Delegating Distribution Group Management Via Outlook

Managing distribution lists is normally a duty of Exchange and/or Active Directory administrators. The process for adding or removing a member of a distribution list is likely to submit a request and wait until an administrator makes the necessary changes.

Using a combination of Active Directory permissions and the built-in tools of Outlook you can delegate the ability to manage distribution lists to the user. Here’s how to do it:

Adding Permissions

For a user to have the ability to manage distribution group membership they must be assigned the ‘Write Members’ active directory permission. This can be done in ADUC, but I find PowerShell much simpler.

Adding permission for a single user:

Add-ADPermission -Identity:'Group Display Name’ -User:domainusername -AccessRights ReadProperty, WriteProperty -Properties 'Member'

Adding permission for a group of users:

Add-ADPermission -Identity:'Group Display Name’ -User:'Display Name of Permissions Group’ -AccessRights ReadProperty, WriteProperty -Properties 'Member'

Modifying Group Membership within Outlook

After locating the group within the Global Address List, select ‘Modify Members…’ from the properties screen. To add new members select the ‘Add…’ option and located the desired users within the GAL. Members can be removed by highlighting the desired user and selecting the ‘Remove’ button.

If you receive a “Changes to the distribution list membership cannot be saved. You do not have sufficient permission to perform this operation on this object” error message either permissions are not assigned correctly or the user is not connecting a global catalog from the domain hosting the distribution group.

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