How to Create Contact Groups on iPhone for Sending Group Emails & Messages

Making contact groups on iPhone allows you to quickly and easily send emails and messages to the group you create. This is especially helpful when you message the same groups of people often—for example, work teams, sports teams, teachers, or even the group of friends you always go to the gym with. There are two main ways you can create contact groups on your iPhone. The first requires that you have iCloud Contacts set up on your iPhone, which we’ll cover below. Then you’ll need to get on your computer to officially create the contact group, afterwhich you’ll be able to access on your iPhone. The other way you can create groups on your iPhone is with the app, Groups. We’ll go over both methods for how to create groups on iPhone, then I’ll also cover how you can send messages and emails to the contact group you created.

Related: iCloud Guide: Top Tips for Understanding and Using iCloud

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I recommend using the Groups app to set up your contact groups if you don’t have a computer you can easily access. But in the end, it doesn’t matter which option you use. The main difference is that using the Groups app means your contact group is stored locally, instead of in the cloud. Once you set up a contact group in iCloud or with the Groups app, it’s super easy to access that group and seamlessly send messages and emails on your iPhone or iPad, which I’ll go over below. It’s also good to note that this should work on new and old devices and operating systems; so whether you’re using an iPhone 5 or iPhone 7, you should have no issues setting this up.

How to Set Up a Group Contact with iCloud

The first thing we need to do is turn on iCloud Contacts on your iPhone, then we can create our contact group on our computer. To do this:

  • On iPhone, open the Settings app.
  • For iOS 10.3 users or later, select your name at the top of Settings. Then select iCloud.
  • If you have an older iOS, simply select iCloud from the main Settings menu.

  • Under Apps Using iCloud, make sure Contacts is toggled on. If not, toggle it on.

That’s it. Now you’re ready to grab your computer and set up your group. To do this:

  • From your computer, open a web browser and visit iCloud.com.
  • Log in using your Apple ID and password.

  • Tap Contacts.

  • Click All Contacts on the top left side of the screen. On the bottom, click the + symbol.
  • Choose New Group. 

  • Enter the name of your group.

  • Now that you’ve created the group, you just need to add contacts to your group.
  • Click All Contacts again.
  • Drag and drop the contacts you'd like to add to your new group.

  • Click on your new group to make sure the correct contacts were added.

You've done it! Your groups are now available on your iPhone, iPad, and any other iCloud-connected devices. You can view your contact groups on iPhone by opening your Phone app, tapping Contacts, and selecting Groups in the upper left corner. If you want a step-by-step guide on sending messages and emails to your contacts group, scroll down to find a how-to for each.

How to Create a Contacts Group on iPhone (Groups App)

If you don’t have access to a computer, or if you don’t use iCloud, you can download the app Groups by Qbix, Inc. instead. The app is free (with optional in-app purchases) and allows you to use your iPhone contacts and phone capabilities while organizing those contacts by friends, family, groups, and more. The people you’re communicating with don’t need the app to receive your messages or calls.

  • When you open the app for the first time, it will ask for permission to access your Contacts. Tap Ok.
  • It will also want to send you notifications, choose Yes or No.
  • The app will also walk you through the steps of what to do, but I’ll focus on just setting up your group app.

  • Tap All Contacts at the top.
  • Under Labels, tap Add New Group.

  • Choose a group name.
  • Tap No Contacts - Add Some.
  • Tap on all of the contacts you want to add to the group. You can tap a contact again to remove them from the group.

  • Tap Done in the upper left corner to add the selected contacts to your new group.
  • Tap Done to complete the group.

The biggest downside to using this app is that it only gives you so many free group messages before asking you to upgrade to premium. However, the group you create within this app will show up in your Contacts thereafter, so you don’t need to use the Groups app to send messages, just to create the group.

How to Email Your Contact Group on iPhone

  • Open the Mail app on your iPhone.
  • Start a new draft by tapping the new email icon in the lower right corner.
  • In the To: line, begin to type the name of the contact group you’re trying to email. Then select Group (you’ll be able to see the name within the group).

  • *Note if this doesn’t work, make sure your contacts have an email saved. If the contacts only have numbers, it won’t work when trying to send an email.
  • Once you’ve select the group, simply type up your email, add a subject line, and tap Send.

How to Send a Message to Your Contact Group

  • Open the Messages app.
  • Start a new Message thread by tapping the icon in the upper right corner.
  • In the To: box, being typing the name of your contact group.

  • Tap on the Group.
  • Type your message and tap the send arrow.

Top image credit: pkproject / Shutterstock.com

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Becca is a blogger, freelance writer, and iDevice addict. She lives in the middle of the Arizona desert with her husband and two boys, and can't imagine life getting any better. Read about her crazy life at MyCrazyGoodLife.com, or connect with her on twitter @BeccaLudlum