Create multiple distribution groups with powershell and a CSV

So recently I had a need to create over 100 mail enabled enabled security groups for a new application we are rolling out. I really did not want to do this by hand. Powershell it turns out is a great resource for doing this. Create a CSV file with headers (header fields are important!) for example:


Then if your file is c:\newgroups.csv run the following Powershell command

Import-CSV "C:\newgroups.csv" | % { New-DistributionGroup -Name $ -OrganizationalUnit $_.OU -PrimarySmtpAddress $ -Type Security }

This will import your CSV file and parse it line by line replacing each $_ value with the correct value under the header for that line. There is one extra value at the end (-Type Security) that makes every group a mail enabled security group which can be omitted to create distribution only groups.

You can add or remove fields as needed just add or remove the $_ value and create a new header line. You can find a list of acceptable fields by entering Get-Help New-DistributionGroup -Detailed at an exchange Powershell prompt. You can name the header fields whatever you want.

If you just want to create AD groups you can use the following

Import-CSV "C:\newgroups.csv" | % { New-ADGroup -Name $ -groupscope Global }


  1. Hello
    Do you run this on the Exchange server or the Domain server? Thank you!

  2. this is ran as exchange powershell.

  3. can't seem to change the Organizational Unit, it defaults to x.local/Users regardless of what I change it to in the .CSV.