Tip 933: Display the Total Number of Members in a Contact Group

A user wanted to know if Outlook can display the total count of members of a Contact Group (distribution list).

Yes, this is possible. Open the Contact Group and click Forward > In Internet Format. This creates a new message with the contents of the DL in a text file.

Choose Forward Group, In Internet Format

Double click on the attachment (named "group_name.txt") to open the file then go to the View menu, Status Bar command to show the Status bar. Note: If Word Wrap is enabled on the Format menu, Status bar will be disabled. You need to go to the Format menu and turn off Word Wrap first.
Turn on the Status bar in Notepad

Click anywhere in the last line and look for the line number in the status bar. Subtract 4 to get the total number of members.
Check the line count in the Status bar and subtract 4


If you prefer to use VBA to get the count, Outlook MVP Michael Bauer has a VBA code sample available here: Distribution List: Display the count of the member

Published Nov 14 2011

  • nikki

    Is this the only way to get the number of contacts in a group? Outlook should just tally it and display like it does for the number of folders in the group or the number of contacts in the contact list...

  • Diane Poremsky

    Yeah, unfortunately. It doesn't tally it like it does for category groups because its just a file. If you need to do this often, the VBA is faster.

  • cmdrbozo

    Alternate method is to:
    create a dummy message with the list
    expand the list
    select all
    copy to Word
    find and replace: "; " with "^p" [or anything!]
    dialog box shows number of replacements
    add 1 to that number