MS Teams chat groups based on MS Outlook distribution lists - possible or not?

Copper Contributor

Hello. I have a question:


Under Skype for Business, one of the users reported that they were able to create group lists for chats based on a Microsoft Outlook distribution list and basically when the distribution list was updated the contacts in the Skype chat groups were also updated. Is this possible under MS Teams? 

7 Replies

@StefanOz No this is not currently possible in Teams. I would ask what they are trying to achieve with that feature, there are lots of new ways of working in Teams that don't mean we need every feature from SfB.

I would suggest they create a Team for this group, you can add a DL as a one time copy of members, then you can @mention the folks you need, or open the channel info pane and see them all with their status.

@Steven Collier Hi Steven. From what I understand from the user they want this ability to setup large chats with multiple users without having to add the users all the time when starting a new chat. Basically lets say in Outlook that they have a marketlingzlist, supportzlist, and saleszlist. Each of those lists have 20-40 users that can change at any given time (zlists are updated each time a user joins or leaves the team). That user (and others) want to open a chat with every member in the team without having to specify each member. They don't want the to use a list in teams that they create themselves because it would be static (and they would have to add new members themselves and they may not know when someone new is on those teams) and if members leave the team or are added to the team they wouldn't have those changes. Like I said their zlist are updated quite regularly.


Sorry it's a little bit confusing.



That really sounds like a Team, just needs to update their process either

  • Convert the DL to an M365 Group, then it can be used as both a DL (-ish) and a Team
  • Change their process to add new users to both dl and team
  • Write a script that runs every day to copy the members of a DL to a Team.
Old post, but is this a feature, yet? Our CIO loves WhatsApp and we are trying to have the company adopt Teams. It is not going well.

One complaint is that the Teams "chat" is more of a posting board, like Slack, as he says. He would like large groups to be added into chats that dynamically update themselves as team members come and go. Possible?

Hi. I have no idea why Microsoft hasn't synchronized Outlook distribution groups with Teams/Office 365. Its ridiculous to have to go through the steps identified to have to create a Teams Chat. The fact that Outlook Distribution Groups don't show up on Teams when you search for a User to start a chat with is just silly.  Its 2022 and this feature is still missing as far as I can tell!


This is the kind of obvious feature that Apple wouldn't miss



I am completely baffled by this lack of functionality. Why do they ASSUME that all users of this product would have the DESIRE to have to manage Channels and 'Teams' what if we really just want to use it the way we used Skype for Business? I can't control the user community I support. What I can control are the backend groups that I manage as staff come and go.... I work in a place with NO GOOD archival process so I don't delete the accounts I hide them from the GAL and take them out of groups. WHY Would I want every staffer to have to manually add or remove every coworker to and from groups that appear for them? I had 6 groups by location in S4B and they all came over to Teams Chat Contact list BLANK - how is this helpful? Am I really expected to remote to every staffers computer every time staff changes occur to help them keep their lists updated with presence etc? Cisco Jabber has this SAME limit to their functionality. Has no one who builds these things ever had to manage staff changes before? @StefanOz