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Deep in the Code

Adding a User to Multiple Exchange Distribution Lists Using Windows PowerShell

Adding a user to multiple distribution lists via Outlook can be a tedious process if many lists are involved. For today’s problem, I had to add a user to many lists that have a similar prefix. Instead of spending a an hour or more of adding the user to the DLs through the Global Address Book, I decided to use PowerShell.

This script, which I call “addtodl.ps1”, receives three parameters: the user’s email address, the name of the distribution list – which can include a wildcard character (*) to get multiple names, and the Exchange Server FQDN.

Param(
	[string] $UserName,
	[string] $DLName,
	[string] $Exchange
)

$exch = "http://" + $Exchange + "/PowerShell/?SerializationLevel=Full"

$Credentials = Get-Credential
$ExSession = New-PSSession -ConfigurationName Microsoft.Exchange -ConnectionUri $exch -Credential $Credentials -Authentication Kerberos
Import-PSSession $ExSession

$distlists =  Get-DistributionGroup $DLName

foreach ($distlist in $distlists) {		
	Add-DistributionGroupMember -Identity $distlist.PrimarySmtpAddress -Member $UserName
	#$ManagedBy = $distlist.ManagedBy
	#foreach ($owner in $ManagedBy) {
	#	echo $owner
	#}
}

Exit-PSSession
Remove-PSSession -ID $ExSession.ID
[GC]::Collect()

By running this at the PowerShell command line with the parameters, you will be able to add the user to all distribution lists in the query that you manage. Those that you do not have access to will cause an error that will not halt the script. A dialog box asking for your username and password will appear first.

PowerShell command line window

When I have time, I intend to revisit this issue to get more useful information such as owner email addresses. Currently, if you uncomment the lines inside the foreach statement, the owners of each DL will be printed on the screen as well. It’s not too useful yet – which is why I still have it commented here.