Create a Distribution Group Naming Policy


Applies to: Exchange Server 2010 SP3, Exchange Server 2010 SP2

A group naming policy is a template applied to the distribution group names in your Microsoft Exchange organization. Specifically, you can specify that a prefix, a suffix, or both be applied to all distribution group names. You can also block certain words from being used in the names.

Prefixes and suffixes can be a string, an attribute, or a combination of both. A prefix or suffix can contain sequences of multiple attributes or strings. You can use the following attributes, which will be gathered from the user who creates the distribution group settings:

  • Department

  • Company

  • Office

  • StateOrProvince

  • CountryorRegion

  • CountryCode

  • Title

  • CustomAttribute1 to CustomAttribute15


The maximum length for a distribution group name is 64 characters. This includes the combined number of characters in the prefix, the group name provided by the user, and the suffix.

To use an attribute to create a naming policy, use the following syntax: "<PrefixAttribute><GroupName><SuffixAttribute>". For example, to create a naming policy using Department as a prefix and CustomAttribute1 as the suffix, you would use the following:"<Department><GroupName><CustomAttribute1>".

To use strings to create a naming policy, use the following syntax: "string<GroupName>string". For example, to create a naming policy using the string DL_ as the prefix, you would use the following: "DL_<GroupName>".


Don't set the <GroupName> value; it's used as a placeholder. When a user or administrator creates a distribution group, <GroupName> is replaced by the name they provide.

Looking for other management tasks related to distribution groups? Check out Managing Distribution Groups.

Use the Shell to create a naming policy for a distribution group

You need to be assigned permissions before you can perform this procedure. To see what permissions you need, see the "Exchange server configuration settings" entry in the Exchange and Shell Infrastructure Permissions topic.


You can't use the Exchange Management Console (EMC) to create a naming policy for a distribution group.

This example creates a distribution group naming policy with the following settings:

  • Distribution groups will be created in the Users\Groups container.

  • The words "bad", "curse", and "offensive" will be blocked from use in distribution group names.

  • All distribution groups will have the prefix "DL_"

  • All distribution groups will have the suffix of an underscore (_) followed by the user's department and country code.

Set-OrganizationConfig -DistributionGroupDefaultOU Users\Groups -DistributionGroupNameBlockedWordsList curse,bad,offensive -DistributionGroupNamingPolicy "DL_<GroupName>_<Department><CountryCode>"

For detailed syntax and parameter information, see Set-OrganizationConfig.

Other Tasks

After you create the distribution group naming policy, you may also want to override the policy when creating distribution groups. For detailed steps, see Override a Distribution Group Naming Policy.

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