In Microsoft Lync Online 2010 you can add Distribution Groups (DG), not only contacts.
Lync has a limit of 250 contacts, but by using DG (a DG supports 100 contacts) you can get over that limitation.

Using Lync 2010, Lync Online users can add email distribution lists to their Contact Lists. Instant messages may be sent to individual members of a distribution list or the entire distribution list.

Distribution lists can be expanded to see the individual members of such lists.

Even if you use this workaround, there are still some limits:

  • Distribution list expansion is allowed only for distribution lists with 100 or fewer individual members (regardless of the members’ presence or sign-in status).
  • Distribution lists with more than 100 members are allowed but these distribution lists may not be expanded to display individual members of the list.
  • A distribution list counts as one contact against the 250 contact limit per user, regardless of the number of individual members within the distribution list.

Data taken from Microsoft Lync Online for Enterprises Service Description.docx

How to add a DG in Outlook ?

  • make sure that the DG exists and you know her name or E-mail address.
    • this type of DG can be created in ECP (Exchange Control Panel);
    • an Outlook DG is different from an ECP DG.


  • in Lync, in the Find a contact search box, start typing the DG’s name. 

  • as you can see, I have 2 DG.
  • to see the members of the list, hover the mouse cursor overs the DG. 

Now that we know that this is the desired DG, we will add it to Lync, by clicking on the Add to Contacts button.

There is another big limitation, the DG is not shown in OWA.

Back To Top