iPad Mail Groups: The inelegant manual option that works with Gmail or iCloud

iPad mail does not handle email groups at the moment regardless if you are using iCloud or Gmail for your contact storage.

The manual way of creating single contacts that contain the email addresses for groups (and thus act as if they are group contacts) is:
  • create a new contact and name it with the group title

  • copy or type email addresses for the group from your contacts.
    You can do this in the notes field at the bottom of the contact (so that you have the full set of typewriter characters available).

  • add "greater than" and "less than" characters before and after each email address
  • add , commas between email addresses
  • copy the whole list, and past into the first email field for this "group" contact.
Done !  The email will now pop up when you search for it, and will send to every email address.


  • you could of course use any text editing app to compose the email list
  • the list is not linked to the contacts and you will have to update any email address changes manually
  • you will have to create the contact separately on both the iPhone and  iPad as only the first email address is synched through Gmail.
  • the group does NOT appear in the search results when composing Gmail through the web browser view (%$#@#$!!!!!)

Composing the "group" email using Microsoft Outlook and a text editor 

You can of course edit the email list in any computer program and send it as a text email to yourself e.g.
  • compose email in outlook with the group expanded to show all recipients

  • Copy and paste the list inot a text editor.

  • edit the list as above:

  • copy and paste the text into an email and send it to your iPad

1 comment:

rswc90 said...

Used your way to create a new contact called "group" and then copied in all the emails on the notes section. The copied all the text and pasted it into the address on a new email. All the addresses were there until I moved off the space. Then all I got were ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, where ever there had been an address there was now nothing except the comma.

Thanks for trying!

This post contains some responses to questions that I have been asked by various people over the last few years. In most cases, I have also posted the information on relevant online community forums such as moodle.org. I hope that you find this useful. Stephen Digby