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Updating Distribution Lists


December 29, 2001 - by Bill Jelen

Linda sent in today's question:

One of my Outlook contacts is incorrectly set to send e-mail to the wrong address. I can change it, but the mail sent to the MyTeam distribution list still goes to the old address. Why?

Interesting problem. I wonder why Microsoft does not update the distribution lists automatically, but they don't.

Follow these steps, first to change the e-mail address and then update the distribution list.

  • In Outlook, make sure the folder pane is visible by selecting View from the menu, wait 3-5 seconds for the menu to expand, then see if there is a box around the icon next to Folder View. If there is not, then select Folder View.
  • You will not be able to see a list of personal folders on the left side of your Outlook Window. If necessary, press the plus sign next to your Personal Folders. Look for the folder called "Contacts" in the folder pane on the left side of the Outlook Window. Click Contacts.
  • In the right side of your Outlook window, you will see a list of all your Contacts. If necessary, use the scroll bar along the side or the bottom to find the entry for Cheryl N. Double-click on her name to open the contact record for Cheryl.
  • In the contact record for Cheryl, on the 2nd column, 5th row, click in the e-mail box, to the right of the existing e-mail address. Use the backspace key once and the wrong e-mail will disappear. Now, retype the correct e-mail (making sure to use @MyExcel.com instead of @MrExcel.com). Tab out of the field and you should see the e-mail address change in the "Display As" field just below the e-mail field. Both the E-Mail and the Display As field should show the correct address.
  • Your changes are not correct until you press the Save and Close icon in the upper left corner.
  • Finally, and the most important step, if you have any Distribution Lists set up, you need to open this distribution list in the Contacts folder, and click the Update Now button on the right side of the dialog box. This will update the distribution list with the corrected e-mail.