A few weeks ago, a reader sent me an email asking how to set up mailing groups in the free Mail app that comes with Microsoft Windows 10. As a long-time user of Office 365 Outlook, which has a plethora of group collaboration features, I thought for sure the Mail app would have at least a few basic group controls. But, sure enough, when I checked, there were no group tools in either the Mail app or the People app of Windows 10.

Why Microsoft would make the conscious decision to NOT include group and other collaboration features in the Mail app of Windows 10 is a bit of a mystery. A quick check of the company’s own customer forums shows that users want such features and want them now. But Microsoft has so far turned a deaf ear toward their pleas.

However, one of those irritated Microsoft customers suggested a work around for the problem that will work in a pinch. And, while it is not the most elegant of hacks, it is fairly simple to use once you get it set up. This tutorial shows you how to use a work around to set up mailing groups using the Mail and People apps of Microsoft Windows 10.

SEE: Comparison chart: Enterprise collaboration tools (Tech Pro Research)

Setting up mailing groups

The first step is to assemble all of the email addresses of your group and the easiest way to do this is by starting a new email in the Mail app. Just type the email addresses of your group into the To box–if they are common contacts, you can search for the addresses after the first few letters are typed. The results should look like Figure A.

Once your email list is complete, highlight the entire list with your mouse cursor (or, press CTRL-A) and then press CTRL-C to copy the list to the clipboard.

Now, start the People app and start a new contact. Give the new contact a group-specific name (TechRepublic editors) and then paste (CTRL-V) the list of email addresses into the Personal email box. The results should look like Figure B. Press the Save button to save the new contact.

Now, the next time you start a new email in the Mail app you can address it to your group. Just click the people icon next to the To box and search for your group contact. As you can see in Figure C, all you need to do once you find it, is click the email personal box in the pop-up window. The entire list of email addresses will then populate the To box (or CC or BCC, if you prefer).

Manual controls

This work around essentially requires the user to manually do what the Mail app should do for you automatically. The process is not difficult to accomplish, but it annoys users who expect these grouping features to be included in all their email applications. Perhaps Microsoft will automate email groups in a future iteration of Windows 10, but until then, this manual technique will do the trick.

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Your thoughts:

Would you like to see email groups in the Windows 10 Mail app? Why has Microsoft chosen to leave it out? Share your thoughts and opinions with your peers at TechRepublic in the discussion thread below.