The Quick and Easy Way to Add Bcc Recipients in MacOS Mail

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The widespread use of email has given rise to an unwritten set of protocols that help users send and receive email productively and courteously. One such "good manners" rule has to do with sending a single email to a group of people who don't necessarily know one another; it's considered bad form because it doesn't respect the privacy of the individual recipients.

Specifically, when you send an email with all recipients' addresses in the To field, each recipient can see the email addresses of all other recipients—a situation one or more might find objectionable or intrusive.

Another potential pitfall of sending the same message to multiple recipients at once is the perceived lack of personalization. The recipient of such an email might—correctly or incorrectly—feel that the sender didn't deem the correspondence important enough to create a personal message.

Lastly, you might not want to reveal all the recipients to whom you've sent an email simply to avoid awkward work or personal situations.

MacOS Mail, like most email apps, offers an easy workaround: the Bcc feature.

Bcc: What It Is and What It Does

"Bcc" stands for "blind carbon copy"—a term held over from the days of typewriters and hard copy. Back then, a typist might have included "Bcc: [names]" at the bottom of the original correspondence to tell the primary respondent that others had received copies of it. These secondary recipients, however, received copies that did not include the Bcc field and were unaware that others had received copies as well.

In modern-day email usage, using Bcc protects the privacy of all recipients. The sender enters all the email addresses of the group in the Bcc field rather than the To field. Each recipient then sees only his or her own address in the To field. The other email addresses to which the email was sent remain hidden.

Using the Bcc Field in MacOS Mail

Like most email apps, MacOS Mail makes using the Bcc feature very easy. In the Bcc header field, you simply add all the email addresses to which you want to send your email. The other recipients of your message will remain unaware of each others' receipt of the same email.

To send a message to Bcc recipients in MacOS Mail:

  1. Open a new email window in Mail. Note that the Bcc field doesn't show by default when you open a new email screen in MacOS Mail. The Mail app in macOS shows only the To and Cc address fields.

  2. Select View > Bcc Address Field from the menu bar. You also can press

    ​Command+Option+B 

    to toggle the Bcc field on and off in the header of the email.

  3. Type the Bcc recipients' email addresses in the Bcc field.

When you send the email, no one will see the recipients you listed in the Bcc field. Even other recipients listed in the Bcc field can't see these recipients. If someone on the Bcc list uses Reply to All when responding, ​however, the people entered in the To and CC fields will know that others were Bcc'd on the email—although they won't know their identities, other than the person who replied to all of them.

Other Ways to Use Bcc

You can leave the To field blank. When people receive your email, they will see "Undisclosed recipients" in the To field. Alternatively, you can put your own email address in the To field and all recipients' addresses in the Bcc field.