to post (send emails) to a group is managed by USAN, and Group Owners should open a ticket with the Fairleigh Dickinson University Technical Assistance Center (UTAC) to change members that can post to the group.
  • A distribution group can be configured in such a way that emails sent to it can be held for approval and specific users can be made approvers (also known as moderators).
  • A distribution group has a unique email address attached to it. Users granted permission to send email to this email address can do so from any email client such as Outlook on the Web or Outlook installed in your computer, laptop, tablet or phone, Mozilla Thunderbird, Mac Mail and more.
  • You can request a distribution group by submitting the Distribution List/Shared Mailbox Request form located at FDU Forms Portal.
  • As a Distribution Group owner, you can change the group’s settings via the group’s management page on your Office 365 account (Outlook on the web).
  • As a Distribution Group owner, you can add or remove members (recipients) from your group via your group’s management page. This can be accomplished via Outlook on the web or by using the Outlook application installed on your machine.
Adding and Removing Distribution Group Users in Outlook for Windows
  1. Open “Outlook” on your computer
  1. Open “Address Book

You can open Address Book in two different ways:

  • One way is to click the “Address Book” icon located at the top when “Home” tab is selected:
  • The second way is by composing/creating a new email and clicking the “To” button:
  1. Select “All Distribution Lists” from the drop-down menu located under Address Book:
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  1. Select “More Columns” and enter the name or email address of your distribution group in the search field as shown in the first screen capture below. If you see your distribution group on the list, highlight it and double click it. If you do not find your list using “More Columns”, then it might be easier to find by using the “Name only
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  1. Click on “Modify Members…
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  1. If you want to remove a member, then select the member from the members list, click “Remove” button and then click “OK
  1. If you want to add a member, click “Add” button
  1. Select “More columns” and enter the new member’s name in the search field
  1. You should see the user in the list. Select “Name only” to search again if you are unable to locate the user. Once you have found the user, highlight the record and click “OK
  1. Verify that the new member is in the member’s list and click “OK
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  1. Click “Apply” and then click “OK
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Adding and Removing Distribution Group Users in Outlook on the Web
  1. Go to “” in the browser of your choice
  2. Go to “Shortcuts” menu
  3. Click “Office 365 and Email
  4. Sign-in with your NetID and password
  5. Go to online Outlook app by clicking on the “Outlook” icon
  1. Go to Settings by clicking on the “Settings” icon
  1. Click on “View all Outlook settings
  1. Click “General
  1. Click on “this portal
  1. Click on “Distribution groups

Here you see the list of distribution groups that you belong to and the list of distribution groups that you own.

How to open the Configuration page for a particular Distribution Group that you own in Outlook on the Web

  1. Select the distribution group that you would like to make changes to and then click “Edit” (Pencil Icon)
  1. You should see the distribution group configuration page

How to see the list of recipients (members) for this Distribution Group in Outlook on the Web

  1. Click on “membership

How to add recipients (members) to this Distribution Group in Outlook on the Web

  1. Click on “+” icon (Plus Icon)
  1. Click “All Users
  1. Please enter the name or NetID of the user that you would like to add to this distribution group in the search text box
  1. Click “+” button beside the user that you would like to add from the search results (you can search and select more users if you would like)
  1. Click “Save” when you are done

Remove recipients (members) from this Distribution Group in Outlook on the Web

  1. Go to the membership list as shown in Step: 3 How to see the list of recipients (members) for this distribution group
  1. Click on the recipient (member) that you would like to remove


Press “Control” button while selecting recipient if you would like to select multiple recipients from the list.

  1. To select a range of adjacent recipients on the list, click the first recipient from that part. Now, press the “Shift” key and click last recipient in this part
  1. Click “” button at the top located below the “Members” title
  1. Click “Save” when you are done
Enabling Distribution Group Moderation and Adding Group Moderators
  1. Follow Step 1 & 2 in “Adding and Removing Distribution Group Users in Outlook on the Web
  1. Click “Message Approval
  1. Check (select) “Messages sent to this group have to be approved by a moderator”.
  1. Click “+” button under “Group Moderators


By default, emails sent to the distribution group will be sent to the group owner for approval if you enable message approval and do not select any moderators.

  1. Click “All Users
  1. Please enter the name or NetID of the user that you’d like to add to this distribution group in the search text box
  1. Click “+” button beside the user that you’d like to add from the search results (you can search and select more users if you’d like)
  1. Click “Save” when you’re done. You’ll be taken to “Message Approval” screen
  1. You can add users’ emails from who do NOT require any approval by clicking “+” under “Senders who don’t require message approval” and following the same process as above
  1. You can choose who should be notified when an email sent to this distribution group has been held for approval -or- you can choose to disable these notifications as shown:
  1. Click “Save” again on “Message Approval” screen


An email will NOT be held for approval from a group moderator who is allowed to send emails to the distribution group.

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Microsoft 365 Group Expiration Policy

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Unused Teams and Groups can accumulate and become a burden to resources over time. To prevent this from happening, Fairleigh Dickinson University has implemented an expiration policy for Teams and Groups. This article will explain the expiration policy and provide you with information regarding renewal.

What is the FDU expiration policy for Teams and Groups

  1. Any Team or Group inactive for 365 days or more will expire
  2. Team and Group owners will be notified 30 days, 15 days, and 1 day before the team’s expiration date. If the Team or Group is not renewed before expiration, it will be deleted.


Expiration notices for groups used in Teams appear in the Teams Owners feed.

  1. The expiration period of 365 days begins at the creation of the Team or Group, or the date it was last renewed


When the policy goes into effect, all groups that have already passed the 365 days period will expire. Affected group owners will be notified to renew.

How to renew a Team or Group

There are two methods to prevent the Microsoft 365 group from being deleted.

  1. The group owner can manually renew the group by clicking the button in the warning message
  1. A member of the group can perform a monitored user activity:
    • SharePoint: view, edit, download, move, share, or upload files (viewing a SharePoint page does not count as an action for automatic renewal)
    • Outlook: join or edit group, read or write group messages from the group, and like a message (Outlook on the web)
    • Teams: visit a teams channel
    • Yammer: view a post within a Yammer community or an interactive email in Outlook
    • Forms: view, create, or edit forms, or submit a response to a form
  2. When the team owner receives the expiration notification, go to the Team’s group “Manage team” option and click on Renew now as shown below

Whenever the Microsoft 365 group is renewed by any of the methods mentioned, the group’s lifetime will be extended for another period of 365 days.

What are Microsoft 365 Groups

Microsoft 365 groups are created from a variety of tools including Outlook, SharePoint, Planner, and Teams. Microsoft 365 groups allow you to choose a set of people to collaborate with. You can use Microsoft 365 groups to communicate with others, share files, and apply permissions to shared resources.

Who are Group Owners

When a Microsoft 365 group is created, the person creating the group is designated as the owner. After adding members to the group, the primary owner can also promote other members to owner status. We suggest that when practical, Microsoft 365 groups have at least 2 owners. This can be important as only the group owner will receive the warning messages. In some cases, the group owner may have removed themselves from the group or left the university entirely. If you find yourself a member of a Microsoft 365 group without an owner, please contact support by creating a SAMI Support Request.

Groups without Owners

Ownerless or orphaned Groups may be deleted by USAN. USAN will notify Group members prior to deletion, but if they receive no response, the Group will be deleted. If USAN deletes a Group, all the records associated with the Group’s shared space will be deleted as well

Automatic Renewal

Groups that are actively in use are renewed automatically setting the days to zero. Any of the following actions will auto-renew a group:

  • SharePoint – view, edit, download, move, share, or upload files. (Viewing a SharePoint page does not count as an action for automatic renewal.)
  • Outlook – join the group, read or write group messages from the group, and like a message (Outlook on the web).
  • Teams – visiting the Teams channel.

Recover Deleted Teams or Groups

When the 365 days limit hits, the Microsoft 365 group will expire and be put into a “Soft-deleted” state. Which means it can still be recovered for up to 30 days. To have the Microsoft 365 group recovered please contact support by creating a SAMI Support Request and include the Microsoft 365 group or Team name to be recovered.

Where to Get Help

For assistance with Microsoft 365 groups, please contact support by creating a SAMI Support Request. We can answer questions about the expiration policy, renewing groups, and updating group owners.

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Microsoft New Outlook Tutorial

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Microsoft has released a new version of Outlook that will eventually replace the classic version. The new Outlook for Windows brings the latest features, intelligent assisted capabilities, and a new modern and simplified design to your Outlook app. The New Outlook has many features and is vastly different visually from the classic version of outlook presently installed on all university owned computers.



The New Outlook is compatible fully with all Office365 functions but because there are some features missing that presently exist in the classic Outlook, FDU IT highly recommends NOT switching to the new Outlook currently, especially since not all features are present and Microsoft is still developing the new Outlook.

Some of the features not available in the New Outlook are:

  1. Existing Offline Outlook files called PST files stored locally on your computer
  2. Virtru Email Encryption Client: While the Add-on is not supported, you can still send and receive encrypted email using the “#secure# tag in the subject line of the email
  3. Adobe Acrobat and/or Foxit PDF Professional Outlook using the COM-Add-ins platform
  4. Zoom Outlook Plugin or any other Meeting platform using the COM-Add-ins platform
  5. Any other third-party COM-Add-in
  6. Custom Macros or Custom Visual Basic functions manually added
  7. Many Rule templates and options are not available


The New Outlook has already been deployed to university owned macOS devices, due to the number of enhancements it provides, and that COM-Add-in platform was a Windows only feature.

  1. Turn on the toggle “Try the new Outlook” which will begin downloading the New Outlook
  1. From the Success window, select “Switch”. This will close the current version of Outlook and New Outlook will sign you in automatically. Select “Next” to accept the privacy settings
  2. Select an option about sending optional data, and then select “Accept”. Review the privacy information about connected experiences, and then select “Continue”
  3. Select “Import Settings” to bring over your settings from classic Outlook. New Outlook will begin adding your accounts
  1. The new Outlook for Windows will open once the setup is complete, and you can start reading and sending emails immediately.

New Look

This is the new Outlook mail icon. It might also include the word NEW.

When you open new Outlook, you’ll see the following tabs on the ribbon: Home, View, and Help. This version includes Settings which is available in the navigation header. Settings is where you can customize your Outlook experience.


If you are using the new outlook and never created an account using the Classic Outlook, you will have to create a ticket using FDU SAMI Support by clicking the Support button at the bottom of this page.

If you switched from the classic Outlook for Windows, you’ll have the option to migrate some of your settings, which you can learn more about on following the link below:

Microsoft Learn

However, it’s still good to familiarize yourself with the latest options.

You’ll find Settings in the gear icon in the upper right corner. You can also make quick updates to certain settings by clicking on the View tab.

Changes you make to settings in the New Outlook for Windows will also be reflected in Outlook on the web.

Become Familiar with The New Ribbon

The top bar of the app should be familiar if you’ve used any apps like Word or Excel before, including the classic Outlook for Windows.

Known as the ribbon, it is the place to find the commands you need to manage your inbox or format emails. You can make the ribbon larger (the classic experience) or smaller (the simplified experience) using the dropdown arrow on the right side of the bar. If you want to personalize the commands you see in the simplified ribbon, select Customize.

On the left side you’ll see the navigation bar, which makes it simple to switch to Calendar, Contacts, or any other app you frequently use. For quick access to your calendar or tasks without leaving the inbox, you can use My Day by selecting the icon in the upper right.

Pin Emails

Do you ever have trouble tracking down that key email thread you’re actively responding to? Or is there an email with key information you frequently refer to? Now, simply right-click any message and choose. Pin and that email will appear at the top of your inbox, saving you time from having to go back and search for it.

Snooze an Email

Sometimes email is very important, but not yet. With the Snooze feature, you can schedule a time for the email to be re-delivered to your inbox, appearing at the time you want it to, so you can handle it when it’s the right time for you. Just right-click any message and choose Snooze, or select Snooze from the ribbon. Then choose the time you want it to be delivered.

Scheduling Poll (Formerly Find Time)

Schedule an Email

In today’s hybrid work world, your day might be someone else’s night, so you don’t want to send an email to someone in the middle of the night. With the new Outlook, it’s simple to send an email when you want to. Just select the dropdown arrow next to Send and choose Schedule send.

You might be familiar with categories, but they’ve been significantly upgraded. See the category names and colors directly on your messages in your inbox. Want to see everything you’ve tagged with that category? Just click it right on your message. You can even add a category to your Favorites.

Install an Add-in from The Office Store

  1. In Outlook, go to the navigation bar and select “More Apps > Add apps”


You can also access the Store from the Apps button to install an add-in directly from a message or appointment.


Only Approved Addons will be allowed to be installed. To request an Addon, Open a Sami Support Ticket.

For guidance on how to locate the Apps button to access add-ins while reading or composing a mail item, see Use an add-in in Outlook following the link below:

Using an Add-in in Outlook

  1. In the “Apps” page, search for the add-in you want from the available list. Alternatively, if you’re after a specific add-in, enter its name in the search box. When you find the add-in you want to install, select it to learn more about the add-in and review its privacy policy
  2. When you’re ready to install the add-in, select “Add”

Add-ins Installed by your IT Admin

If you’re part of an organization and a new add-in is installed for you by your IT admin, the add-in will be available on the read or compose surface where it’s designed to work. For guidance on how to access an add-in, follow the link below:

Use an add-in in Outlook

Using an Add-in

The location of where an Add-in is installed depends on whether you’re reading or composing a mail item.


If you moved from classic Outlook for Windows to the new Outlook for Windows, note that the location of add-ins is different. While add-ins are accessed from the ribbon or app bar in classic Outlook, access to add-ins in new Outlook for Windows depends on whether you’re reading or composing a mail item.

For guidance on how to use Add-ins in classic Outlook, visit the link below:

Use an add-in in Outlook

Using an Add-in While Reading a Message

  1. Select a message in the Reading Pane or open a message in a separate window
  2. From the action bar of the message, select “Apps”
  3. Select the “Add-in” you want to use


Customize your action bar to quickly access your add-ins. In the message action bar, select the ellipsis button (•••), then choose Customize actions. In the Addins section, check the boxes for the add-ins you want to see in the action bar.

Use an Add-in While Composing a Message

  1. Create a new message or reply to an existing one
  2. From the ribbon, select the “Message” tab, then choose the Add-in you want to use. If the Add-in doesn’t appear in the ribbon, select “Apps” to view your installed add-ins

Use an Add-in While Viewing or Scheduling a Meeting or Appointment

  1. Open an existing appointment or create a new one


If you want to use an add-in on an existing meeting or appointment, you must open the meeting or appointment in a pop-up window to view the ribbon.

  1. From the ribbon, select the “Add-in” you want to use

Delete an Add-in

  1. Go to the navigation bar and select “More Apps” then “Add Apps”
  2. On the “Apps” page select “Manage your Apps”
  3. Under “Manage your Apps” find the app you want to delete and select “More options” then “Remove”

As of November 2023, the Microsoft 365 Groups experience in Outlook is generally available for Outlook on the web and new Outlook for Windows. Access new Groups by selecting Groups on the navigation bar.


New Groups in classic Outlook is available in Build Version 16.0.16714.10000 or later. To access new Groups in classic Outlook, from the navigation bar select More Apps > Groups.

New Outlook Groups

Groups in Microsoft 365 let you choose a set of people that you wish to collaborate with and easily set up a collection of resources for those people to share. Resources such as a shared Outlook inbox, shared calendar or a document library for collaborating on files.

Outlook now has a new home for Microsoft 365 Groups - one place to connect, communicate, and collaborate with your team. Groups Home provides a central destination to get critical information from all the different groups you may be part of.

Benefits of the new Groups experience include:

  • Group Home landing page – Stay updated on your groups, including recent files across all your groups. From Home, you can access frequently used groups and find new ones based on your interests.
  • Recent groups and Recent files – Find recent active groups and quick links to get to files, emails, events, and member management from the Groups Home landing page.
  • Revamped individual Groups experience – Create, consume, and share information related to a particular group, as well as manage events and members efficiently in fewer clicks.

Accessing New Groups

In the New Outlook, from the navigation bar select “Groups”. This takes you to Groups Home.

In the Classic Outlook, from the navigation bar select “More apps” then “Groups”.


To pin, right-click Groups and select Pin.

From Groups Home you can see all your groups at once. Or, when you select an individual group, you can:

  • Send an email to the group, access and edit your group settings and preferences, and manage group membership as needed.
  • Access the group email, files, events, and members by selecting the respective tab.
  • Access connected apps like Teams, SharePoint, OneNote, and Planner.


Conversations in Microsoft 365 Groups in Outlook happen in the shared inbox for the group. Users can read and reply to messages, and members can easily search or scroll back through the message history to get caught up on what’s been discussed before. The shared inbox looks a lot like the personal inbox that Outlook users are familiar with. Each conversation appears separately in the message list at the left and clicking on one will open it in the reading pane. If a user marks a message, or conversation, as read it doesn’t affect how the messages appear for other members of the group so you don’t have to worry that other members may miss an important message.

The shared inbox for your Office 365 group is where conversations occur.


A recent change in the way messages are displayed, and counted, in Outlook may have reset the number you see next to your group name in the Outlook navigation pane. If you want to reset that number to zero you can right-click the group and select Mark all as read.

Now that you’ve got your group created, let’s start a new conversation. You can post a new message by opening the shared inbox for the group and clicking New Conversation on the Ribbon. Or you can simply send an email to the group’s alias. All members of the group will be able to read the new message you’ve posted and any members who follow the group will get a copy of your message in their personal inbox.

Share Files

Each Microsoft 365 Group gets a shared files library where you can store, share, and collaborate on documents, workbooks, presentations, or just about any kind of file.

Access the files library by going to your group in Outlook (on the left navigation pane) and click Files on the Ribbon. The files library will open in a browser and from here you can create new files, upload files from your computer and do just about anything else a SharePoint document library can do. Think about what kind of files would be useful to share with your group, and don’t feel limited to Microsoft Office files. You can also share PDFs, photos or just about any other kind of file that your group would find useful.

To download or delete a file just select it and those options will appear on the toolbar at the top.


Each Microsoft 365 Group gets its own shared OneNote notebook where they can gather ideas, collaborate and store research.

Go to your group in Outlook by finding it on the left navigation pane, or in Outlook on the web by going to the People tile. Once you’re there click Notebook on the Ribbon to open the group’s shared notebook.

The first time you open the group’s shared notebook it will open in the browser in OneNote for the web. You can make edits there, or if you have OneNote 2016 and you’d prefer to use that just click Edit in OneNote from the Ribbon. Once you’ve opened it in OneNote the notebook will sync to your list of open notebooks and you can access it directly from within OneNote without having to go to the group first.

Try going to your group’s OneNote notebook and think about what might be useful for the group to collect ideas and collaborate on. For example you might have a section that you use to gather and comment on web content that is relevant to your team.

Plan Events

Chances are good that your group has events, meetings, milestones or other items that would benefit from a shared calendar. Each Microsoft 365 Group has a shared calendar that all members can see and contribute to.

Working with the calendar of your group is no different than working with your personal calendar. If you select the calendar button on the navigation pane, you’ll see your personal calendar, plus the shared calendars of any groups you’re a member of. You can check the boxes next to each calendar you want to see and view them side by side or overlapped.

Adding an item to the shared calendar works just as it does on your personal calendar. Any meeting you add to the shared calendar will invite the other members of the group to that event as well, so they can have it on their own calendars. Appointments added to the shared Group calendar do not appear on the personal calendars of other members.

Now that you’ve got your shared calendar try adding any upcoming meetings or events that your group might be participating in.

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