Display members of dynamic distribution groups using PowerShell

Applies to Exchange 2016, Online, 2013, 2010 and 2007.

Viewing current dynamic distribution group membership on Exchange Server is very easy thanks to the Get-Recipient PowerShell cmdlet and its -RecipientPreviewFilter parameter.

Display members of dynamic distribution groups using PowerShell

To display members of a single dynamic distribution group simply run:

Get-Recipient -RecipientPreviewFilter (get-dynamicdistributiongroup <name of group>).RecipientFilter -OrganizationalUnit $_.RecipientContainer

You can also easily export members of any distribution group to a CSV file by running:

Get-Recipient -RecipientPreviewFilter (get-dynamicdistributiongroup <name of group>).RecipientFilter -OrganizationalUnit $_.RecipientContainer | Select Displayname | Export-Csv "<path of target CSV file>"

Displaying members of all dynamic distribution groups is not much harder. The trick is to display them in an orderly way instead of lumping them all together. A good way of achieving this is by using a formatted table for each group with the group’s name as the header. Here is how to do this:

foreach ($group in (Get-DynamicDistributionGroup)) {Get-Recipient -RecipientPreviewFilter $group.RecipientFilter -OrganizationalUnit $group.RecipientContainer | ft @{Expression={$_.displayname};Label=($group).name}}

The results of the command above can be exported to a file, but since they are already formated, it cannot be a CSV file.

foreach ($group in (Get-DynamicDistributionGroup)) {Get-Recipient -RecipientPreviewFilter $group.RecipientFilter -OrganizationalUnit $group.RecipientContainer | ft @{Expression={$_.displayname};Label=($group).name} | Out-File "c:\<path>.txt" -Append}

Another option is to generate a list of dynamic group memebers with their group membership provided in a separate column:

foreach ($group in (Get-DynamicDistributionGroup)) {Get-Recipient -RecipientPreviewFilter $group.RecipientFilter -OrganizationalUnit $group.RecipientContainer | Select DisplayName,@{n="Group";e={$group.name}}}

This time we can export the result of the script to a comma separated file:

foreach ($group in (Get-DynamicDistributionGroup)) {Get-Recipient -RecipientPreviewFilter $group.RecipientFilter -OrganizationalUnit $group.RecipientContainer | Select DisplayName,@{n="Group";e={$group.name}} | Export-Csv "<target CSV filepath>" -Append}

To export members of separate dynamic distribution groups to separate CSV files use a variation of the below script:

foreach ($group in (Get-DynamicDistributionGroup)) {Get-Recipient -RecipientPreviewFilter $group.RecipientFilter -OrganizationalUnit $group.RecipientContainer | Select DisplayName | Export-Csv "c:\$group.members.csv"}

Further reading

How to split CSV file into multiple files using PowerShell

Central management of email signatures on Exchange and Office 365

Tools for Exchange Server

10 thoughts on “Display members of dynamic distribution groups using PowerShell

  1. Hello unfortunally this commands do not work for me. I just get a list of all users our domain.
    Our AD is like: Domain -> Frontend -> Users -> Location1, Location2 … We have one DDG for each Location.
    Now i want to get all members of ddg.location1 so i tried this:

    Get-Recipient -RecipientPreviewFilter (get-dynamicdistributiongroup “DDGLocation1”).RecipientFilter -OrganizationalUnit $location1.RecipientContainer

    Like i already said i just get a list of all users. Is there a way to specify just the location1 OU?

    • You might need to specify the location manually. You don’t specify the variable $location1 anywhere, so it won’t work this way. Try running the cmdlet below to see each DDG location:
      Get-DynamicDistributionGroup | FT name,RecipientContainer

  2. Antonio Segovia – thank you so much for your post with the correction on needing the -OrganizationalUnit. I was trying to get the result of a DDL and it was coming out totaly wrong and thought my filter was jacked. Nope just needed that additional switch and got exactly what ! should have.

  3. $FTE = Get-DynamicDistributionGroup “hq”

    Get-Recipient -ResultSize Unlimited -RecipientPreviewFilter $FTE.RecipientFilter -OrganizationalUnit $FTE.RecipientContainer | Format-Table Name,Primary*

  4. For those who arrive to this page trying to obtain the membership of a Dynamic DG. Please note that you MUST specify the -OrganizationalUnit with the RecipientContainer.

    So instead of:
    Get-Recipient -RecipientPreviewFilter (get-dynamicdistributiongroup ).RecipientFilter

    Use this:
    Get-Recipient -RecipientPreviewFilter (get-dynamicdistributiongroup ).RecipientFilter -OrganizationalUnit (get-dynamicdistributiongroup ).RecipientContainer

    Failing to do this will result on getting the wrong membership.

    • Thanks for the comment, you’re right!
      I don’t know how I missed this part from the first examples, it’s updated now.

    • Thanks for the comment, I’m glad you found the article useful.
      To get the list from a CSV file, use the following cmdlet:
      $DDL = import-csv "<target CSV file path>" ; $DDL

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>


CodeTwo sp. z o.o. sp. k. is a controller of your personal data.
See our Privacy Policy to learn more.