Managing distribution lists in Exchange 2000

A look at how management of the distribution list has changed in Exchange 2000.

Managing distribution lists has changed with Exchange 2000. In earlier versions of Exchange, managing a distribution list from the Outlook client (adding or removing members) required the administrator to assign his/her mailbox (or any other user's mailbox, if that user were to manage the list) as the owner of the Distribution List to be managed. You can do this by creating the Distribution List in the Exchange administrator application,...

and then the administrator can assign any user as the owner of the list. That user can then manage the distribution list from the Outlook client.

So, for example, let's say that user Joe was assigned to manage a distribution list labeled "managers." Joe wants to send e-mail to the "managers" distribution list. After viewing the properties of the distribution list, Joe realizes that a user who should be a member of the list is not. All Joe has to do is open a new message, and click the To: button, which will display the Global Address List. At this point, Joe can select the "managers" Distribution List, then click on the Properties button. Once he's inside the "managers" distribution list, Joe can add or remove any user by selecting the modify button. Now Joe can send e-mail to everyone on the List.

But that was then (for some of us), and this is now. With Exchange 2000, the procedure for assigning a user to manage a Distribution List is different.

Here's how you do it in Exchange 2000:

  • On the Exchange server, go to the Exchange application, open the Active Directory Users And Computers console.
  • Open the properties for the Distribution List you want to have a user manage.
  • Click on Manage tab, and then select change.
  • Select a user that you want manage the Distribution list, and then click Ok until you exit the Distribution List properties.

Using the scenario above, if Joe has been assigned to manage the "managers" list, and wants to add a member to the "managers" distribution list, he can double-click on that list in the Outlook client's Global Address List to bring up the properties dialog box. On the General Tab, clicking on Modify Members will allow Joe to add or remove members. After adding the new user, Joe can now send e-mail to the "managers" Distribution List.


Adesh Rampat has 10 years experience with network and IT administration. He is a member of the Association Of Internet Professionals, the Institute For Network Professionals, and the International Webmasters Association. He has also lectured extensively on a variety of topics.


This was first published in November 2003

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