I too have had this problem 2 or 3 times in Outlook. But interestingly I only
get the error if I start a new message and type the name of distribution
group into the To: or CC: field directly without opening the Select Names
Here's why it occurs in my environment. I sometimes accidentally delete a
group when I'm editing it. SO I have to rebuild the group. But when you are
on the New Message screen and you type in a DL name directly into the To
field, you are actually pulling the previously used DL name from a little
quickie picklist - the list of available names when you type directly into
the To: field is actually a list of shortcuts to the distributions lists.
What happens when you accidentally delete a DL is that the link in that list
no longer links to a valid DL. The DL it was linked to is gone.
1. Create a New Message
2. In the To:, CC:, and BCC:, fields, type the name of the offending
distribution list, the one you are using when you get the error.
3. Once the list of DLs is displayed, delete the one that gives you the
problem. You are not actually deleting the list, just the shortcut link to it.
4. Click on the TO, CC or BCC link to bring up the Select Names dialogue.
5. Select the offending DL for the To CC or BCC field and click OK.
6. Send your email
7. next time yo usend email you can type the DL right in on the New Message
page and it will now be linked to the correct DL in the address book.
Hope this helps some people liek me!
> Diane, you have *made my day*!
> You were right!
> (And because this has been a continuing saga at the office, before he came
> over on the day my lists stopped working, I backed up my contacts and
> distributions lists to a .pst file, and I had my coworker do the same on her
> At your suggestion, I have imported the .pst files and the distribution
> lists are now working.
> May you have a very prosperous and joyful new year!
> "Diane Poremsky [MVP]" wrote:
> > Mary wrote on Tue, 30 December 2008 11:03
> > > I am trying to send a group email using a distribution list that has worked
> > > for the last five years.
> > >
> > > When I click to send, it gives me a message: "An unexpected error has
> > > occurred". I am using Outlook version 2003, SP3. The message was edited
> > > using Word, and when the error came up I tried unclicking word (tools,
> > > options, mail format) but it didn't solve the problem. With my email open I
> > > tried double clicking on the distribution list, (which has always opened
> > > before) but now it gives me another error: "The command selected is not valid
> > > for this recipient".
> > >
> > > We have been using these lists for at leat five years and they worked up
> > > until the computer tech gave us a business server. We have had so many
> > > problems that he "undid" having email go through the server and we are back
> > > to pop mail through an internet provider. While watching him work I realized
> > > that he didn't know how to fix this and was looking for information (and
> > > blowing away my work that was unrelated such as my custom microsoft word
> > > templates, old emails I need to refer to, etc) I decided to take matters into
> > > my own hands.
> > >
> > > Thanks ahead of time for your help. If you can help me. If not, we are in
> > > big trouble over here!
> > It sounds like the address service is messed up and the link between the DL members and their contacts is broken.
> > Was the dl moved to the server and them back to a pst? Did you make new outlook profiles when you went back to pop
> > Can you open the DL and save it as a text file? If so, you can easily rebuild it. (try pasting the addresses in the to
field to see if it works.)
> > Oh, and did you fire the guy? (Hope you have a backup for the templates or could recover them.)
> > --
> > Diane Poremsky [MVP - Outlook]
> > Outlook Tips: http://www.outlook-tips.net/
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