Script To Get Common Recipients Between Distribution Groups

Gautham Allur Subramanya  is PFE from India, and shares a PowerShell script used to report on common recipients between two different distribution groups in Exchange.

When delivering a recent PowerShell WorkshopPLUS engagement at a customer site, one of the Exchange administrators wanted to know how to write a script which would generate a text file of common recipients between two different distribution groups in Exchange.  Here is a something I came up with that compares two different distribution group’s members and generates a text file with the common recipients of the two. 

This is meant to help you get a good idea to get the desired output, please use your discretion while using this in a production environment.  This requires PowerShell version 4.0.  Only install supported versions on Windows Management Framework/PowerShell onto Exchange.  Supported versions are defined in the Exchange Server Supportability Matrix


#Creating a Function

function Get-CommonUsers


Write-Host "Enter Distribution Group 1"

$DistGrp1 = Read-Host #First Distribution Group DG1

Write-Host "Enter Distribution Group 2"

$DistGrp2 = Read-Host #Second Distribution Group DG2

$DistGrp1Members = Get-DistributionGroupMember $DistGrp1

$DistGrp2Members = Get-DistributionGroupMember $DistGrp2

$DG1NamesOnly = $ #Getting only the names of recipients

$DG2NamesOnly = $

#PSItem is a built-in pipeline variable

$DG1NamesOnly | ForEach-Object {if($PSItem -in $DG2NamesOnly) #Searching DG1 items in DG2


$PSItem | Out-File -FilePath "C:\Common Users.txt" -Append #Appending matches to text file



$CommonRecipientCount = (Get-Content "c:\Common Users.txt" | Measure-Object).count #Number of matches

Add-Content -Path "c:\Common Users.txt" -Value $CommonRecipientCount

#Append number of matches to text file



This will define a function to get the desired output. We need to call the function to get the desired output.

We can call the function by using the function name we have defined – Get-CommonUsers

You will be prompted to enter the distribution group names, no need to change any of the variables.

We will get an output with all the recipients that are common to two distribution groups as well the count of such recipients in a text file in the ‘C’ drive with the name ‘Common Users.txt’. If you do not want the count, then the last two lines of function could be left out.

If you are familiar with PowerShell and want to change the name of the text file generated or the place where it is stored, you can do so by editing the function appropriately.

I’ve made a function to get the desired output, so that it could be easily reused. If you or your customer wants a similar output, you can look at this as good starting point.

Further, it can be saved as a script, but ensure that you have the right execution policy settings so that you can run it.



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Published by MSPFE editor Rhoderick Milne