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Applies to: Exchange Online, Exchange Online Protection, Exchange Server 2016

This cmdlet is available in on-premises Exchange Server 2016 and in the cloud-based service. Some parameters and settings may be exclusive to one environment or the other.

Use the Get-DistributionGroupMember cmdlet to view the members of distribution groups and mail-enabled security groups.

For information about the parameter sets in the Syntax section below, see Syntax.

Get-DistributionGroupMember -Identity <DistributionGroupMemberIdParameter> [-Credential <PSCredential>] [-DomainController <Fqdn>] [-IgnoreDefaultScope <SwitchParameter>] [-ReadFromDomainController <SwitchParameter>] [-ResultSize <Unlimited>]

This example returns the existing distribution group members for the distribution group named Marketing USA.

Get-DistributionGroupMember -Identity "Marketing USA"

This example sets the scope of the search to the entire forest by running the Set-ADServerSettings cmdlet, and then the Get-DistributionGroupMember cmdlet searches the entire forest for the distribution group members in the Marketing Worldwide distribution group.

Set-ADServerSettings -ViewEntireForest $true
Get-DistributionGroupMember -Identity "Marketing Worldwide"

If your organization has multiple Active Directory domains, you may need to run the Set-ADServerSettings cmdlet with the ViewEntireForest parameter set to $true before running the Get-DistributionGroupMember cmdlet to view the entire forest. For more information, see Example 2.

You need to be assigned permissions before you can run this cmdlet. Although all parameters for this cmdlet are listed in this topic, you may not have access to some parameters if they're not included in the permissions assigned to you. To see what permissions you need, see the "Distribution groups" entry in the Recipients Permissions topic.


Parameter Required Type Description




The Identity parameter specifies the distribution group or mail-enabled security group. You can use any value that uniquely identifies the group.

For example:

  • Name

  • Display name

  • Alias

  • Distinguished name (DN)

  • Canonical DN

  • Email address

  • GUID




The Credential parameter specifies the user name and password that's used to run this command. Typically, you use this parameter in scripts or when you need to provide different credentials that have the required permissions.

This parameter requires the creation and passing of a credential object. This credential object is created by using the Get-Credential cmdlet. For more information, see Get-Credential.




This parameter is available only in on-premises Exchange 2016.

The DomainController parameter specifies the domain controller that's used by this cmdlet to read data from or write data to Active Directory. You identify the domain controller by its fully qualified domain name (FQDN). For example, dc01.contoso.com.




This parameter is available only in on-premises Exchange 2016.

The IgnoreDefaultScope switch tells the command to ignore the default recipient scope setting for the Exchange Management Shell session, and to use the entire forest as the scope. This allows the command to access Active Directory objects that aren't currently available in the default scope.

Using the IgnoreDefaultScope switch introduces the following restrictions:

  • You can't use the DomainController parameter. The command uses an appropriate global catalog server automatically.

  • You can only use the DN for the Identity parameter. Other forms of identification, such as alias or GUID, aren't accepted.




This parameter is available only in on-premises Exchange 2016.

The ReadFromDomainController switch specifies that information should be read from a domain controller in the user's domain. If you run the command Set-AdServerSettings -ViewEntireForest $true to include all objects in the forest and you don't use the ReadFromDomainController switch, it's possible that information will be read from a global catalog that has outdated information. When you use the ReadFromDomainController switch, multiple reads might be necessary to get the information. You don't have to specify a value with this switch.

By default, the recipient scope is set to the domain that hosts your Exchange servers.




The ResultSize parameter specifies the maximum number of results to return. If you want to return all requests that match the query, use unlimited for the value of this parameter. The default value is 1000.

To see the input types that this cmdlet accepts, see Cmdlet Input and Output Types. If the Input Type field for a cmdlet is blank, the cmdlet doesn’t accept input data.

To see the return types, which are also known as output types, that this cmdlet accepts, see Cmdlet Input and Output Types. If the Output Type field is blank, the cmdlet doesn’t return data.

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