Now in public preview: Chat with groups (M365, distribution & mail-enabled security groups) in Teams



Communicating at scale with the right set of audiences is a critical need for any organization. Today organizations rely on distribution groups, M365 groups or mail-enabled security groups as a tool to create groupings of users that mirror organizational knowledge and workflows. However, users cannot leverage these groups in Teams Chat experiences to reach the right audience today.


Based on input from our customers, we are enhancing the chat experience in Teams so that users can now start a new chat with groups (i.e. distribution groups, M365 groups and mail-enabled security groups) to easily reach the right audience at scale. When starting a new chat, users will now be able to select these groups and start chatting with members of the group (see screenshots below). Limits for the maximum number of members in a chat are honored - an error will be displayed if adding a group causes this limit to be exceeded (see screenshot below). When expanding groups, all nested groups will be expanded and the unique set of members in the groups will be added.


To ensure organizations leverage this feature to best fit their needs, we are also empowering admins to control availability of this feature within their organizations when this feature is generally available (GA).


Note: Dynamic distribution groups created in Exchange Admin Center are not supported.


Flighting status

Available to everyone in Public Preview channel.


How to enable

No action is needed to enable this feature, it is turned on by default. There are no admin controls available yet to disable this feature, but will be added before this feature is generally available (GA).


1 Start a new chat with members of a group.png

Figure 1: Start a new chat with members of a group


Step 1: Click on chat icon.

Step 2: Click on “New Chat” icon to start a new chat.

Step 3: Go to the address bar and type a group name.

Step 4: Select a group to expand group members.



2 Members of the group are added as recipients.png

Figure 2: Members of the group are added as recipients



3 Adding a group that exceeds maximum recipients is not supported.png

Figure 3: Adding a group that exceeds maximum recipients is not supported



4 An error banner will be displayed if the group you are trying to add exceeds the maximum recipient limit.png

Figure 4: An error banner will be displayed if the group you are trying to add exceeds the maximum recipient limit for a chat


Note 1: If you need information about enabling the public preview itself, see “Enable the public preview for Teams” below.

Note 2: User needs to be in Public Preview to have access to this feature.


Supported clients and platforms

Supported on all web platforms currently supporting Microsoft Teams chat as well as Android and iOS.




















How does this feature impact the existing experience?

This feature  enhances current teams experience, and enables team members to easily start a chat with Distribution lists, O365 groups or mail-enabled security groups.


Known issues

An error message is not currently displayed when a dynamic distribution group is used because it is not expandable. This error will be present for GA to help users understand why it failed.


Known limitations

  • This feature honors the maximum limit for chat  set by Microsoft Teams. The user can only add members from Distribution lists, M365  groups or mail-enabled security groups as long as the maximum limit (currently 250) for chat recipients is not exceeded.
  • Admin controls to disable this feature are coming in an update for the GA release.
  • Dynamic distribution groups are not supported.
  • Adding a distribution group and expanding it in an existing chat is not currently supported.


Enable your Teams client for the public preview 


  1. First, IT admins need to set an update policy that turns on Show preview features. Learn how at  Public preview in Microsoft Teams - Microsoft Teams | Microsoft Docs.  
  2. Users then choose to join the public preview individually. See  Get early access to new Teams features - Office Support ( for instructions. 


Summary of public preview features

For a history of features in the Teams public previews, see Microsoft Teams Public Preview - Microsoft Tech Community



Send us your feedback 

Got feedback on features in the public preview or other areas of Teams? Let us know straight from Teams via Help Give feedback This is on the bottom left of your client.


Thank you,

Preview Team

Quality & Customer Obsession, Microsoft Teams


1 Reply
Hi there, Thanks for this.
If I am unable to find the distribution group on Teams' search functionality, should I assume that is because it's a private group or is there another setting I need to adjust?