Manage dynamic distribution group in Exchange Online (2023)

  • Article
  • 27 minutes to read

Note

A new version of this feature is currently being rolled out to customers. Modern Dynamic Distribution Groups will be fully released by April 2022, replacing the earlier method.

Dynamic distribution groups (DDGs) are mail-enabled Active Directory group objects that are created to expedite the mass sending of email messages and other information within a Microsoft Exchange organization.

DDGs in Exchange Online have been modernized to bring a more reliable, predictable, and better performing experience. This change will reduce mail delivery latency, improve service reliability, and allow you to see the members of a DDG before sending a message.

The membership list is now stored for each DDG and is updated once every 24 hours. You'll know exactly to whom the message is being sent, and it also addresses potential compliance issues. By storing the calculated list of members on the DDG object, messages can be delivered more quickly and our service will have greater reliability.

Important

Government cloud: If your tenant resides in a government cloud, including GCC, GCC High, or DoD, Dynamic Distribution Groups function differently.

To learn more, see Using Dynamic Distribution groups in a government cloud

Important changes in DDGs

As of April 2022, DDGs now perform differently than before. Review the changes in the table below:

AreaOld behaviorNew behavior
Mail delivery latencyUnpredictable. The time it takes to deliver mail to a DDG depends on how complex the filters are on that DDG.Faster and more predictable overall. You should see delivery times more in line with those for regular distribution groups.
CreationDDGs could be used immediately after being created.It takes 2 hours for the initial membership list to be calculated and be available for use.
ModificationDDGs could be used immediately after any changes were madeUsers have to wait up to 2 hours for the membership list to be recalculated and links updated.
Membership list "freshness"The list of members was up to date in real time.The list of members for each DDG is refreshed every 24 hours.

Important

The list of DDG members might become stale. For example, if a user has left a department that was used as a filter for the DDG, they might continue to receive mail that's sent to the DDG for the next 24 hours util the membership list is refreshed.

Mail flow rules (also known as transport rules) are also affected by this behavior, because the membership list that the mail flow rules use is also refreshed once every 24 hours.

Important

  • A dynamic distribution group includes any recipient in Active Directory with attribute values that match its filter. If a recipient's properties are modified to match the filter, the recipient could inadvertently become a group member and start receiving messages that are sent to the group. Well-defined, consistent account provisioning processes will reduce the chances of this issue occurring.
  • Dynamic distribution groups are not synced from Exchange Online to Azure Active Directory or to your on-premises Active Directory. Therefore, features such as Azure Conditional Access do not support being scoped to an Exchange Online dynamic distribution group.

Before you begin

  • You need to be assigned permissions before you can perform this procedure or procedures. To see what permissions you need, see the "Recipients" entry in the Feature permissions in Exchange Online article.

    (Video) 13. Create Dynamic Distribution Group in Microsoft 365 | Exchange Online

  • For information about keyboard shortcuts that may apply to the procedures in this article, see Keyboard shortcuts for the Exchange admin center.

Tip

Having problems? Ask for help in the Exchange forums. Visit the forums at Exchange Online or Exchange Online Protection.

Create a dynamic distribution group

  • In the new EAC
  • In the Classic EAC
  • With Exchange Online PowerShell

Use the new EAC to create a dynamic distribution group.

Important

It can take up to 2 hours for the initial membership list to be calculated and be available for use.

  1. In the new EAC, navigate to Recipients > Groups.

  2. Select Add a group and follow the instructions in the details pane.

    • Under Choose a group type section, select Dynamic distribution group and select Next.

    • Under Set up the basics section, enter the details and select Next.

  3. In Assign Users section, select the group owner from the drop-down list.

  4. Use the Members section to specify the types of recipients for the group and set up rules that will determine membership. Select one of the following boxes:

    • All recipient types: Choose this option to send messages that meet the criteria defined for this group to all recipient types.

    • Only the following recipient types: Messages that meet the criteria defined for this group will be sent to one or more of the following recipient types:

      • Users with Exchange mailboxes: Select this check box if you want to include users that have Exchange mailboxes. Users that have Exchange mailboxes are those that have a user domain account and a mailbox in the Exchange organization. Resource mailboxes are also included.

      • Mail users with external email addresses: Select this check box if you want to include users that have external email addresses. Users that have external email accounts have user domain accounts in Active Directory, but use email accounts that are external to the organization. This enables them to be included in the global address list (GAL) and added to distribution lists.

      • Resource mailboxes: Select this check box if you want to include Exchange resource mailboxes. Resource mailboxes allow you to administer company resources through a mailbox, such as a conference room or a company vehicle.

        (Video) Create and Manage dynamic distribution groups

      • Mail contacts with external email addresses: Select this check box if you want to include contacts that have external email addresses. Contacts that have external email addresses don't have user domain accounts in Active Directory, but the external email address is available in the GAL.

      • Mail-enabled groups: Select this check box if you want to include security groups or distribution groups that have been mail-enabled. Mail-enabled groups are similar to distribution groups. Email messages that are sent to a mail-enabled group account will be delivered to several recipients.

  5. Select one of the following attributes from the drop-down list and provide a value to define the criteria for membership in this group.

    AttributeSend message to a recipient if...
    State or provinceThe specified value matches the recipient's State or province property.
    CompanyThe specified value matches the recipient's Company property.
    DepartmentThe specified value matches the recipient's Department property.
    Custom attribute N (where N is a number from 1 to 15)The specified value matches the recipient's CustomAttributeN property.

    Important

    The values that you enter for the selected attribute must exactly match those that appear in the recipient's properties. For example, if you enter Washington for State or province, but the value for the recipient's property is WA, the condition will not be met. Also, text-based values that you specify aren't case-sensitive. For example, if you specify Contoso for the Company attribute, messages will be sent to a recipient if this value is contoso.

  6. To add another rule to define the criteria for membership, select Add another rule, when you've finished, select Next.

    Important

    If you add multiple rules to define membership, a recipient must meet the criteria of each rule to receive a message sent to the group. In other words, each rule is connected with the Boolean operator AND.

  7. In Edit settings section, enter the group email address and select Next.

  8. In Review and finish adding group section, verify all the details, select Create group and then select Close.

Note

If you want to specify rules for attributes other than the ones available in the new EAC, you must use Exchange Online PowerShell to create a dynamic distribution group. Keep in mind that the filter and condition settings for dynamic distribution groups that have custom recipient filters can be managed only by using Exchange Online PowerShell. For an example of how to create a dynamic distribution group with a custom query, see the next section on using Exchange Online PowerShell to create a dynamic distribution group.

Change dynamic distribution group properties

You can change the group properties, here's how.

  • With new EAC
  • With the classic EAC
  • With Exchange Online PowerShell
  1. In the new EAC, navigate to Recipients > Groups > Dynamic distribution list.

  2. In the list of groups, select the dynamic distribution group that you want to view or change.

  3. On the group's properties page, select one of the following sections to view or change properties.

    (Video) how To Get Exchange Online Dynamic Distribution Group Members

General

Use this section to view or change basic information about the group.

  • Name: This name appears in the address book, on the To: line when email is sent to this group, and in the Groups list. The display name is required and should be user-friendly so people recognize what it is. It also has to be unique in your domain.

  • Description: Use this box to describe the group so people know what the purpose of the group is. This description appears in the address book and in the Details pane in the new EAC.

Email options in new EAC

Use this section to view or change the email addresses associated with the group. This includes the group's primary SMTP addresses and any associated proxy addresses. Under Edit email addresses page, change/edit the Primary email address, add/delete Aliases and then select Save changes.

You can also select the group and then select Edit email addresses from the toolbar to change/edit the Primary email address, add/delete Aliases and then select Save changes.

Members

Use this section to change/edit the following:

  • Under Owners section, select View all and manage owners to add/remove group owners from the drop-down list and then select Save changes. The dynamic distribution group must have at least one owner.

  • Use Members section to change the criteria used to determine membership of the group. You can delete or change existing membership rules and add new rules. For procedures that tell you how to do this, see Create a dynamic distribution group

Important

It can take up to 2 hours for the membership list to be recalculated and links updated.

Settings

Under General settings section, select the checkbox Hide from my organization's global address list if you want to hide the group from the list.

Delivery management

Use this section to manage who can send email to this group.

  • Sender options

    By default, only people inside your organization can send message to this group. You can also allow people outside the organization to send to this group.

    • Only allow messages from people inside my organization: Select this option to allow only senders in your organization to send messages to the group. This means that if someone outside your organization sends an email message to this group, it is rejected. This is the default setting.

    • Allow messages from people inside and outside my organization: Select this option to allow anyone to send messages to the group.

  • Specified senders

    You can further limit who can send messages to the group by allowing only specific senders to send messages to this group. Select/remove one or more recipients/group from the drop-down list. If you add senders to this list, they're the only ones who can send mail to the group. Mail sent by anyone not in the list will be rejected.

    Important

    If you've configured the group to allow only senders inside your organization to send messages to the group, email sent from a mail contact is rejected, even if they're added to this list.

    (Video) Groups in Office 365 - Part 1 | How Distribution groups and Dynamic Distribution groups work
Manage delegates

Use this section to assign permissions to a user (called a delegate) to allow them to send messages as the group or send messages on behalf of the group. You can assign the following permissions:

  • Send As: This permission allows the delegate to send messages as the group. After this permission is assigned, the delegate has the option to add the group to the From line to indicate that the message was sent by the group.

  • Send on Behalf: This permission also allows a delegate to send messages on behalf of the group. After this permission is assigned, the delegate has the option to add the group on the From line. The message will appear to be sent by the group and will say that it was sent by the delegate on behalf of the group.

To assign permissions to delegates in new EAC, add the delegates under the Edit delegates page, select the Permission type from the drop-down list and select Save changes.

Message approval

Use this section to set options for moderating the group. Moderators approve or reject messages sent to the group before they reach the group members.

  • Require moderator approval for messages sent to this group: This check box isn't selected by default. If you select this check box, incoming messages are reviewed by the group moderators before delivery. Group moderators can approve or reject incoming messages.

  • Group moderators: To add/remove group moderators, search/add users from the drop-down list. If you've selected Require moderator approval for messages sent to this group and you don't select a moderator, messages to the group are sent to the group owners for approval.

  • Add senders who don't require message approval: To add/remove users that can bypass moderation for this group, search/add users from the drop-down list.

  • Notify a sender if their message isn't approved:: Use this section to set how users are notified about message approval.

    • Only sender: This is the default setting. Notify all senders, inside and outside your organization, when their message isn't approved.

    • Only senders in your organization: When you select this option, only users or groups in your organization are notified when a message that they sent to the group isn't approved by a moderator.

    • No notifications: When you select this option, notifications aren't sent to senders whose messages aren't approved by the group moderators.

How do you know this worked?

To verify that you've successfully changed properties for a dynamic distribution group:

  • Select the group to view the property or feature that you changed. Depending on the property that you changed, it might be displayed in the details pane for the selected group.

Using DDGs in a government cloud

If your tenant resides in a government cloud, including GCC, GCC High, or DoD, the Dynamic Distribution Groups, DDGs function differently.

For government clouds, the membership list for dynamic distribution groups is calculated each time a message is sent to the group, based on the filters and conditions that you define. When an email message is sent to a dynamic distribution group, it's delivered to all recipients in the organization that match the criteria defined for that group.

View group members (Government cloud only)

Use Exchange Online PowerShell to preview the list of members of a dynamic distribution group

This example returns the list of members for the dynamic distribution group named Full Time Employees.

$FTE = Get-DynamicDistributionGroup "Full Time Employees"Get-Recipient -RecipientPreviewFilter $FTE.RecipientFilter -OrganizationalUnit $FTE.RecipientContainerThis example displays the list of users and email addresses for the same group if it has more than 1,000 members.
$FTE = Get-DynamicDistributionGroup "Full Time Employees"Get-Recipient -ResultSize Unlimited -RecipientPreviewFilter $FTE.RecipientFilter -OrganizationalUnit $FTE.RecipientContainer | Format-Table Name,Primary*

For detailed syntax and parameter information, see Get-DynamicDistributionGroupMember.

(Video) 9. Create Dynamic Distribution Group in Exchange 2019

How do you know this worked?To verify that you've successfully viewed the members of a dynamic distribution group, run Get-DynamicDistributionGroupMember to view the list of group members. For example, if you created a new user mailbox with properties that match the recipient filter for the dynamic distribution group, this new mailbox should be displayed in the list of group members.

FAQs

How do you check members of a dynamic distribution group? ›

Use Exchange Online PowerShell to view the list of recipients for a Dynamic Distribution group (DDG). You can't view members of a dynamic distribution in the Exchange admin center (EAC). Do not use the old procedure for viewing members.

What is dynamic distribution group in Exchange? ›

Dynamic distribution groups (DDGs) are mail-enabled Active Directory group objects that are created to expedite the mass sending of email messages and other information within a Microsoft Exchange organization.

How do I remove someone from a dynamic distribution group? ›

Use the Remove-DistributionGroupMember cmdlet to remove a single member from distribution groups or mail-enabled security groups. To replace all members, use the Update-DistributionGroupMember cmdlet.

What are the four key elements of group dynamics? ›

Group dynamics refers to the study of forces within a group.
...
What are the four elements of Group Dynamics?
  • Forming. The first get together of the members is set during this stage. ...
  • Storming. ...
  • Norming. ...
  • Performing.

How do I see DL members? ›

In order to see the members of a distribution list in Outlook, follow these steps:
  1. Enter the lists's name into To, Cc, or Bcc field.
  2. Click on Check Names icon on the ribbon or press Ctrl + K to validate list's name.
  3. Click the plus sign (+) next to the name of the distribution list to show the list members.

How do you check if a user is a member of an ad group? ›

You can check group membership with the Active Directory Users and Computers (ADUC) console snap-in by finding the user or group of interest and drilling down into the object's properties and clicking the “Members” or “Member Of” tab.

How do I get a list of members in a distribution group? ›

Use the Get-DistributionGroup cmdlet to view existing distribution groups or mail-enabled security groups. To view the members of a group, use the Get-DistributionGroupMember cmdlet. For information about the parameter sets in the Syntax section below, see Exchange cmdlet syntax.

What is the difference between distribution group and dynamic distribution group? ›

Dynamic distribution group - Unlike regular distribution groups that contain a defined set of members, the membership list for a dynamic distribution group is calculated each time a message is sent to the group, based on the filters and conditions that you define.

What is the difference between a static and dynamic distribution list? ›

The members of static distribution lists are added and removed manually by the group administrators. Dynamic distribution list members are filtered automatically because you have to choose a user attribute of Active Directory, based on which members are automatically contacted when emails are sent to this group.

Can I edit the members of the distribution list? ›

A central distribution list is a collection of contacts with allows you to email multiple people within a group. Once you have you list set up, you can modify the list members at any time.

Can users manage distribution groups? ›

Users in a Microsoft 365 environment can create distribution groups and manage those distribution groups. As an admin, you may want to prevent users or a subset of users from creating and managing distribution groups.

What are the 5 stages of group dynamics? ›

These stages are commonly known as: Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing, and Adjourning. Tuckman's model explains that as the team develops maturity and ability, relationships establish, and leadership style changes to more collaborative or shared leadership.

What are the 2 types of group dynamics? ›

The Different Types Of Group Dynamics

In an organization, we commonly see two types of groups—formal and informal.

What are the two functions of group dynamics? ›

Group Functions

Three functions that influence the effectiveness and productivity of groups are task functions, maintenance functions, and self-interest functions.

What causes poor group dynamics? ›

Weak leadership: when a team lacks a strong leader, a more dominant member of the group can often take charge. This can lead to a lack of direction, infighting, or a focus on the wrong priorities.

What are the three 3 important dimensions of team dynamics? ›

The findings show that team dynamics such as cognition, cohesion, and team conflict are important factors in determining how successfully teams perform.

How do I manage DL members in Outlook? ›

  1. Open Microsoft Outlook and then open the Address Book. ...
  2. Locate the distribution list by typing the full or partial name of it. ...
  3. Click Modify Members.
  4. To add a person to the DL, click Add. ...
  5. To remove a person from the DL, click on their name in the Members list and then click Remove.
Jun 13, 2022

How do I edit a DL in Outlook? ›

To edit a group or review information about a group:
  1. Select Settings. > Options > Groups > Distribution groups I own.
  2. In the dialog box, select the group you want to edit. ...
  3. Select Edit. ...
  4. Make the changes you want.
  5. Select Save to save your changes, or Cancel to leave without saving.

How to view members of a dynamic distribution group office 365? ›

Displaying members of all Dynamic Distribution Groups is not much harder. We can use PowerShell cmdlets like Get-DynamicDistributionGroup and Get-Recipient to get members of the Dynamic Distribution Group.

How do you detect who added a user to Domain Admins group? ›

Run "gpupdate /force" command. Run eventvwr. msc and filter security log for event id 4728 to detect when users are added to security-enabled global groups.

How many AD groups can a user belong to? ›

The security token of a Windows Client can hold up to 1024 SIDs. If a user object is member of more groups than allowed, the logon fails. More precisely, the exact limit is set at approximately 1010 groups because some of the storage space is already taken by the so-called “well known SIDs”.

Do AD groups have owners? ›

In the case of an Active Directory group, no group should be without an assigned owner. An owner of a group has an explicit responsibility for what the group governs and what objects are included in that governance.

Can multiple people own a distribution list? ›

To enable multiple user accounts as manager of a distribution list, Microsoft introduced the attribute “msExchCoManagedByLink”. The attribute is used automatically (with the correct parameters) as soon as the managers of the list are entered via PowerShell.

How do I get a list of members of a group in Office 365? ›

Expand “Teams & Groups” and Click on “Active Teams & Groups” in the left navigation. Search and click on the Office 365 group you wish to get members from. On the members tab, click on “Members”. This lists all members of the group.

How do I send an email to a dynamic distribution group? ›

To add a dynamic distribution list for sending, follow these steps:
  1. In the Recipients step, select Echange groups as your recipient source.
  2. Click Add.
  3. Add the group by name or email, or use the search functionality, then click Add.

Do owners of distribution groups get emails? ›

Yes, you also need to add the owner to the list of member. If you want the owner to receive emails which are sent to this group.

How do I migrate a dynamic distribution group to Office 365? ›

Go to the Exchange admin center. Now click on the Recipients from the left pane and select Groups. In the following Window, select the Distribution list option. Now check the DL you want to upgrade into Office 365 group and click on the Upgrade Distribution Group option.

How do I create a DL in Exchange Online? ›

Use the new EAC to create distribution list groups
  1. In the new EAC, navigate to Recipients > Groups > Distribution list.
  2. Click Add a group and follow the instructions in the details pane. ...
  3. In Assign owners section, click + Assign owners, select the group owner from the list, and click Next.
Sep 9, 2022

Can you convert a distribution list to a dynamic distribution group? ›

No, it is not feasible to convert a DG to a DDG.

What is dynamic group in o365? ›

Dynamic group membership adds and removes group members automatically using membership rules based on member attributes. This article details the properties and syntax to create dynamic membership rules for users or devices. You can set up a rule for dynamic membership on security groups or Microsoft 365 groups.

What are the techniques of group dynamics? ›

(ii) Group dynamics consists of a set of techniques such as role playing, brainstorming, group therapy, sensitivity training etc. (iii) Group dynamics deals with internal nature of groups, their formation, structure and process, and the way they affect individual members, other groups and the organisation as a whole.

What is the difference between a dynamic distribution group and a distribution group? ›

The membership list for a dynamic distribution group is calculated each time a message is sent to the group, based on the filters and conditions that you define. This differs from a regular distribution group, which contains a defined set of members.

Videos

1. Dynamic Distribution list
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3. How To Create Dynamic Distribution Group
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4. 16. Dynamic Distribution Group In Exchange Server 2019
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