How to Use Groups in Windows Phone 8 & Manage Your Contacts Better

At some point in time everybody’s contact list gets too crowded, no matter how often you clean it up. To make things worse, integrating your social networking accounts can make the People app cluttered with too many names and too much information. Luckily, Windows Phone 8 has a feature named Groups, which enables you to organize the people that matter into groups of contacts that are easily accessible. Let’s see how it works and how to use the Groups feature to keep in touch with your friends and family.

Why You Should Use Groups in Windows Phone 8

By creating groups, it is easier to find and follow the people that matter to you most. Groups allow you to split the people in your contact list based on your own criteria, so that you can easily access their updates and contact details.

Groups also enable you to send text messages or emails to all their members in one go. Do you need to send an important message to your family? With groups, you write only one SMS and have it sent to your entire family with one tap. The same applies to sending email messages.

How to Create a New Group in Windows Phone 8

Windows Phone 8 comes with a predefined group, named Best Friends. If you want to, you can start from there and add people to that group. However, I will start by showing the steps required for creating a group from scratch and show how to add members to existing groups later in this article.

Tap the People tile, found on the Start screen.

Flick from left or right until you find the screen named Together. At the bottom of this screen, tap the New button.

The Add New screen is shown. Tap Group.

You are asked to name the group. Type its name and then tap Save.

The group is now created but it has no members. In order to make it useful, you need to add people to it.

How to Add Members to an Empty Group in Windows Phone 8

The Edit Group screen is shown after you have created the group. Tap add.

The Choose a Contact screen is shown. Scroll through the list of people and select the first group member. When you select a person, you are back to the Edit Group screen. To add a new member, tap add and select the new person you want to add. Repeat the process until you have added everyone that should be in that group.

Then, tap done and the newly created group is shown.

How to Pin a Group to the Start Screen

To make a group even easier to access, you should pin it to the Start screen.

Open the group you want to pin and then tap the pin button, found at the bottom of the group’s screen.

Windows Phone 8 automatically takes you back to the Start screen, where you see the tile of the group you just pinned.

What Will You Find in a Windows Phone 8 Group?

When you open a group, you first see all its members. By tapping each person’s tile, you access his/her contact details.

At the bottom of the list you have two links for texting or emailing the entire group. If you want to send a message to everybody in the group, tap the appropriate link, type the message and send it, as usual.

On the group’s screen, when you flick to the right, the What’s new screen is shown. Here, you see the latest social media updates posted by the members of this group. This works only if you integrated your Microsoft account with at least one social network and if the members of the group use that social network.

Flick again to the right and you see the photos published by the different members of that group. By tapping Pictures of Group Name you’ll see photos of everyone in the group. If you want to see the pictures posted by one member, tap his/her name.

If there are no pictures published by the members of the group, there will be nothing to view in the Photos screen.

How to Remove or Edit Members from Groups

If you want to remove a member from a group, open that group. Then, tap the members button on the bottom of the screen.

The list of members is shown. Choose the contact you want to remove by tapping his/her name. Then, tap remove from group.

That person is no longer a member of the group.

Select the Default Email Account & Phone Number Used to Contact Someone

If a group member has more email accounts and/or phone numbers, open its contacts details from the Groups screen.

Then, tap the em>Phone number and/or Email address field(s) and select the default number or email address you want to use when contacting that person.

Don’t forget to tap save in order for your selection to be saved.

How to Add New Members to an Existing Group

You might want to add new people to an existing group. First, open the group to which you would like to add more people. Then, tap the members button to display the Edit Group screen.

Tap the add button found on bottom of the screen.

The Choose a contact screen is shown. Here, select the person you want to add and you are back to the Edit Group screen. To add one more person tap add and select the new person. When done, tap done to save your changes.

How to Rename or Delete a Windows Phone 8 Group

Open the group you want to edit and tap more. This displays two additional options: rename and delete.

Tap rename or delete, depending on what you want to do. Note that, if you choose to delete a group, its members will not be deleted from the People hub. Only the group is deleted.

Conclusion

Groups are a good way to follow and keep in touch with the people that are important to you. This feature helps a lot in finding your way through the tens, hundreds or maybe thousands of people in your contact list. If you have used this feature of Windows Phone 8, don’t hesitate to share your experience. Does it work well? Did you find useful? Have you encountered any issues where you need help?