Windows Live Mail Tutorial

Edit contact category in Windows Live Mail: rename, delete, add/remove members


Edit contact lists in Windows Live Mail Once you have created a contact list, Windows Live Mail lets you edit it and its members after the fact. This tutorial shows you how to rename a list, how to add new contacts to it and remove existing ones from it, and how to delete that category: this only deletes the contact group, it doesn't affect the contacts themselves. One contact can belong to multiple lists, and removing a contact -or even deleting a list- won't affect contacts themselves.

Rename a contact category + Edit its members

Expand side pane to restore list of contact groups Start by going to your contacts: hit Ctrl+3 or click on the Windows Live Mail address book icon address book icon (bottom left). You will see all contact categories you have created on the left: if you don't, it just means that the folder / side pane is collapsed - drag its border to the right to restore it, as shown on the screenshot.

To show all people in a group, click on its name; "All Contacts" is a built-in group that includes everyone, and cannot be renamed or deleted.

Edit contact categories in Windows Live Mail To change the category's name, right-click on it and choose "Edit Category", or select it on the left and click "Edit Category" in the ribbon (top). Type a new name over the current one, inside the "Enter a category name" text field, and click Save - the change takes effect immediately.

Add or remove contacts from a distribution list

While in the Edit Category dialog, add or remove contacts from a category by clicking on a person's name in the listing - this toggles their status. You can also click in the text box at the bottom and use the Backspace key to erase names from the group.

Note: removing contacts from a distribution list doesn't delete them from your address book - it only removes a reference to that person in the group.

Drag to add contacts to a new distribution list You can also drag a contact from one category (like "All Contacts") to another, and Windows Live Mail will add a reference to that contact in the new group, without removing it from the original. If you update a contact's information, the change is reflected in all groups.

Another way to delete a contact from a group: right-click on the person's name in the list, and choose "Remove Contact from Category" (not available from All Contacts).

Permanently delete a contact list

FYI: deleting a contact group doesn't affect the contacts themselves: think of categories as groups of aliases, or shortcuts, only pointing to the real thing.

Permanently delete contact groups in Windows Live Mail Right-click on the category name on the left, and pick "Delete Category" from the context menu. The somewhat confusing message Windows Live Mail shows you as final confirmation means that no-one in your address book will be deleted, and remain listed under "All Contacts".

Tip: you can also edit and delete categories from a message's recipient fields. Edit a contact group from a message's recipient fields
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