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Create a Distribution Group

Applies to: Exchange Server 2010

Topic Last Modified: 2011-03-19

Use the New Distribution Group wizard to create a new distribution group in your Exchange organization or to mail-enable an existing group in Active Directory.

There are two types of distribution groups:

  • Mail-enabled universal distribution groups can be used only to distribute messages.
  • Mail-enabled universal security groups can be used to distribute messages as well as to grant access permissions to resources in Active Directory.

It's important to note the terminology differences between Active Directory and Exchange 2010. In Active Directory, a distribution group refers to any group that doesn't have a security context, whether it's mail-enabled or not. In contrast, in Exchange 2010, all mail-enabled groups are referred to as distribution groups, whether they have a security context or not.

Bb124513.Caution(en-us,EXCHG.140).gifCaution:
You can create or mail-enable only universal distribution groups. To convert a domain-local or a global group to a universal group, you can use the Set-Group cmdlet in the Exchange Management Shell. You may have mail-enabled groups that were migrated from previous versions of Exchange that are not universal groups. You can use the Exchange Management Console (EMC) or the Shell to manage these groups

Looking for other management tasks related to distribution groups? Check out Managing Distribution Groups.

You need to be assigned permissions before you can perform this procedure. To see what permissions you need, see the "Distribution groups" entry in the Mailbox Permissions topic.

  1. In the console tree, click Recipient Configuration.
  2. In the action pane, click New Distribution Group.
  3. On the Introduction page, select whether to create a new group or to mail-enable an existing group.
    • New group   Click this button to create a new distribution group.
    • Existing group   Click this button to mail-enable an existing group in Active Directory, and then click Browse to select the existing group.
  4. On the Group Information page, complete the following fields.
    • Group type   Click Distribution to create a mail-enabled universal distribution group, or click Security to create a mail-enabled universal security group.
    • Specify the organizational unit rather than using a default one Select this check box to select an organizational unit (OU) other than the default (which is the recipient scope). If the recipient scope is set to the forest, the default value is set to the Users container in the Active Directory domain that contains the computer on which the Exchange Management Console is running. If the recipient scope is set to a specific domain, the Users container in that domain is selected by default. If the recipient scope is set to a specific OU, that OU is selected by default. To select a different OU, click Browse to open the Select Organizational Unit dialog box. This dialog box displays all OUs in the forest that are within the specified scope. Select the desired OU, and then click OK. To learn more about recipient scopes, see Understanding Recipient Scope.
    • Name   Use this box to type the name of the group, which can't exceed 64 characters.
    • Name (pre-Windows 2000)   Use this box to type the name for the group that is compatible with the legacy versions of Windows (prior to the release of Windows 2000 Server). This required field is automatically populated based on the Name field.
      The name of the group that is compatible with earlier versions of Windows can't exceed 64 characters. It can contain letters, numbers, and the following characters: ! # $ % ^ & - . _ { } | ~.
    • Alias   Use this box to type the name of the alias for the group. The alias cannot exceed 64 characters and must be unique in the forest.
  5. On the New Distribution Group page, review your configuration settings. To make any configuration changes, click Back. To create the new distribution group, click New.
  6. On the Completion page, review the following, and then click Finish to close the wizard:
    • A status of Completed indicates that the wizard completed the task successfully.
    • A status of Failed indicates that the task wasn't completed. If the task fails, review the summary for an explanation, and then click Back to make any configuration changes.
  7. Click Finish.

You need to be assigned permissions before you can perform this procedure. To see what permissions you need, see the "Distribution groups" entry in the Mailbox Permissions topic.

This example creates the distribution group Managers with the SAM account name Managers in the organizational unit Contoso.com/users.

New-DistributionGroup -Name "Managers" -OrganizationalUnit "Contoso.com/users" -SAMAccountName "Managers" -Type "Distribution"
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