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Outlook 2013: How to stop contact group from expanding automatically when sending email? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I posted this on the Microsoft Office community forum and was advised to come here because I am on a .GOV account using Microsoft Exchange server. 

    I have created contact groups/distribution lists for emails. When I enter a group in the addressee field, it shows the group name with the plus sign next to it. However, as soon as I send it, the group expands by itself, showing the individual members on the addressee line. This didn't used to happen.

    This is very annoying. It's not just ugly but it means I cannot keep the groups separate when there is more than one group or other names in the address field, and other people are unable to use the groups that have been established. For example, I have been backfilling for a colleague who was on sick leave - I didn't have the contact groups she'd already made and had to reconstruct everything from the long list of names on the addressee fields without knowing which group each belonged to.

    The behavior seems to be limited to the groups I create. When I use a distribution list from our global address book, it does not automatically expand. Others have reported this behavior too.

    Any help would be appreciated.

    Monday, March 28, 2016 2:39 PM

Answers

  • Hi Ros2004,

    as far as I understood you created contact groups in one of your personal contacts folders in Outlook. That are required to be expanded when you are sending your mail item, as there is no server driven mechanism to apply recipients. when you're sending your mail, outlook will always put the recipients to the smtp envilope as well as to the TO: property on your mail item.

    The other statement of the thread above is you are telling about "noone else can use them". This is correct as your "group" is a contacts group on your mailbox, so noone can access from outside that mailbox. 

    If you want to share a group of recipients, please do not use your personal mailbox / shared mailbox contacts and contact groups but use Exchanges "distribution list" objects, maintained in AD. In that case you need to have the group created by someone with permission (an Exchange recipient administrator) while you still can be assigned as a "list manager" to maintain group membership (list manager can update members needs to be checked). If permission is assigned that way you are able to manage the lists from the Global Address List shown in Outlook.

    Find more about Exchange distribution lists here: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb124513%28v=exchg.150%29.aspx?f=255&MSPPError=-2147217396

    Find more about Outlook contact groups here: https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Create-and-edit-a-Contact-Group-formerly-distribution-lists-88ff6c60-0a1d-4b54-8c9d-9e1a71bc3023

    You cannot get there from maibox-only contacts, such a group will always expand.

    Regards,
    Martin


    • Edited by Gudel, Martin Tuesday, March 29, 2016 3:12 PM
    • Marked as answer by Ros2004 Tuesday, March 29, 2016 6:36 PM
    Tuesday, March 29, 2016 3:10 PM

All replies

  • By the way, I am on a government email account so have very limited access to anything. IT has to perform any changes in registry, etc.
    Monday, March 28, 2016 2:50 PM
  • You can change the default view to collapse by changing the ‘Expand/collapse defaults’ settings. To do that, once you are in the Category view, under View tab click on ‘View Settings’ in the ‘Current View’ group. In the ‘Advance View Settings: List’ click on ‘Group By’ Field. In the Group By window, click the drop down arrow for Expand/collapse defaults and select All collapsed. Click Ok and verify the results.
    Monday, March 28, 2016 9:22 PM
  • If Outlook's built-in arrangements don't provide the view you need, you can create your own grouping levels by customizing your view.

    To group items in an existing view, use the following steps:

    1. On the View tab, in the Current View group, click the View Settings button.

    2. In the Advanced View Settings dialog box, click the Group By... button:

    3. In the Group By dialog box :

    1.Uncheck the Automatically group according to arrangement box. This is Outlook's default setting and assumes you don't need to group by any field other than one of the predefined arrangements.

    2.Use the drop-down list under Group items by to select the first field to group your items under. You can select up to four different grouping levels.

    The default field list is Frequently-used fields. You can change this by using the drop-down list marked Select available fields from. Choose your field set and the fields in that set will become available:

    3.Choose whether to sort your group headings in ascending or descending order
    4.Choose whether you want your grouping field displayed in the view. Because the grouping field is displayed in the group header, you might want to save space and not show the field elsewhere in the view
    5.Under the Expand/Collapse Defaults drop-down list, choose how you want your groups to be displayed. You can choose from All expanded, All collapsed, or As last viewed:

    6.Specify any additional grouping levels in the Group Items By boxes and click OK twice to apply your changes.

    You can modify grouping levels directly in the Group By Header. This header isn't shown by default; however, you can expose the Group By header by right-clicking on one of the column headers in the view and choosing Group By This Field:

    Monday, March 28, 2016 9:39 PM
  • Hi,

    How did you do to create the Contact Group? Is it Distribution Group? If not, this can be the reason of this phenomenon, you can try to use Get-distributionGroup cmdlet to check if it exits in your AD origination.


    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help, and unmark the answers if they provide no help. If you have feedback for TechNet Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com.

    Tuesday, March 29, 2016 9:57 AM
  • Thank you for your response. This is interesting information that I didn't know before but I don't think it applies to my problem. I'm not talking about expanding views, but distribution lists (contact groups).
    Tuesday, March 29, 2016 2:26 PM
  • Thank you for replying but I'm afraid I don't understand. I thought Contact Groups are the new term for Distribution Groups/Lists. Are they different? (As I mentioned before, I don't think I had this problem before so could it be because of version change?) How would I use Get-distributionGroup cmdlet?

    I create groups by going into People tab, then choosing New Contact Group from the menu ribbon. Then I add members from the global address book or by typing their email address.

    I cannot find any option about whether to expand the group or keep it collapsed once the email is sent.

    Tuesday, March 29, 2016 2:40 PM
  • Hi Ros2004,

    as far as I understood you created contact groups in one of your personal contacts folders in Outlook. That are required to be expanded when you are sending your mail item, as there is no server driven mechanism to apply recipients. when you're sending your mail, outlook will always put the recipients to the smtp envilope as well as to the TO: property on your mail item.

    The other statement of the thread above is you are telling about "noone else can use them". This is correct as your "group" is a contacts group on your mailbox, so noone can access from outside that mailbox. 

    If you want to share a group of recipients, please do not use your personal mailbox / shared mailbox contacts and contact groups but use Exchanges "distribution list" objects, maintained in AD. In that case you need to have the group created by someone with permission (an Exchange recipient administrator) while you still can be assigned as a "list manager" to maintain group membership (list manager can update members needs to be checked). If permission is assigned that way you are able to manage the lists from the Global Address List shown in Outlook.

    Find more about Exchange distribution lists here: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb124513%28v=exchg.150%29.aspx?f=255&MSPPError=-2147217396

    Find more about Outlook contact groups here: https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Create-and-edit-a-Contact-Group-formerly-distribution-lists-88ff6c60-0a1d-4b54-8c9d-9e1a71bc3023

    You cannot get there from maibox-only contacts, such a group will always expand.

    Regards,
    Martin


    • Edited by Gudel, Martin Tuesday, March 29, 2016 3:12 PM
    • Marked as answer by Ros2004 Tuesday, March 29, 2016 6:36 PM
    Tuesday, March 29, 2016 3:10 PM
  • Thanks very much for your explanation, Martin.

    If I understand correctly, any contact group I create in my personal contacts folder is always going to expand because that's the only way Outlook will know who the recipients are.

    Since I do not have administrator permissions on the Exchange server I will not be able to create distribution groups there. The groups I am creating are generally temporary and for my use only, not enterprise wide, so they are not something I could ask to be created for me.

    So it sounds like I'm SOL. What changed? I used to be able to create distribution lists that didn't expand when I used them.

    By the way, is it possibly to share a contacts group I created with someone else?

     


    • Edited by Ros2004 Tuesday, March 29, 2016 6:41 PM
    Tuesday, March 29, 2016 6:35 PM
  • Hi Ros, 

    Have you sorted this out? Kindly let me know. I am facing the same problem

    Thursday, July 13, 2017 5:16 AM
  • Would it help to send as BCC, so at least all the viewers don't get to see all the private addresses?
    • Proposed as answer by Beef on Rye Friday, February 9, 2018 10:38 AM
    Friday, February 9, 2018 10:38 AM
  • As stated below, go to Outlook > People > Lists & delete the list of people you created that mirror's your distribution group. That solved it for me.
    Thursday, November 29, 2018 6:57 PM