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

Protect recipients privacy with Bcc in Mail

Businesswoman working at computer in office
Hero Images/Hero Images/Getty Images

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 listing all the email addresses in the To field doesn't respect the privacy of the individual recipients. Each recipient can see the email addresses of all the other recipients—a situation one or more might find objectionable or intrusive.

Another potential pitfall of sending the same message to multiple recipients at the same time 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 you sent an email simply to avoid awkward work or personal situations.

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

Information in this article applies to the Mail application on Macs running macOS Catalina (10.15), macOS Mojave (10.14), macOS High Sierra (10.13), or macOS Sierra (10.12).

Bcc: What It Is and What It Does

Bcc is an abbreviation for blind carbon copy—a term held over from the days of typewriters and hard copy. Back then, a typist might include Bcc: [names] at the bottom of the original correspondence to tell the primary respondent that others 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 the recipients. The sender enters all the email addresses of the group in the Bcc field rather than the To field. Each recipient can see only his or her own address. The other email addresses to which the email is sent remain hidden.

Using the Bcc Field in macOS Mail

Like most email apps, macOS Mail makes using the Bcc feature easy. In the Bcc header field, you add all the email addresses to which you want to send your email. The other recipients of your message 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 may not show when you first open a new email screen in macOS Mail.

    New email message screen in Mac Mail app
  2. Select View > Bcc Address Field from the menu bar to open the Bcc field if the email screen doesn't already have one.

    View menu in Mac Mail showing Bcc option

    You also can use the keyboard shortcut 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. You don't need to enter any address in the To field, although you can. Enter a subject and the text of the email as usual and send the email.

    Email message with addressed entered in Bcc field

When each of the Bcc recipients receives the email, it displays Undisclosed Recipients followed by their own address in the To field, along with any names you entered in the To field when you sent the email. The other names entered into the Bcc field don't show, although the Undisclosed Recipients mention in the To field indicates there are other recipients.

Received email showing Undisclosed Recipients