Some people have long contact lists that span out many pages. There are (at least) three ways to find contact groups, or distribution lists, within a large contacts folder: instant search, use a list view and look over the list, or create a filtered view. If you have a lot of contacts or groups, instant search or filtering out the contacts will make it easier to see your whole list. If you need to search multiple contacts folder, use instant search or advanced find (with the filter). If you need to do this often, consider saving a custom view.

 

Instant Search

  1. If you use Outlook 2010 or 2007, you can use instant search to show only contact groups.
  2. Press Ctrl+E to enter the search field; then type messageclass: (distlist)

This will show only the items that have “distlist” in the message class. "X" the search to show all contacts again.

 

Using List View

Groups have a different icon than other contacts and their names are in bold. If your contact list is short (or your Outlook window large), the contact groups should be easy to spot, otherwise, click the icon column twice to sort the Contact groups to the top of the view.

If you are not already using a list view, in Outlook 2010, select List from the View ribbon, Change View command. In Outlook 2007 and earlier, browse the View menu and select the Phone list view.


Phone List View





 

In Outlook 2010, use these steps if you aren't using a list view:

  1. Go to View ribbon - Click View Settings, Filter.
  2. Click on the Advanced tab.
  3. In the Field field, type message class.
  4. Condition: contains.
  5. In the Value field, type: distlist.
  6. Then click "add" to list.
  7. Close the dialogs and return to outlook.

Now you'll see only the distribution lists in the view. When you are finished, hit the "reset view" button to clear the filter.

 

Create a Filtered View

This method uses a custom view that shows only contact groups and works with any view. If you want to view only contact groups frequently, create a custom view and save it, so you can quickly reapply it as needed. The filter will also work in Advanced Find.

The filter is identical in all versions of Outlook, only the steps to create it vary. In any version of Outlook, if you are using a list view, you can right click on the row of field names at the top of the contact list (Company, Full name, Job title, File As in the screenshots above) and choose Customize Current view... to open the Customize View dialog.

Customized View: Group test

Then create a filter.

  1. Click Filter button.
  2. Click on the Advanced tab.
  3. In the Field field, type message class.
  4. Condition: contains.
  5. In the Value field, type: distlist.
  6. Then click Add to list.
  7. Close the dialogs and return to outlook.

Filter