Distribution list aka Contact Group, will not retain addresses

I have created a distribution list, aka Contact Group, called “Adult Jokes”. In it, I have added a number of different addresses of people who enjoy receiving adult jokes and other information from me.

The problem is that the Group will not retain the same list of addresses after the program is closed, then reopened the next day. I am using version 5.0.18661.0. The problem originally occurred while I was running Windows 8.0, and has continued now that I have ‘upgraded’ to Windows 8.1.

Any ideas about a) why it is happening and how I can fix it?


can I ask you what service for contacts do you use? I will test it at my computer and tell you results after, but I need to know exact scenario and service which you are using to synchronize your contacts.

with regards

I had this problem last spring with one distribution list (out of several I have built and used over time). I fixed it by making sure that I enter all new contacts (for a new distribution list) directly into contacts before then adding the entries into the new distribution list via the “select members” icon (instead of “add new”).

However, the same old problem is recurring with a new distribution list for a community group I facilitate. There are only around 25 members, and I entered all the name and email address information directly into the contacts file, then set up the distribution list and used the “select members” icon. I saved the list, then reopened it. All was fine! I then sent a mail to the group with a small document attached. It worked! Within an hour, however, I entered a new name into contacts, then opened the distribution list I had just successfully used. I found only one of the 25 former names in the distribution list! What can I do here? I don’t find any kind of a database file for the address book and distribution lists.

Jan asked above about a service for contacts. I don’t use any such service.

I want to add a question regarding the contacts in general - is there any way to export the contacts file to a database format for the purpose of backing up the contacts file? On Thunderbird, I could export the address book to an .ldif file (a form of LDAP file) for backup purposes once every few months.

Thanks for any help here!

Actually, Jan, the only “service” I use is AT&T Uverse to provide the internet connectivity ‘service’ I pay for every month. Also, in addition to that, I also use Gmail for my ‘main’ email address, as well as my primary SMTP server.

All addresses were added by hand by me. No imports from Thunderbird or any other email client was used.

Are both Bob and I missing something here that would make this work correctly? Maybe whistling Dixie backwards while hopping on one foot would help?

Can I ask for screenshots about exactly what is causing you troubles then?

Anyway distribution list is not another label in tree view but it is distribution list in contact lists (in contacts right click on account and select distribution list - you will see how it does work)

with regards

Hi John, thanks for your reply. Just yesterday, I tried a third time to build that group’s distribution list. I saved it (24 names with email addresses), then sent a message with a small attachment (Word document). It worked fine! Then, with baited breath, I went to contacts and found that distribution list and opened it - and this time, all 24 contacts were in there! Wow! I don’t know what changed, but that distribution list is fine.

I don’t fully understand your instructions - I went to the Contacts section on the left column, then to my primary mail account (where that distribution list and several others are found). I did find the distribution list there, along with many contacts, as expected. I simply cannot understand the underlying structure, of course. Just for my own learning, I have a question: Can I delete a distribution list without deleting the contacts that were listed there?

Thanks again for your note!

I tried creating a new group yesterday, and it was still there when I started my computer again today, so I have to guess it was something that I did previously that the program didn’t like. Don’t have any clue exactly WHAT, but I’ll try not to do it again!

Ken Green,
Houston, TX

cool, I am happy to read that it works for you now.


Apparently, I spoke a little too soon! As of today, the self-created contact list only includes 5 members, down from a high of 20-25! There doesn’t seem to be any ‘rhyme or reason’ to the ones that are left, and the same could be said for the ones that were eliminated.

Is it possible that this strange behavior has something to do with the fact that I am running Windows 8.1? Microsoft produced OSes usually work in ‘strange and non-wonderful ways’, and it wouldn’t be the first OS that proved to be a real piece of crap!

Ken Green,
Houston, TX

I just had “relapse” of a similar nature with a long-established distribution list of more than 20 names. Yesterday, I added one new name and email address to the group and I saved it (being sure to have added that person to my contact list before adding him to the distribution list).

I then tried to send a message with a couple of Word doc’s to the group. As a test before sending it, I clicked on the “+” to the right of the group name (on the TO: line) before sending it, and instead of the group names expanding on the TO: lines, the group name disappeared! Surprised, I then went to my Contacts and looked up the group - and the names had reduced from 23 to 3!

I then deleted the list from Contacts and then developed a brand new list from scratch, using the same name, and saved it and sent a message and it worked fully. I am puzzled by this seeming instability. I’ve used eM Client on my PC with Windows 8 and now 8.1. I didn’t have eM Client when I last had Windows 7 on this PC (October, 2012), so I don’t know if the change in OS would have affected eM Client. I have wondered if having my utility, System Mechanic, running in the background might influence distribution list stability - although it didn’t affect my Thunderbird (previous email program for me) in any way with either Windows 7 or 8.

What percent of your customers have troubles with distribution list instability, do you know?


I am looking into it more deeply, this looks like serious trouble. I hope I will know more tomorrow.


I had the same problem. I created a distribution list and then when I went about a month later to send emails to the list it was completely gone from my contacts! I thought maybe it was me! I found making a list was very cumbersome to begin with, but now if I have to reconstruct it each time it makes it worth my while to switch from eM Client to another email system. Especially if no solution can be found.
I am using Windows 7.

I just wanted to put my ‘two cents’ back into this discussion.

When I was using/testing (for my own knowledge) Windows 8/8.1 I had the problem of the distribution lists (any, and I created several over the course of a week or so) going away as soon as I closed the program.

I have since reverted back to Windows 7 (Windows 7 Home Premium, Service Pack 1), and the problem has ** gone away **! I created a distribution list called “Adults” containing 10 names, and it has remained for the last several days (5 to be exact), even though I have closed the program and shut down my computer every day, then started it up again the following day. I am using eM Client version 5.0.19406.0.

I am still interested to know how this all turns out, and will continue to add any feedback if I learn more about what is going on.

Ken Green,
Houston, Tx

That’s very interesting! I’ve had Windows 8, then 8.1, for about 13 months. and I bought eMClient (via Softmaker Office 2012 Pro) only perhaps nine months ago, so I can’t confirm how it might have run under Windows 7. However, I can’t imagine reverting to Windows 7 again (even though I liked it better). Windows 8 has been made much more usable for me by my installing “startisback,” a very inexpensive utility which restores the traditional start button to Windows 8/8.1.

Thanks for that interesting note, Ken!

I must add that the distribution list I rebuilt twice about 15 days ago has held steady ever since, thankfully.

John Galis, I’d be willing to beta test any possible fixes for this issue, if it would be compatible with my Softmaker 2012 Pro implementation of eM Client. I now have version 5.0.18661.0, in case that helps.

Unfortunately Softmaker client is “different” product then eM Client despite it is same inside… your license will not work for our beta and you will have to use eM Client’s beta 2 with free license or buy it again.

I have asked my superiors and there is no workaround on this :confused: Anyway we still dont know what can cause this issue so far…


I just skimmed this article and didn’t notice a fix. This is happening to me as well; the group contacts only retain one member after the program restarts. John, your first question was what service is being used. In my case, that would be Gmail. However, it’s some corporate plan as our addresses end in our company name, not .gmail. Hope there’s a fix soon as it’s a bit tedious to type in the contacts over and over! Other than that, this is a great email client.

It is not about email address but about email provider, anyway in previous answer I have written that we do not know solution yet. That is reason why you can’t find solution to this.


Hi John, I am sure this whole distribution list issue is terribly frustrating for you and the rest of the eM Client team. I appreciate the work you’re all doing on this excellent mail client. So far, my three main distribution lists are working well again (Windows 8.1). Merry Christmas to your whole team, with blessings TO and THROUGH all of you into this world which so needs healing in so many ways.

Hi Jon, you wrote three weeks ago to me: “…your license will not work for our beta and you will have to use eM Client’s beta 2 with free license or buy it again.”

Since eM Client will be installed in a different directory than my SoftMaker Office 2012 Pro eM Client, I’d like to install the eM Client beta 2 with free license for further trials with distribution lists. How and where can I download that version?

Thanks for any help here, and, again, Merry Christmas to your whole eM Client staff and their families!