Gmail makes it easy to quickly add several people in your list of contacts as the recipients to an email. However, if it’s more than just a few and you need to do this often, it makes more sense to put those people into a group, name it and then you can just type the name of the group whenever you need to email those people.
It isn’t particularly obvious how to go about doing this, which is why you’re reading this right now, so without wasting any time, here’s what you need to do. Note: we’re using the desktop version in a web browser.
How to create a group of contacts in Gmail
After logging into
Gmail in a web browser, go to
Google Contacts. You do this by clicking on the menu icon at the top right (1) and then on the Contacts icon.
Move your mouse over the contacts you’d like to include in the list, and click on the tick box that appears to include them. You might have to scroll down a lot through your list of contacts to find them all because you cannot use the search function to find and add people.
Above the list of contacts, look for the ‘Labels’ icon. It looks like an arrow pointing to the right.
Click it and click + New label. Now type a name for the group, such as Family, Friends or Hockey Club. All you’re doing is tagging those contacts with a ‘label’. It’s the same as labeling emails in Gmail.
Click Save and then make sure the contacts are de-selected by clicking somewhere on the page with white space.
How to send an email to group in Gmail
With your group now created, you can try sending an email to its members.
Either go back to Gmail using the same menu icon at the top-right of your browser window, or browse directly to www.gmail.com.
Click the ‘Compose’ button on the left-hand side and in the field where you would usually type an email address, type the name of the group you just named.
Gmail should display the group as an option to click on, and if you do so, it will add the email addresses of the group members in the ‘To’ field. If you want to send yourself the email so you have a record in your inbox and cc everyone in the group, click on either Cc or Bcc on the right-hand side.
Just type the group name in one of those fields, remembering that Cc will let everyone see who else received the email, and Bcc – which stands for blind carbon copy – will only show them their own email address and yours. They won’t know who else you sent it to.
If Gmail doesn’t pop up anything when you start typing the name of your group, that’s ok. Just click on ‘To’ and a new window will open.
Use the My Contacts drop-down menu to choose your group, which will display everyone in the group. Then click ‘Select All’ box to the left, and finally click Insert at the bottom right of the window. Obviously, you can select only those you want to include, or use Select All then deselect one or more people that you don’t want to send the email to.
You can add or change who is in the group by going back to Google Contacts. To add members, selecting the contacts you want to add to the group, click the Label icon and click on the existing group name from the list. To remove someone, select them in the same way, click on the Labels icon and then click on the group name. This will remove the blue tick to the right.
But what about Gmail’s daily sending limits?
Setting up groups in the way described above doesn’t change anything: Gmail still has the same limit of 500 emails per day, and sending one email to a group of 500 people is the same as sending a separate email to 500 people. (If you have a G Suite account – Google’s business offering – then the limit is 2,000 emails per day.)
One way to send messages which avoids these daily limits is to
create a Google Group. Then you can send an email to the group email address which will reach all the members of the group but not count against the usual 500 limit.
This may or may not suit depending upon who you need to email: Google Groups is primarily aimed at connecting those with similar interests so they can form discussion groups.
But, since it’s free, you can investigate it, try it out and see if it works.
If you’re looking for some more handy Gmail tricks, here’s
how to recall an Gmail you just sent and
how to disable Gmail nudges.