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How to Create a New Dynamic Distribution Group

Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 will reach end of support on April 11, 2017. To stay supported, you will need to upgrade. For more information, see Resources to help you upgrade your Office 2007 servers and clients.


Applies to: Exchange Server 2007, Exchange Server 2007 SP1, Exchange Server 2007 SP2, Exchange Server 2007 SP3

This topic explains how to use the Exchange Management Console and the Exchange Management Shell to create a new dynamic distribution group.

Unlike regular distribution groups that contain a defined set of members, the membership list for dynamic distribution groups is calculated each time a message is sent to them, based on the filters and conditions that you define. When an e-mail message is sent to a dynamic distribution group, it is delivered to all recipients in the organization that match the criteria defined for that dynamic distribution group.


A dynamic distribution group includes any recipient in the Active Directory directory service with attributes that match its filter. A recipient that is not expected to be part of a dynamic distribution group could inadvertently become a member and start receiving messages sent to the dynamic distribution group if the recipient's properties are modified to match the filter. This could result in a recipient receiving messages that the recipient is not supposed to receive. Well-defined, consistent account provisioning processes will reduce the chances of this happening.


By default, all new dynamic distribution groups require that all senders be authenticated. This prevents external senders from sending messages to dynamic distribution groups. This default setting is different from previous versions of Exchange where, by default, new query-based distribution groups accepted messages from all senders. To configure a dynamic distribution group to accept messages from all senders in Exchange 2007, you must modify the message delivery restriction settings for that dynamic distribution group. For more information about configuring message delivery restrictions, see How to Configure Message Delivery Restrictions.
Be cautious about creating or modifying dynamic distribution groups within search scopes. Also, avoid creating multiple levels of distribution group membership (also known as nested groups). Creating nested groups may cause a high level of LDAP requests and slow LDAP responses.

Before You Begin

To perform the following procedures, the account you use must be delegated the following:

  • Exchange Recipient Administrator role

For more information about permissions, delegating roles, and the rights that are required to administer Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, see Permission Considerations.


If you want to create a new dynamic distribution group in a domain that is different than the one in which your Exchange servers reside, you must first prepare that domain for Exchange 2007. To learn more about preparing a domain for Exchange 2007, see How to Prepare Active Directory and Domains.


To use the Exchange Management Console to create a new dynamic distribution group

  1. Start the Exchange Management Console.

  2. In the console tree, click Recipient Configuration node.

  3. In the action pane, click New Dynamic Distribution Group. The New Dynamic Distribution Group wizard appears.

  4. On the Introduction page, complete the following fields. All fields on this page are required:

    • Organizational Unit   By default, this box will show the organizational unit (OU) that is set as the recipient scope. Click Browse to open the Select Organizational Unit dialog box. Use this dialog box to select a different OU, and then click OK.

    • Name    Use this text box to type the name for the dynamic distribution group. The name cannot exceed 64 characters.

    • Alias   Use this text box to type the alias of the dynamic distribution group. The alias cannot exceed 64 characters and must be unique in the forest.

  5. Click Next.

  6. On the Filter Settings page, define the recipient filter for the new dynamic distribution group:

    • Click Browse to select the OU to select the recipients from. A dynamic distribution group contains all recipients that are in the specified OU and any other OUs under it.

    • Select the recipient types you want to include in the dynamic distribution group. You can select All recipient types or The following specific types. If you select The following specific types, you must select at least one recipient type.

  7. Click Next.

  8. On the Conditions page, define any additional conditions to further restrict the recipients included in this dynamic distribution group. You can set the conditions to have only the recipients that are in a specific state or province, work in a specific department, work for a specific company, or have specific values for custom attributes. Conditions are optional.

    1. In the Step 1: Select condition(s) list box, select the check boxes that correspond to the conditions you want to set. As you select check boxes in this list box, the selected conditions will appear in the Step 2: Edit the condition(s) list box. A pencil icon will appear next to each condition indicating that a valid value needs to be provided.

    2. In the Step 2: Edit the condition(s) list box, click the underlined value that reads specified for each condition and provide the value. After you provide a valid value for a condition, the corresponding pencil icon will disappear.

    3. Click Preview to view the recipients that will be contained in the dynamic distribution group, based on the conditions that you specified.


      If you want to specify conditions other than the ones available on this wizard page, you must use the Exchange Management Shell to create a custom query for the dynamic distribution group. Keep in mind that the filter and condition settings for dynamic distribution groups that have custom recipient filters can be managed only by using the Exchange Management Shell. For an example of creating a dynamic distribution group with a custom query, see To use the Exchange Management Shell to create a new dynamic distribution group later in this topic. For more information about recipient filters, see Creating Filters in Recipient Commands.

  9. Click Next.

  10. On the New Dynamic Distribution Group page, review the Configuration Summary. To make any configuration changes, click Back. To create the new dynamic distribution group, click New.

  11. On the Completion page, the Summary displays whether the dynamic distribution group was successfully created. The summary also displays the Exchange Management Shell command that was used to create the dynamic distribution group.

  12. Click Finish.

To use the Exchange Management Shell to create a new dynamic distribution group

  • Run the following command to create a dynamic distribution group called Mailbox Users DDG that contains only mailbox users:

    New-DynamicDistributionGroup -IncludedRecipients MailboxUsers -Name "Mailbox Users DDG" -OrganizationalUnit Users
  • Run the following command to create a dynamic distribution group with a custom recipient filter. The dynamic distribution group contains all mailbox users on a server called Server1:

    New-DynamicDistributionGroup -Name "Mailbox Users on Server1" -OrganizationalUnit Users -RecipientFilter {((RecipientType -eq 'UserMailbox' -and ServerName -eq 'Server1') -and -not(Name -like 'SystemMailbox{*'))}

For detailed syntax and parameter information, see the New-DynamicDistributionGroup reference topic.

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