Although this tip is in response to a question from an Outlook.com user, the solution can be used with any Outlook 2010 or Outlook 2013 account type.
The option to create Contact Groups is grayed out in Outlook 2013. The "New Contact Group" button is grayed out. I can't believe such a common and productive feature isn't available.
Contact groups aren't supported for Outlook.com accounts in Outlook because outlook.com uses categories to make contact groups. You can assign categories to your contacts in Outlook to make contact groups, although, to avoid problems, I recommend creating the contact groups online and the categories will sync down.
However, a better solution is to use Outlook's Quick Step feature to create a message to a group of people. This is recommended as a replacement for Contact Groups for all email account types (even those that support Contact Groups), in part because it offers additional options besides just adding addresses to a message. You can put contacts in the BCC and CC fields, add a flag, hold the message for a few minutes before sending, and more.
- In the Quick Step dialog, click on Create New.
- Enter a name for your Quick Step.
- Choose New Message as the action.
- Click To and select your contacts.
- Click Show Options to add contacts to the CC or BCC fields, add a subject or flag.
- Choose a shortcut key, if desired.
- Click Finish.
When you want to send a message to your group, click on the Quick Step or use the assigned shortcut. The More button at the bottom of the scroll bar expands the display to view all Quick Steps and the Manage Quick Steps command.
You can also click the Expand icon () to open the Manage Quick Step dialog.
Published September 10, 2013. Last reviewed on September 10, 2013.