How to create and manage SMS and Email Groups on OS 10.2.1

By Alicia Erlich on 11 Feb 2014 04:14 pm EST

One of my most highly anticipated features of OS 10.2.1 is the ability to create text and email groups for sending broadcast messages. Not that I’m an abuser of this capability but it is an important one nonetheless and one that quite a few people were waiting for.

Rather than utilize a third party application, it is now baked into the Contacts Application. While SMS group conversations had been enabled in OS 10.2, it is nice to see the option expanded and improved in this update along with email options as well.

Create a New Group

  • Open the Contacts application
  • From the bottom menu, tap on New Group
  • Enter in a name for your new group
  • To add members, tap on the Add Contacts icon at the bottom
  • The contacts list displays next and allows you to select multiple contacts at once
  • You may also search and select members individually
  • When all of your desired contacts have been selected, tap on Done in the upper right


Sending messages to a group

Once your group is created it is easy to send a message through the contacts application.

  • Swipe to the right in the contacts application tap on the Groups icon
  • Tap on the Group you wish to send an SMS or Email to
  • Tap the three dots to open the menu and using the options you can select to send an email or send a text message
  • Another method is to press and hold on the contact group list itself and the same options appear in the side action menu and tap on the SMS or Email icon
  • Tapping on either icon brings you to the new messages screen where all of the numbers or addresses automatically populate the appropriate fields
  • All that is left to do is enter in your message and hit Send

Your groups are also accessible when composing a message in the hub.

  • From the Hub tap on Compose
  • Choose Text Messages or your email account (if not already in the one you want)
  • Tap on the + in the To: field 
  • Scroll to or search for the name of your Group List, tap to select and then hit done to add
  • For texts you have the option of enabling Group conversation (though this counts as MMS)
  • Simply hit send and all of the members of the list will receive the message


Deleting and Editing Groups

If you’re looking to add or remove contacts or simply delete the entire list altogether this process is rather easy.

  • Go into the Groups tab of the Contacts Application
  • To edit
    • Tap on the list and select edit from the bottom menu
    • Tap the “x” next to each group members’ name to remove or tap on the Add Contacts icon to include additional participants
  • To delete
    • Press and hold the group list and tap on the Delete icon in the side action menu. Only the group list is expunged, your contacts will remain, or,
    • Tap on the list and then tap on the three dots, overflow menu and select Delete


In addition to sending broadcast communications, this feature also allows for inviting contacts to a meeting or starting a multi-person chat (if all have BBM PIN’s associated with them) as well. Convenient and useful it is a much needed feature to be included in OS 10.2.1. 

Be sure to check out all of our BlackBerry 10 Help Guides for more tips and tricks.

Reader comments

How to create and manage SMS and Email Groups on OS 10.2.1


Why is it you guys keep giving us articles about 20.2.1 instead of finding out when the US carriers are going to release the update? That is the important question.

Posted via CB10

Verizon has pushed it out. I have had it for several weeks.

Posted via CB10 using my Z10 running

Do yourself a favor and download a leak. If you wait for the US Carriers, you'll be waiting forever. Us BlackBerry customers are not important to them.

The US carriers don't even know when they are to release it so how would CB find this out. If your in such a rush for the update either use Sachesi or load a leak it's the same exact software they will release.

Posted Via AT&T BlackBerry Z10

Still waiting for Vodafone here in the UK! Just stuck an EE sim in and upgraded with that!

Posted via CB10

It could be that those of us who ARE on 10.2.1 appreciate these kinds of articles. I understand you're pretty pained over it, but unless someone at CrackBerry is a mind reader, they're not going to know when you'll get the update. It’s a pity you can't get the update from your carrier. I suppose you could always move north of the border :D

Posted via CB10

When I add contacts to a group their names are messed up "first, last, last". Also when typing the message, the space for typing I'd just one line high so there is no way to see the entire message before sending. Finally, numbers are shown instead of names.

Posted via CB10

Yup, for me, when you send messages using instant action, names don't show up, just number. This is why carriers are not supporting them anymore. They don't fix their errors, so why would carriers release a half made OS

Posted via CB10

I love their software, but I see why no carrier wants their new software also. They don't fix shit

Posted via CB10

I'm a BlackBerry fan, but if using my phone gives me anxiety about the little things, maybe it's not worth it

Posted via CB10

I'm glad the ability to add group contacts is now a part of BB10. My only problem is that several of my contacts have multiple email addresses and I cannot select the work email address to use as part of the group. Emails to the group are sent automatically to personal email addresses for some and to work email addresses for others. I cannot seem to select the email addresses that I want to use for the group.

VZW Z10 Posted via CB 10

I am glad group contacts is back, too, but it does need some work. I played around with it for awhile until I got it to send to the addresses I wanted it to go to. It seems to me that the address that is listed first in the edit contact screen(which may look different than the contacts regular screen) is the one that populates the group list for emails. For numbers for texting, you got me. I finally ended up having to create a separate contact for one person that had multiple landlines and one mobile number. No matter what order I put the numbers in, I could not get the mobile to be the one that would come up in the group.
Another thing I wish they would change in contacts is having "Text Home" under the text numbers in contacts. I think the only numbers that should be in that part of the contact screen are numbers that were labeled as mobile. Come to tink of it, I wish they would bring back the multitude of number categories they used to have(fax, pager, etc.).

I'd like to customize phone number descriptions.

Work, Home, Mobile, Other...

What about Work2, Weekender, Chalet, Mobile2, Mobile3, Work Mobile, Private Mobile, Fax, Work Fax, Private Fax, etc...

iPhone for me? Scr... ahem Q that! (posted from the latter)

Try selecting the group from within the contacts app, and then tap and hold on a group member's name. A box on the side of the screen with three squares and a check mark will appear. I believe the label is"Select ways to connect." This will allow you to select the email address and phone number to use when connecting with the person as part of the group. I just found this option and it seems to work. I was able to select the work addresses for the contacts in the group that I created.

VZW Z10 Posted via CB 10

Here in South Africa we can text to landlines. The operator concerts the text to speech. Not used much but it does work. Guess that's why they allow us to text home numbers.

What needs improvement is the ability to search for multiple contacts and select them and carry on searching for the next contact

Posted from my awesome HUB enabled  Z10

If you long press on the contact's name in the group, it will bring up the option in the overflow menu to choose the ways in which to contact. Simply place a check mark next to the one you want as default.

Thanks, Alicia! I didn't make sense to me that they would not allow you to choose, but long pressing on the name never occurred to me. 8 months with my first touchscreen device(Z10) and I still don't remember these things.

Alicia, thanks for the article and tips - it helps.

Having followed your tips, I went through and long pressed on each of the 64 contacts I have in one group in order to select the appropriate method of contacting them.

Surely, there is a better way...

Posted via CB10

When you initially add a contact to a group, as long as you are adding from the contact, you get to select how you want to contact them. However, there still seems to be some bugs. For instance, I had added 33 contacts to a group last week. Today I had to send that group a text. I had only selected their cell numbers or work email as contact options, and yet today, 4 of them went to their land lines. No idea why.

I have deleted those contacts out of the group and then re-added them again selecting only cell and email, but it makes me a bit wary of relying on it for time sensitive communications.

Posted via CB10

It is no secret that the contacts app has a few irritating bugs.

One I noticed when changing the preferred contact method was that some phone numbers had been added in a second time. I originally added mobile (123) 456-7890, but a few days later I found that it had that and the new number of mobile 1234556890. So I deleted the duplicates.

That and twitter accounts were dup'ed and BBM accounts were missing (the contact is in my contacts and my BBM contacts, but their BBM didn't transfer to the contacts app - even though they were invited to BBM through the contacts app.

The contacts app is really needing some work.

Posted via CB10

Lol, learned something new each day I guess... I am going to configure this for group emails, might be very handy!

Posted via CB10

I'm sorry for saying this.. but I want to b!tch slap the person who damaged their phone like that in the picture, once again, my apologies. For shame..! (whomever) I die inside whenever someone drops their phone, the sound is soul-clenching.

Is anyone on a leaked version with AT&T, and if so, do you know how many text/SMS recipients you can send to at one time? Currently, the limit is set at 10 (for 10.1...still waiting for AT&T to push 10.2...and waiting...and waiting...Thanks.

Amazing features for everybody. Specially for students to get in contact to project groups

Posted via CB10

Note: be careful when trying to send messages to a group by adding the group as a recipient in the hub: it seems that the hub (at least for me) chooses to ignore which contact method to use and picks the first one in the list (e.g. when sending a text message, even if you chose in the group setup to use the Mobile number, for some of my contacts it persists in using the Work number, despite it not being a mobile and thus unable to accept SMSs).

For at&t customers, here's what I did: (Btw, I'm an at&t customer too and running the most current os). Install the os leaked, once you do that, go to settings, tap on security and privacy then do a security wipe, everything will be wiped off on the phone. It'll set it back to its original settings and it will clear any bugs or issues the OS leaked might have had. If you go to settings and scroll all the way to the bottom, tap on "about", it'll prompt you to your cell phone's information, click on the bar that says category and choose "os", you'll see the software release and os version, they should be the most current.
Do an internet search about where to get the OS leaked and the steps on how to install it.
P.S. Make sure to do a back up of your apps and settings before installing the leak.
Just to be safe and clear and to make sure you won't blame me, IF YOU DO THIS, IT'S UNDER YOUR RESPONSIBLITY NOT MINE.
I did it and don't regret it all, my phone is working great, no lagging at all, and most of all, don't have to wait for this jerks (at&t) to update the OS. I called them a few times and their response was always " as soon as we have the most current information we'll send you and email with an update." BS, they gave me the same response all the time. Good luck if you guys try it, one more thing, follow the steps when installing it, it's a no brainer.


I bought a SIM free Z10 last February, my carrier is Vodafone. Not sure why but I am not getting any update And it shows that I have latest update. BlackBerry is so annoying can't wait to get a different phone, even if symbian!

Posted via CB10

I run a softball team and needed a group text feature. I purchased SMSbyNOW which works wonderful. I tried setting up the same group but it tells there is a maximum of 10 entries allowed. This feature has potential but I will stay with SMSbyNOW as I have to send to 18 recipients.

Posted via CB10

Check which version of OS you have, you may need 10.2.1 for more then 10 contacts

Posted from my awesome HUB enabled  Z10

I'm not able to send a group text, only a group email. Also, when I compose a text and I search for a contact, why don't groups appear in the autocomplete search results?

Posted via CB10

Sad to say groups are pretty useless. No choice when it comes to multiple entries. When I try to text a group it makes it an MMS message which means I'm charged.

I love my BlackBerry but this is pretty awful

Posted via CB10

Wishing that I'll be able to use this feature... sad still no update here... Philippines | Sun Cellular | Unlocked phone

Posted via CB10

When will this feature br extended to BBM. In the legacy system one could send broad casted messages to BBM group of contact but now the BBM contacts have to be selected individually or the broadcast sent to every single BBM contact!

What if you're already getting group messages. Is there anyway to make it so u don't send everyone individual messages. Or the iPhone is still the only one capable of this?

Posted via CB10

Has anyone noticed maybe only in the UK that when you add over 50 contacts or turns to MMS mode which can be very costly.

Any way to keep it as SMS?

Posted via CB10

I guess I'll be looking at SMSbyNOW as mentioned above, or some other 3rd party app...I set up a group with 14 people in it, long-pressed and checked the tick box for their mobiles to be selected, and...only about half of them got the message. The tick box magically unchecked itself for the others, or changed the selection from mobile to work, etc. I'd try doing what one poster above said and create additional contacts for each person in the group with just a single contact number listed, but that wouldn't solve the magical unchecking problem.

I really wish this feature worked properly....

Q10, Verizon,

I don't know about any one else but every time I try to create a new group it freezes for some reason. I have to re start my phone to clear it. Anyone else have this problem?

Posted via CB10

I would appreciate it, if I could set custom notifications for a group. Just like what we can do with a contact

Posted via CB10

My SMS group messaging works but once the message has been sent to all recipients doesn't show the contacts, just the phone numbers! Why? :/

Btw, I used SMS not MMS, (I unchecked the tick box!)

BlackBerry Z10 on UK's EE Network.

Savvas John Savva, Owner of Skill 7 Limited - - BBM: 2670CCEA

Hi, maybe someone can help.. I have the z30 with and for some reason I don't have the group setting in contacts. It's weird. I'm super tech savvy and was trying for the longest time on my own to figure out how to create an email group on my own, and couldn't figure out how, so I turned to the web and found this instructional on how to do it, but it just confirms what I thought in the first place. The ability is not there right now. I can add a contact, but not a group. under the menu option on the left, I have All, Favorites, BBM, BBM Video, Facebook, and SiM, for contact types but no "Group". What the heck?

I have a question that I hope someone can help me with....I set up a group of 350 for group texting....however, after setting it up and doing a test text to the group, it shows a red "X" by the text and in red letters, it says, Maximum number of recipients exceeded. can someone explain what this means exactly? When I read the material on setting this up, nowhere did it say there is a maximum. HELP!